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Breaking Bad... With My Printer

This week's blog is my rant against the weakest link in everyone's office: THE PRINTER.

You're trying to get an important document in the mail and the computer, mouse, and monitor all do their jobs without complaining -- but the printer goes, "No! Error! I'm jammed! I'm out of ink! I don't like the cheap OEM ink cartridges. It's my time of the month."

At first I thought I got a great deal on my printer. (Cheaper than most high-end inkjets, with a nice fax and scanner thrown in as a bonus.)

But -- then I get my first "low ink" message. I go online looking for a solution -- and I find out how much the set of cartridges cost. OMG! It's twice what the printer cost ... and I'll be paying that every month!

Printer manufacturers have become like drug dealers. They give you a little cheap taste, and then you're hooked and emptying your bank accounts because you're jonesing for cyan. They've got you -- and now there's no way out.

(No wonder the ink cartridges at Staples are kept behind locked cabinets; they're like Oxycontin at a pharmacy.)

I tried to get those special syringes and shoot up my printer full of cheap ink, only to end up with magenta all over my hands, looking like a scene from Dexter. I didn't want to get ink all over the carpet -- so I went outside with the rest to the alley.

That's when it hits me: they started me off with free starter cartridges, and now -- I'm in an alley holding a syringe. Damn you, ink pushers! Damn you! I've hit bottom. "Hello, I'm Judy and I'm powerless over Epson."

And while I'm at it -- why the fancy ink names: Magenta? Cyan?

Why does printer ink have the same names that hippy parents give their kids? Is the pusher who came up with these names the same stoner who names yellow crayons "Burnt Sienna"?

Drug culture has its fingerprints all over this industry!

If the printer was an employee, he would be marched right down to HR and drug tested.

"So, Mr. Epson, when you first applied for the job of printer, your resume stated you could do twenty two pages a minute - but your supervisor Judy says you've never done better than twelve. You claim to be fluent in WiFi ... but I'm just across from the desk from you -- and I can't even connect."

And then, HR would say the magic words: "Mr. Epson - you're FIRED!"

What stresses you out the most at work?

Judy Carter speaks on using humor to decrease stress.
She is the author of The Comedy Bible (Simon & Schuster) and her latest book, The Message of You: Turn Your Life Story into a Money-Making Speaking Career, (St. Martin's Press) comes out February 2013.

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Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.