Thursday, November 17, 2005

When your "K's" are off

It’s been a little frazzled here the last few weeks. The change in season creates a little off balance in everyone for a variety of reasons. It is a true test of team spirit when those out of sync moments hit everyone at once. I’ve been setting my heating pad that stays in my desk chair on medium instead of high lately. That’s a sure sign of trouble brewing.

This week, I overheard a panic response coming from the copy room. My immediate reaction was, “ What wild animal has been killed NOW?” I wondered if the Riso machine was up to no good, or if the paper cutter had been recently sharpened by a phantom sharpener and no one knew about it. The sound continued, and then the sound of paper flipping kicked in. flip/ plop. Flip/plop. Was someone skimming the empty reams and dropping them to the linoleum? Was there a treasure hidden in there? My curiosity finally go the best of me and I went to investigate the mystery angst coming from the copy room.

Our membership secretary, or someone who looked sort of like her stood in front of the copy machine, her hands gripped the sides of the testy Toshiba. There were piles of papers askew across the floor. More papers flooded from the copy machine at a very fast pace. As the paper catcher became overloaded, they plopped to the floor. Flip/plop. Flip/plop. Amelia began pressing the copy machine buttons, but as we already know, the copy machine is willful and loves to play mischievous games with human copy folk like us. Many times, I have copied 222 copies of something because the Toshiba is having a cranky day. This seemed the case on this particular day.

“Hey- what’s going on?” I asked my distraught friend.
“ My K’s are off.” She looked at me and repeated, “ My K’s are off”.
Now you might wonder, What does one SAY to that? I mean, it was obviously an important statement. It carried special meaning, but I had no idea what that meaning was.

“ Your K’s are off? Gosh, I’m so sorry. So sorry to hear that. Anything I can do? How are your J’s looking? Do you anticipate needing any L’s or N’s maybe?”
The glazed look cleared and she straightened and lifted a huge chunk of copied papers. “ I was copying the directory, and I had organized it so that each letter had its own start page. Isn’t that neat? You could go right to the B’s or the D’s . It took me a while to figure it out, so that the sections would come out just right. And then.. well, I just discovered that my “K’s” are off. That means the whole rest of the alphabet is off, too.

The picture came clear to me in that moment. Amelia had said so much more in that statement than she ever thought. There have been many days when my K’s have been off. I’m sure most of you can identify with that.

It sounds much more friendly to say that than to hear, “ Ye Gods what a suck day!” Or “AGGGGHHHH, or “I give up!!!”

So the next time the day offers a collection of disruptive moments, consider that statement. And if you get through the day pretty smoothly, you can say like Amelia says, “ It’s a good day when your ‘Z’s’ are off.”


Leslee said...

That's gotta suck! At least it wasn't the "C's" that would suck more!

will smama said...

Too funny. I remember ripping off a ton of bulletins and in the middle realizing that all three verses of Silent Night were the same. Oi.

Shawnee said...

Ha Ha! Too cute! Oh the joys of the copy-machine. I have had my fair share of K's being off durning my time as the church secretary. Yikes!