No, but seriously, who has my printing?

Once upon a time, a time known as “The Glorious Days Where My Department Had Its Own Printer”, there lived a happy secretary.

In those heady days, 5.7 seconds after pressing print on her computer, crisp sheets of ink-covered paperwork would slip onto the printer’s output tray, awaiting the grateful touch of the secretary’s cheerful fingertips, before being delicately folded and slipped into envelopes scented with the breath of Heaven.

One year ago, a dark stormcloud appeared on the Office Horizon. The Queen of Management Castle had decreed that My Department amalgamate with the land of Marketing, Tourism and Community!

Alas! cried the secretary, The Little Printer That Had Always Been Able To would never keep up with this new workload.

She spent time with Little Printer, coaxing it out of its sadness, and for a short time, it flourished under the constant attention of Posters and Maps and Communique.

Inevitably, the demands took their toll. Rollers began to squeak in torment after the briefest use, causing paper to wedge into inaccessible places, while toners disappeared faster than they could be replenished. Error lights blinked where no error could be found and paper trays fell apart after constant, hurried abuse.

While it saddened the secretary to witness Little Printer’s struggles, she was buoyed by its quick recoveries, and rare number of services it required. The only thing she was unable to cope with was a new phenomena that had begun to occur: Ghost Printing!

For every 5 documents the secretary would print, only 2 could be found at the collection point. She searched the output tray – nothing there. She searched the benchtop reserved for uncollected documents – nothing there. She even searched the pigeon hole boxes, designed so that anyone could clean up the uncollected documents for people to pick up later – Nothing!

The only conclusion the secretary could reach was that Little Printer had begun murdering documents in a passive-aggressive display of emotion. Fed up with being taken for granted, left to error because nobody would refill its paper trays, Little Printer had begun to delete its own jobs instead of wasting its precious inkblood on ungrateful human beings.

As none of the other subjects had delivered the secretary’s printing and it wasn’t in any of the collection locations, this was the only logical conclusion she could come to.

Fearing mockery by her peers, the secretary kept her theory to herself, hoping there could be some other explanation, but it was a rare occurrence for someone to deliver missing paperwork they had accidentally collected with their own, and the secretary was forced to concede that the printer was, in fact, being a jerk.

On 29th November, 2013, the secretary made a request to security staff to view the footage of the cameras overlooking Little Printer.

Her request was rejected on the grounds of “are you being serious right meow?”

In the absence of evidence, in true Internet Afficionado style, the secretary has no choice but to assume, and to document the following theory on her blog: Little Printer has been possessed by a Personality Disorder Demon, the result of a year of abuse, and is manifesting Poltergeist activity by making printing disappear.

The secretary is now searching for a psychologist to counsel Little Printer in the hopes of returning it to its former, cooperative self.

She is also petitioning her employer to purchase an extra printer to meet the demands of all the Departments. She believes the former will occur before the latter.

Following footsteps

Today, I officially became the reincarnation of my grandmother.

She was a formidable woman, under 5 feet tall, and about that wide. Her bosom was enormous and forever covered in flour from the scones or pies she was baking.

I always think of her when I see an old lady throwing a tantrum in public – for a woman who used a walker, she could storm off in a damn hurry, when she wasn’t getting her own way.

She was flirty and cheeky, her mischievous cackle would light up her eyes, her perpetually high-heeled shoes tapping out of time to the music her voice was trying desperately to sing to – there was great musical talent in her side of the family.

None of it belonged to her.

Her voice was this high pitched, nasal assault to your ears, but in spite of the nails-on-a-chalkboard shudder that rippled through you, it made you smile because it was patently evident that she loved life and was not hindered by self-consciousness.

She lived to party, and had to be the centre of attention – this is where she and I differ greatly. The place we join at the seams is our obsession with our cats, and also in the way we keep the house tidy. Or, in the way we don’t keep the house tidy.

I had always said that my cat obsession would cease at owning living, breathing cats – two at the most. I would not follow in her footsteps and start collecting feline figurines, filling display cabinets with items that would soon be coated in a thick film of dust that I would never bring myself to clean.

But, umm. Today I just followed in one of her other footsteps in a purchase that completely blindsided me.

I just bought a tea towel. A display tea towel.
With cats on it.
One of them is wearing a monocle.

In my defense, this is one amazing tea towel and Nan would totally agree.


How do you discipline a cat?

I mean, really.

Spraying water in his face isn’t doing a lot to stop boycat being a jerk to girlcat.

Once, when he was very naughty and made himself at home in my next door neighbour’s house, I didn’t speak to him for an hour. I felt abandoned by him. He was my little loveface, who adored me, and now he had gone to bask in the loveglow of someone else.

“Never enough. I am just never enough for anyone!”

… that’s when I realised I had rather larger mental issues than I had previously suspected. Also when I realised I had completely stopped thinking of them as cats.

I’m not great with discipline. My little brother is ten years younger than me, and very rarely did the word “no” escape my lips when he asked for something. In fact, it seems that whatever he wanted to do, I was there encouraging it.

It isn’t many big sisters who get banned from reading to their younger brother. In hindsight, while it was certainly fun, it may not have been in his best interests for me to read Harry Potter as though I had Tourettes.

At 21 years of age, I can’t see any signs that it has harmed him, but I also can’t stop calling Professor Lockhart “Professor Cockfart”, either.

As for my cats, I think it’s me that needs the discipline.

I need to start remembering that they aren’t human. I don’t, as previously suspected, need to spell words to prevent them getting excited over things they can’t have, nor do I need to sit them down and explain why they’re not allowed to lay in my garden, squashing my newborn sunflower plants.

Most of all, I can probably stop mocking their meows when they’re talking to me after their fights.

The phrase “I don’t care who started it, you don’t bite each other and shove your bums in each other’s faces!” should probably be reserved for human children and the way things are going, Australian politicians.