Signs of the Times, part deux (dUH)

failure preventionOn the copier/printer/scanner in the office there is a sign that reads:

Precautions on
printer paper

  • NEVER use ink-jet printer
    paper to prevent failure.
  • Use a PROPER type OHP
    film and set it in correct
    direction to prevent failure.

If you are like me, you probably do not enjoy failure. Then again, if you are like me you know exactly where I’m going with this already.

So I am VERY big on FAILURE PREVENTION. In fact I am also known for:

  • Avoiding Failure by doing absolutely nothing
  • Hiding Failure by sweeping up the broken vase and mysteriously taking out the garbage without actually being asked.
  • Blaming Failure on circumstances completely out of my control (“I cannot be responsible for the inertial and gravitational forces on this planet!”)
  • Spinning Failure into an excellent learning/teaching moment (“You should not have place your favorite vase on that shelf.”)

As you might guess, I have considerable experience with failure. In fact, this might be one of my gifts although I fail to mention this on my resume. Obviously.

Back to The Sign. My mind is reeling… How am I to avoid failure?? I start parsing the instructions.

First bullet: While it implies that ink-jet paper may very well prevent failure, I am simultaneously instructed to never use this technique! Why not?! I mean, if it does actually prevent failure, why must I never use it? And if it doesn’t prevent failure why taunt me so! That would be like “Never hop on one foot, flapping your arms like a chicken, and barking like a lap dog to prevent failure.” At least then I would not be tempted. Unless it was an important presentation.

Second bullet: Use a PROPER type OHP film and set in correct direction to prevent failure. If you do not know what a PROPER type OHP film is, you are more like me than you know. Relax, I googled it. OHP film = Transparencies!! Yeah, those clear plastic transparencies that we used to use on overhead projectors.

[sidebar: If you don’t know what an overhead projector is… well, you probably are too young to be on the internet. Where are your parents?]

So to prevent failure I must use PROPER (whatever that is) transparency film. But we don’t OWN an overhead projector! Our supply closet does not have ANY OHP film– not even improper type! Should I go out and purchase these items out of my own pocket?

Assuming I break-down (inevitable) and I do acquire OHP film, what IS correct direction? Notice the complete absence of a participle article key word. Is that meant to be set in the correct direction OR set in a correct direction? Exactly how many correct directions are there for a proper OHP film?

Based on all available information (in the clear boldfaced print), I am pretty much doomed…as is everyone else in the office! If you’re reading this and you hear what sounds like a very sick poodle, that would be me preparing for an important meeting. No doubt I will have snuck in ink-jet paper using a brown, unmarked paper bag.


6 Responses

  1. hahaha

    ”I cannot be responsible for the inertial and gravitational forces on this planet!”

  2. Please take note of the incredible truth in that statement.

    Always speak truth, even if it is irrelevant.

  3. This Post should be studied for Proper Hermeneutics Classes. Your ability to discern inadequate grammar structures is impressive and hopefully is being applied to ancient Greek Biblical texts.

  4. Never use Ric’s ramblings to prevent grammatical embarrassment.
    Use PROPER metaphors to prevent immediate dismissal.

    Who would have known 2 little bullets could wreak such havoc?

  5. This reminds me of the written instructions posted in exit rows on many airplanes that states, “Please inform the flight attendant if you cannot read these instructions.”


  6. Receiving the bread and the wine is a symbol of God’s gift. My recent encounter with a sign on an office copier machine reminded me of this piece.

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