Just trying to maintain that tech high-priesthood

Support tech pilot fish receives a trouble ticket about a multifunction printer that will only scan documents in landscape mode -- never portrait.

"Usually when paper is set in the top tray, you lay it the long way for portrait and sideways for landscape," fish says. "When I arrived at this user's desk, I was confident this would only take a moment to either change a setting on the device or to educate the user on how to set paper in the scan tray."

Thirty minutes of troubleshooting later, fish has determined that the printer is set up correctly, the user is doing everything right -- and the device still won't scan in portrait mode.

But another employee in a nearby cubicle tells fish that lots of people in their department have hit the same issue for quite some time. Their work-around? They use an identical printer 20 feet away in another department when they need to scan a document.

Naturally, that's completely unacceptable for the user who reported the problem -- she demands a proper fix.

Fish is out of ideas, but fortunately another tech happens to be passing by. Fish stops him to ask if he can assist.

Two hours of troubleshooting later, they're both stumped.

But while they're checking the device's settings for the 20th time, fish's boss walks by and asks what they're doing. Fish explains the situation, and with a smirk the boss tells him, "I can take care of this."

He positions a piece of paper in the tray on top of the printer. Then he raises his hand and holds it over the printer palm down, closes his eyes -- and then hits the scan button.

"The other tech and I began to laugh," says fish. "But we were immediately silenced by the scream of the woman from her cubicle: 'It worked!'

"Both our mouths dropped as we turned to our manager and said how? He laughed and, while walking away, said that one day we too might be able to master the Force.

"Come to find that, in reality, the canister light directly above the printer was just making the sensor in the scan tray think that the pages being set there were laying landscape style and not portrait."

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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