After almost five years of successfully living an Amish-like lifestyle, I broke down and purchased a printer today. truth be told, it's combination printer/scanner/fax/weapon of class distruction. It's an HP and it was the recipient of many gloriously gushing reviews on the Circuit City website - people claiming that this printer had caused them to get their dream job, catch the man of their dreams, cure cancer, and finally move out of their mom's basement.
I don't know why I had waited as long as I had to buy a new one. The GF has actually given me grief on multiple occasions over this issue. "Why don't you just get one? They're so cheap these days anyway - it's like the companies are trying to give them away."
"But, I don't *need* one," I replied "I don't need to print at home more than a few times a year, and anything I really need to print I just do it at work."
This is true, actually. Living in Chicago means that 95% of all directions involve nothing more but right angle turns and driving straight - so maps are pretty unneeded. I never use the "print your own ticket" function for anything* since I don't trust myself to leave behind a piece of paper that looks like all other pieces of paper and I might get confused with one of my old term papers.
But this project I'm doing for work is a demanding one - forcing me into all sorts of renaissance man activities and creating needs I never had before. For instance, I am responsible for making the "costumes" that folks who are presenting the project need to wear. Fortunately, my company sells all of what we need except for one part - iron-on patches. So, I checked with some of the folks working on this project in other departments to see what they did, and one of them spilled the beans on the big secret to success: Jo-Ann Fabrics. "They have everything you'll need, trust me" said this fellow. Little did I know...
I pulled up to the Jo-Ann Fabric Superstore which I had located near my house using their website**. When I walked in, I was truly not prepared. I mean - it was like walking into my mom's fantasy world. All sorts of crafty stuff, covering almost every imaginable hobby from painting to quilting to knitting to sewing. Interestingly though, the selection for my hobbies was pretty limited - they had no old shcool nintendo games, no fiction section, and an online music library that was practically non-existant. They did have everyhting else though, and it took me almost a half-hour to find the department that had the stuff I was looking for. Naturally - it was in the quilting section and not, it turns out, in a more helpful "Iron-On Stuff for the Ignorant and Uninitiated" section.
Once I had acquired my needed items, I headed over to Circuit City to pick up the printer I had ordered - as the sheets I bought at Jo-Ann's require an inkjet printer in order to make the iron-ons. Circuit City makes a big deal of their "24 minutes or $24" offer on web orders that select "in store pickup" as the delivery option. I figured that since it had been almost an hour and a half since I had ordered it***, this would be a piece of cake. So I drove down the street and walked in to face...the bitter rebellious teenage harpy behind the counter.
We all know them, the kids these days who's lives are soooo difficult and complex. With their pseudo-but-not-quite-right goth combo of too-pale skin and too-dark dyed hair, and heads that look like they were mauled by a nail gun, the harpy looked up from staring at nothing as I moved towards her. One could read her expression of loathing and irritation as I - the only customer in the entire pickup room - boldly dared to interrupt her busy schedule of idle ennui and asked for my order. She tried to foil me by running me through a bureaucratic obstacle course; asking for ID, the order form receipt, and then the credit card used on the purchase. fortunately I had all these things with me - having remembered to print the receipt before I left work. Irritated at my persistance, she started typing into the register - possibly trying to use it to perform a ritual that would summon a higher level Customer Service Demon that would take me away and sentence me to an eternity of nihilistic damnation - perhaps at the North Avenue Store.
But no such demon was summoned, and I was then issued a piece of paper and told to go to a different area to actually pick up my merchandise. At this point, I was beginning to suspect whether my understanding of the "24 minutes of $24" offer was misinformed, and it was not "your order's ready in 24 minutes" but rather "If you successfully make it through our customer service barriers in 24 minutes or less you'll win $24".
But I didn't get $24 - instead I now have an all-powerful combination printer/fax/scanner/thing-I-keep-inadvertantly-kicking-with-my-ankles-which
Now I just have to figure out how to use it with the super iron-on paper before next week...
* Although I do have tickets to the bleachers at Wrigley in July - which require you to print your own tickets. Maybe this *was* inevitable.
** But I *didn't* need to print a map because it was really close to my house actually - score one more for the printer-luddites!
*** No thanks to the time warp I got caught up in at the crafty store