No good deed goes unpunished.

It’s an odd thing, that expression. It holds true often enough that I accept it as true.

Since you have a good mind, I won’t ask you to accept the veracity of that saying on my word for it. I intend to establish the fact of it with a tale of woe, my good deed that ran amok.

I gladly agreed to help a church friend make handouts for the annual stewardship drive. It is no huge deal, though it takes a chunk of time to print out hundreds of one-sided and double-sided print jobs, in color. I’ve helped out this way before since I have a decent printer that prints out those double-sided sheets at about 10 per minute or something like that. It’s fast for a home printer.

This morning, I pulled up the first file to print. It needed to be printed in color, one side, 125 copies. It printed out exactly how I wanted, so I set up the 125-count single-page print job. So I thought, or so I intended…!

My printer is older now, and sometimes locks up if you accidentally give it bogus instructions. In this instance, I accidentally failed to select a one-page print field. As far as the printer is concerned, if you don’t select a small section of the whole to print, going against all common sense (if you are human, not the product of a human) you’ve selected the whole spreadsheet to print out! Hundreds of sheets, blank. Thousands of sheets, blank. A lot, anyway.

Of course, I kept my head on straight, and the problem soon disappeared.

Of course, I kept my head on straight, and the problem soon disappeared.

“What’s the issue?” you ask since you are tech savvy, a genuine computer (and peripherals) whizz. Tell it to print out hundreds of blank pages equal to the size of the spreadsheet by forgetting to select a print field, and the little bugger will print out hundreds of blank sheets equal to the size of the spreadsheet! Any idiot knows you just pull up the printer menu and tell it NOT to continue printing the bogus job! Simple, eh!? Or turn it off, and the instruction disappears into the ether. Surely!

My printer has a surprise, though. It won’t interrupt the print, pause the print, end the print no matter what you do. Whine, scream, cuss, pull the power cord off, pour water on the electrical components, remove the ink cartridges, call the President of the US to stage a drone strike: NOTHING stops it!

I discovered a long time ago the only thing that does work in this instance with this printer is to uninstall the driver, reinstall the driver, pour sacrificial sheep blood over the ink cartridges, sell your children into slavery, and vote for Sarah Pallin for President in 2016. Man, you can hand-draw the print job before you WANT TO wallow in that punishment!

I decided to suck it up, just keep my head long enough to get the miserable thing working again.

I know I have a disc somewhere to take care of the reinstallation, but, of course, it’s the one I never find when I need it. I went online to the manufacturer’s help site. I went through the process, tried out the printer. Wow! Not only did it work, it did a bang up job finishing the 125-count single-page print job. Then it did just fine printing up a 75-count single-page print job. I thought I might even finish the whole print job at the rate it was going!

"Where did I put that sledge-hammer?"

“Where did I put that sledge-hammer?”

The next print job required colored paper. This 75-count double-page print job went well, too! “The curse of good deed doing is broken!” I thought, then the damn thing printed out one side of the job on one sheet of paper, and the second side on a second sheet. Static electricity is not our friend! Ask my Persian cats! I even fanned the paper multiple times, all sides before I put the stack in the paper bin.

My problem with the single side printed is this: I barely have enough colored paper to print the job as requested. I decided to leave this sleeping dog alone. As long as it was printing anything, I’d let it finish up on plain paper. Maybe that’d work for my friend, too. If not, reprinting the job wouldn’t be any problem now that I fixed the printer, I told myself.

Oops! Did I say that or just think it because the moment the thought hit the printer – WiFi feature I didn’t know it has?! – it ate the last sheet of the colored paper. I’ll spare you more detail other than to note the printer insists there still is a paper jam, something I can’t verify without a screwdriver or (preferably) a light sledge-hammer. I practically disassembled it to find the offending paper.

My printer is one of those four-in-one machines. Print, copy, fax, scan to your heart’s delight. Nice machine! I’ve had it four years and use it regularly and heavily. I checked my online bank statement, added in some funds I’ll see shortly, deducted a few outstanding bills, and decided I will retire my machine with honors. If someone can make it work, someone who doesn’t collect guns, rifles, bazookas, hand grenades, or other means of small-scale destruction, then he or she can have it. I won’t need it because I managed to squeeze a new four-in-one machine into the budget for the coming month.

I just don’t recommend that the new person use this machine to do good deeds because, as you know, no good deed goes unpunished!

17 thoughts on “No good deed goes unpunished.

  1. Love the Cats vs Printers video.

    “No good deed goes unpunished” should be on the crest of Cat Beard Manor.

    Two years ago I got a gym membership to get in shape. Hyperextended my right knee on the treadmill, which progressed to a tibia plateau fracture, missed work for a month, now walk with a cane. Still have the gym membership thinking I am going back, but haven’t yet.

    • What an awful (as in “extremely good”) example of a good deed gone awry. Yeah, there is a series of these cat-printer videos, which doesn’t surprise me! My latest blog and video even has a small section where Andy is trying to “help” me print by catching the paper whirring through the machine. I’m just glad he didn’t figure out the real action is on the front side. He was being a big pest as it was!

  2. You speak the truth, Weggie, you tell no lies. Something always happens when I do a good deed, so who’s the stupid one – when I keep doing them? A regular glutton for punishment!!

  3. This so made me laugh as I have so had similar problems printing out double-sided pages and A5 flyers two per page. There’s are secrets to these things such as when using Microsoft 2010 tell it to print pages 1,1 and to print two pages per A4 sheet and I think that’s the only way to get two A5 pages from an A4 but they don’t tell you that do they? I had to replace my old HP printer recently after printing at least 50,000 pages and now on my third new HP printer in three months as the first two did not work properly and had to go back to Amazon. The quality is excellent and it prints double-sided automatically and will even feed through 250gsm card without a hitch. Check out the reviews on Amazon. It’s an HP WP-4535, not cheap but the ink is so it’s well worth paying extra.

    • I checked out the WP-4535 out of curiosity. (It’s an Epson, but I bet you are in the habit of thinking “HP” if you went through three in as many months!)

      It costs more than double what I paid for the replacement HP, though it looks like it is a better machine for someone with greater printing needs than mine. I didn’t check all outlets, and I have no doubt I could find a cheaper price for a new one if I looked a little more.

      I did view a video on YouTube of this machine, and the size of the ink cartridges shows it is a serious machine! Whew! Big! The machine, too, gets good reviews, which it should for the price. Epsons are good machines anyway, from my experience, which begs the question how I got started on HPs. I don’t know! That’s what I had at work? At one point, the office had the same machine I just gave up on, which might be why I got it, too. The one in the office served us well.

      I’m an occasional printer of large jobs (once a year) these days. When I first retired, I printed a lot more things and more often than now. When I had my mother’s and father’s financial matters to address, having a copier was very handy for making copies of all of those documents insurance companies, banks, lawyers, and governments require. In time, I’ll have my own needs along that line (not yet!).

      Anyway, since my tagline is “surviving retirement with two cats”, I should share at least one video link about cats and printers. I know all cat people with printers can relate!

  4. Oh my that is frustrating but good for you for squeezing in a new printer. My canon printer was a $40 on special at Staples four years ago and is still running well, and operating well also. It is not used heavily and only for copies of the monthly budget while I am out there paying bills.

    • I live comfortably if not extravagantly, though there are some areas where I pull out all stops: my cats and my computer! It always amazes me how inexpensive printers (and four-in-one machines!) are, then I check out the prices on the ink and toner.

  5. We had an “all for none” machine, too, and it was horrible. BTW, besides “no good deed goes unpunished”, I have learned that saying, “this will be easy” or “this is a 5 minute job” is the sure kiss of death!

    • Add the pre-GPS “You can’t miss it!” and we have some scary but true facts of life here. I’ve found what you say holds true, too. Another volunteer job I do weekly I predicted would take less time after the first time I did it and became more familiar with the format. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Sometimes it ends up taking more time. Another kiss of death statement is “I want you to meet my good friend [such-and-such] . I think you’ll like him!” Maybe we should stop writing these and we’ll both have new topics for blogs. Ha!

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