Skip to main content

Day 57-58: Did you turn it off and back on again?

“Cap’n,” my coworker said.

It was the tone of her voice. It was the tone, and the direction. Her voice was deadened in a specific way. All those versed in the ways of frustrated Users can recognize it. You see, the human voice sounds distinct when bouncing off of a frustrating computer and/or one of its peripherals.

“Cap’n, the printer’s broke,” my coworker said.

I was already by her side. She was fiddling with a receipt printer. These small gray boxes are like those UFOs from Batteries Not Included. But not the cool one. Or the burger one. The ornery one.


I’m not saying this printer runs away with silverware or steals appliances to procreate. I’m just saying these little mini-machine gun bunkers can be a pain in the neck.

You know what I asked her when I got to the printer? Guess.

“Did you turn it off and back on again?”

Coworker looked at me.

“I thought I did,” she said.

I opened the lid, checked the paper. There was no jam. I closed it. She clicked the power off and back on. No change.

“Well, here,” I said. I clicked the power off and started silent mouth-counting. One one-thousand. Two one-thousand. Three one-thousand.

“Oh, you have to give it a few seconds,” Coworker said. A prep cook was cutting a pizza next to us. Cap’n was still busy somewhere else.

I got to ten and powered it back on. The paper ticked up about two millimeters indicating it had received feed instructions. I tested the manual feed and it worked.

Then it printed. Boy, did it print. It printed with abandon. It printed with vehemence. It printed like Bi Sheng. Then it printed like Gutenberg.

The last of the queued receipts printed and life resumed. My full-time job indirectly improved the lives of my part-time coworkers.

Again, I was struck with the intangible patterns. Sometimes when something doesn’t work, we panic. We unplug it, then plug it back in. We press random spots and pull random levers. We mash the power button. Then, frustrated, we hand it off to someone we think might be able to handle it.

They take a few quiet seconds to look it over. They turn it off. They let it rest. They restore power, and it works.

Who do we hand our budgets to when they break? Who do we call when we lose our temper despite efforts to control it? Where do we “hand off” our elevated heart rate when our infant won’t stop crying and we don’t know why? Etc.

My answer to all of these will be different from yours. Some might be similar. I was reminded while fixing Pandora’s Printer that I need to turn things off and back on again sometimes. We all do. Find someone that will help. I’ve found Jesus to be a great help, because He sends other people. He sends my bro, Josh Olbricht. He sends my wife. He delivers me a picture of “Kitty Zane, Eva and the Sun” in the hands of that beautiful Princess.

Whoever those people are to you, the metaphorical printer-fixers… Keep those people nearby. And never hesitate to be that person for someone else. You’ll make more friends.

Here’s to another year of being:



Popular posts from this blog

5 Things Every Pizza Delivery Driver Needs for Success

Updated: 2/1/2016.

“How many times has Dave Ramsey said, ‘Deliver pizzas’?” Said someone on the Dave Ramsey forums.The answer is: lots.I hear it often when I listen to his show. That and ‘sell the car.’ (Car payments KILL people’s wealth-building income every month. )Since first posting this list back in December of 2014, I’ve heard great, quality responses and suggestions. The original list of five things has been updated as follows:A kit for receipt convenienceA fuel efficient car with an accurate GPSA need for speedThe “Wow!” extrasA smileThese tips apply no matter what company you drive for. (No pun intended.)Let’s learn something.1. You need a kit for receipt convenienceDon’t underestimate the power of a simple receipt kit. It is as follows:A clipboard. A suitable pen for your clipboard. A cheap, small flashlight with a clamp or a tether.A clipboard and pen are must-haves. It is easier on you. It is easier on them. Not having one demands more of a hungry customer than is necessa…

We're debt free.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are debt free.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.Wanted to talk about being a turkey today. But first, here's a recap of the Baby Steps used in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.Baby Step 1: $1,000 cash in a beginner emergency fundBaby Step 2: Use the debt snowball to pay off all your debt but the houseBaby Step 3: A fully funded emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of expensesBaby Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into retirementBaby Step 5: Start saving for collegeBaby Step 6: Pay off your home earlyBaby Step 7: Build wealth and give generouslySo we're on step 3. How's it going?It's not.What we're doing now is akin to what happened a lot between baby steps 1 and 2: Save up your $1,000 emergency fundHave an emergencyRepeatExcept we haven't had emergencies. We maintain the $1,000 EF month to month and manage other storms. We've had to repair some vehicles, sure. We also have more income now than we did. We were forking over hundreds to creditors not long ago. Now we can …