“Photocopying Body Parts” by Renee Hughes

One day I had to use the copier one floor up because our floor’s copier kept overheating. This condition may have been because I was making 20 copies of a 200-page manual. The key operator guy for the second copier was strange, scary, tall and brooding (sort of like Freddie Krueger) and very protective of his copier. As I sneaked to the copier, carrying my own paper so I couldn’t be accused of appropriating another department’s supplies, the coast was clear of “Freddie”.

I quickly began making my mountain of copies. Then I noticed the dozen or more signs “Freddie” had taped to wall above the copier. One was a Copier Malfunction service call placed 5/19/2000, with the actual paper clips which had jammed the machine taped to the repair report. While I distracted myself by reading the signs, “Freddie” sneaked up behind me, looking for an e-mail he had sent to the copier.

He glared at my growing stack of paper, and then pointed to one his signs taped to the wall which informed the ignorant that large copy jobs were to be sent out to a contractor to be copied.

I told him my boss wouldn’t pay for an outside contractor to copy my manuals (remember the budget constraints). “Freddie” asked if I even worked on his floor. (Mind you, I’m one floor up, same company.) I replied I worked on a floor below, but I had brought my own paper, so I wasn’t using his.

He shook his finger at his sign and then at me, reiterating only small jobs were to be copied on the local copier. Stalling, since my copy job was just about done and his copy would be right behind mine, I explained I only did this mass copying once a year for a governmental filing. I then complimented him on his wonderful copier that did not overheat like ours did.

Just then his copy spit out and I handed it to him, offering to recopy it on non-holed paper because I had used 3-holed paper in drawer 4 (which I learned was a no-no per another one of “Freddie’s” signs–only non-holed 8 1/2″ by 11″ paper was permitted to be used in that drawer). Looking disgusted about my flouting of his rules, he turned and mumbled out “no thanks” and left.

As I picked up my photocopies, i eyed another of “Freddie’s” signs, truly a gem: “Corporate policy Forbids employees from copying any part of their person on this machine.” Yuck!!! I ran down the steps as rapidly as possible balancing 10 reams of paper, returned to my desk and used half a small bottle of hand sanitizer.


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