Armani Jackson, Managing Editor
Final copy editing: an editor’s worst nightmare. It wouldn’t be so bad if such a time of red ink and AP Style books took place during peak daylight and the bustle of student activity. But alas, Thursday night has come and we’re stuck alone in the coat closet sized office with nothing but harp covers and Broadway show tunes to keep us awake and sane. Seconds turn to minutes and minutes turn to hours as we hear the subtle sounds of facility workers cleaning up after the day’s festivities.
It’s creepy. It’s cold.
And the only thing keeping you from losing it entirely is the fact that there are always new ways to drink soda while simultaneously spinning in a swivel chair without experiencing a severe level of motion sickness. And yet here we are, typing away on an under-updated Mac making the slightest changes and correcting the oh so giant wrongs that everyone seemed to miss over two editing sessions ago. How do we continue to keep things interesting? We don’t have to. Technology has a way of ruining our lives and adding excitement when we seem to need it the most. But, this time it wasn’t the Mac that shut down our overworked creative process; it was the printer from Hades.
What can be so wrong with something that simply uses electricity to shuffle out zeros and ones in a format humans can understand? Well in this case, absolutely everything. It was past 11 p.m. and Grace and I had been editing since 5 p.m. By this point, we were at our wits end. Scroll after scroll, it only took the sweet sound of the purring motors to relieve us from this ungodly process. But, as history shows, nothing is as simple as a click of a button. Once, twice, three times it took to click print before the machine remembered that it had a problem internally.
“ALERT! ATTENTION!” it screamed.
Something was wrong and no one had the time nor the patience to fix it. A paper jam. Of course, right when we needed you most you let us down. How hard of a job was it to print black and white versions of 24 pages? It won’t tell us so we’ll never know. Multiple button pushes later, we were no where. No copies, no printer, no way we could leave yet. At least the printer was nice enough to tell us that it could provide us with instructions of how to fix the problem. Unfortunately, as the tech gods would foresee, those instructions had to be printed out. Printed on paper from the printer with which we’re arguing. We must of rudely awakened the great printing force. More button pushes and scattered parts and we were no farther along than previous attempts. We were done. Screw the newspaper, screw copy editing; we need sleep. Sleep is not what we got that night, at least not at first.
We removed part after part until the motors started running again. Alas! We hear it. The vibrations that can rip through a soul similar to a paper cut to skin. It was fixed. No one knew what or how we did it, all we knew was that we had a working printer. Cheers! That was enough for us. And tomorrow morning, when people walk in and see the hard copy of the newspaper, they’ll never truly understand the struggle experienced in that small journey from the paper tray to the table less than five feet apart. At least for now, we can thank the technical forces for whatever magic we’ve tricked ourselves into thinking they had.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost
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