If you want to make sure that you become an essential part of any business with traditional larger office equipment and thus potentially make save yourself from the effects of economic downturns, you should make yourself indispensable. And who is the most indispensable guy in any such office setting?
The guy who knows how to fix the copy machine, of course.
Copy machines and printers and the various mutant hybrids are as near as you are ever going to get to evidence of the existence of the devil. These machines without which much work in America could not get accomplished are quite obviously spawns of Satan. Everybody hates them and nobody wants to wait for a professional repair person to arrive to fix them. That is why the guy who can quickly get the copy machine up and running can almost guarantee moving down from the top of the list of those who will be laid off first when the firings start.
The first step is to locate the owner’s manual, if possible. In many office environments you might as well try to find the Ark of the Covenant. If you are lucky, the manual for the copy machine will be found somewhere right there on the unit. Less lucky are those who must go in search of wherever those supposedly in charge of such things place the manual for when it is needed. Count on hitting the internet to try to find a copy online.
Not that the manual is a necessity. Office equipment manuals can be surprisingly useless when it comes to actually getting the thing working again. The steps may be there, but those same steps may result in little but frustration as you try following them. If you can’t locate a copy of the manual, don’t give up.
Today’s copy machines have digital controls that provide supposedly easily understandable illuminated displays intended to provide a line of logic on the internal workings of the infernal machine that is easy to follow. If you can follow that logic, then you will be on your way to becoming indispensable because when a machine practices what its display preaches, repair is ridiculously easy but still quite impressive to those who have no idea how to do it. Often, the display lighting sequences provides a dead end, but with a little logic of your own, should be able to properly diagnose where the lights are failing you.
Before doing all that, however, you should check for paper jams. When a copy machine no longer offers the clones it should, the first line of investigation is the dreaded paper jam. Copiers are supposed to shut down when a jam occurs so that real damage doesn’t occur. Quality copy machines will contain a display system that indicates where the jam has occurred. Getting to know this helpful element can make you look like a miracle worker among those who never bothered to learn. Just make sure that you retrieve every single bit of paper that could cause the jam to occur again.
Copy machines use toner. Everybody knows the word, but not everybody has a real idea of what toner is and how to replace it. Check the lighted display to see if is sending a message about toner supply getting low. Replacing toner is much more helpful if you have the manual since all the specific information you need will be covered. If you can’t find the manual, do the research to find out precisely what kind of toner replacement to use. Yeah, toner is toner, but in some cases using the toner specified for one machine on another machine can cause actual damage and there goes your credibility. Indispensable no more.
You might think that replacing paper is not a job that would require the “copy machine guy.” You might be wrong. Depending on the skill level of your co-workers, you may find a small amount of heroism merely from displaying how a paper tray can be replaced with your eyes shut. Learn how to do it with your eyes shut and take any opportunity to demonstrate your skill. In some settings, your little trick will be greeted with all the awe awarded David Copperfield for making the Statue of Liberty disappear.
When things are looking iffy and you think your job may on the cutting block, it is time to pull out the really big guns. Wait until a particularly high need for copies and then surreptitiously pull the electric cord out just enough to cause the machine to turn off completely. When it comes to spawns of satanic technology like a copy machine, people have a natural inclination to assume the worst. If you are lucky, nobody else will think of the machine being unplugged and those that do may well be satisfied with a quick enough glance at the plug that they will assume it is still plugged in. At that point, all eyes will turn to you. Start looking things over and pretend to find problems for long enough that everybody leaves you alone. Do your best acting and start removing removable properties. After a suitable amount of time, plug the electrical cord all the way back in and announce you finally figure out the problem.
Heck, by that point you can make up words and people will believe you. Just as long as they can now get their copies done.