Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stranded in the Copy Room

If not for the intervention of a mysterious stranger, I might still be in there. This is a reality I've only just recently accepted. I'm lucky to be where I am right now (lying in bed at 5:37 am watching "Faster" while writing this). One might not call that lucky, but considering how the majority of people are sleeping right now, and sleep is boring, I think I'm doing just fine. It was touch and go there for a minute. I could be helplessly confused and starving in the copy room at my work. Allow me to take you through my terrifying ordeal. It was pretty much exactly like "127 Hours" only I didn't get nominated for an oscar....and nobody was filming it...and it was indoors....and James Franco had nothing to do with it...and-- okay, fine. It has very little in common with "127 Hours".


Well, sort of. It all started because I couldn't sleep. Interestingly enough I actually have another outlet for my increased mental capacity during the wee hours of the morning as I work in a place that's open 24 hours. Can't sleep, don't feel like writing anything idiotic, might as well go down to work and get some shit done. Makes my life easier anyway. I need all the time I can get during the day to perfect my "Hey, how's it going?" head nod/smile because there are alot of people at my work and I like to be friendly but not get to know anyone aside from my staff. Too many names to remember. So anyways, I was there at around 6am and I needed to go up to the copy room to....make copies. One day I think I'm going to go in there just to hang out. I like being in rooms and not using them for their intended purposes. No room is gonna tell me what to do while I'm in it. Rooms and women have that in common for me. (j/k ladies, I'm always open to suggestions).

Ryan the temp on "The Office" had it right in an earlier season when he said you don't want to be labeled as "The ____ guy" at your place of work. I'm still relatively new so I'm trying to keep my head down and not become notorious for anything. I accidently walked into the ladies washroom once, but I've cut my hair since then so I doubt the women who were in there remember me as that guy. I'll pick my spot to make an impact, but before then I'm just gonna keep my game in check and settle for being the new guy or the pale guy. Ryan, smart character.

(And he looks like Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers)

So on the morning in question I'm up in the copy room making 25 copies of a VERY IMPORTANT DOCUMENT. I'd tell you all what it is, but I'd probably be killed. I'm done pretending my job is cool enough to warrant assassination attempts, so I will just say I was printing off schedules. With 8 left to go, all of a sudden the copier started flipping out. I didn't know what to do so, I tried to fix it using the only handyman skill I ever learned: I smacked it with my fist.

(In retrospect I forgot to do the thumbs up after. STUPID! STUPID!)

So I had NO idea what was wrong and it was way too early for anyone else to be in. The copy room is right next to pretty much all the offices of the department heads, except for mine. Mine is downstairs, roughly a 20 minute drive away from the copy room. I decided to try and maybe look inside to see what the problem was, but I really didn't want to be the guy who broke the copier. Primarily because them shits is expensive. There was a little picture on the display showing where the problem was, but I had no idea how to access it. I started using trial & error and started opening up compartments, but the second time I did that a little warning beeeeeeeeep rang out. I quickly closed it and then regrouped and weighed my options. In my mind they were:

A) Pray
A) Accept religion THEN pray
B) Shoot a flare down the hallway / yell for help
C) Walk away and pretend like it never happened
D) Hit it again
E) Flee to Mexico

Congratulations Mon Peeps, now you know that in crisis situations, I'm just as much of an idiot as I am in everyday life. I had settled on option C and I prepared myself for my journey back to my office. I was planning on coming up later in the day and upon hearing the copier is busted, pretending to be shocked, then appalled, then I'd vow to search high and low and find the person who did it, and then play golf instead.

(At which point I'd probably have to return his "Lying Douchebag" playbook)

So that is what I had decided on. The cowardly approach. It could be hours before someone shows up to help me. It was then it hit me....there are 8 copies left to print. The second someone finds the copier busted, and then fixes it, 8 pieces of damning evidence are gonna come shooting out of there. It'd be like if a murder victim had the killer's birth certificate inside their mouth. Those copies would point straight to my department, and I always looked haggard so they'll assume it was me who was there so early. I was completely fucked and now my options were substantially limited. I stayed in the copy room and went through my own 5 stages of grief:

1. Anger
2. Denial
3. Arousal
4. Threatening
5. Feigning acceptance, plotting revenge.

It was as I was writing that when I realized that I am actually a pretty weird guy. Could be worse. I could be boring like NASCAR.

(J.Bowman liked NASCAR, but it's not heriditary)

So as I was stranded in the copy room. I actually wished Rob Schneider's annoying "Makin' Copies" character was real. That is how desperate I got. I wanted one of his SNL characters to exist in the world alongside us. But that feeling quickly subsided when I realized I would then have to contend with a murder charge on top of breaking the copier. Then I'd have to borrow O.J.'s playbook again.

(It'd be worth it)

So there I was, about to write a song about what I was going through when all of a sudden a woman appears out of nowhere from the hallway. She was probably in her late 30's early 40's but still pretty darn cute. Her and the copier had something in common: I'd hit it. She popped out from the hallway into the room and asked if I was having difficulties. I was still fighting off the effects from the arousal stage of grief so I just nodded awkwardly without saying anything. She said "Alright then, let's have a look here...". She then popped open a compartment I didn't even know existed, tinkered around a bit and voila! It was fixed! I thanked her for saving my ass, and was then preparing to propose to her when she vanished into the night (it was morning, but DAMN is that a dramatic phrase). I stood there, dumbfounded and kinda creeped out. There were so many things that I wanted to know. Was she a ghost who died in the copy room? What department does/did she work in? Why was she there so early? How the hell did she fix it? Is she already married? That would be a helluva story for our grandchilden.

"Well kids, your grandma saved my from a demonic photo copier, and then I saved her from her biological clock expiring and having to live a cold, childless existence until she died a lonely lonely death. Now who wants ice cream?"

I'm joking of course. My grandkids aren't getting any fucking ice cream because they are probably going to be assholes. Don't believe me, think of kids now...then add 30 years onto that. They are going to be pricks with a capital "fuck you".

 (Kid-pocalypse is coming...god help us all.)

So yeah, that is my harrowing story of courage, determination, perseverance and incredible luck. If it were made into a movie, I'm certain it would get nominated for a bunch of Oscars. So long as they invent a new category by then, "Most Inspiring Copier Malfunction Related Picture...from Canada"

(Original Score by Hans Zimmer)

Thanks for Reading

- jB


  1. Why does anyone think that anyone else wants to read his or her blog? No one wants to read blogs. No one. Blogs are thought of as information for browsers, but their function is almost exclusively to gratify the writer, as is the case with most things that are published anywhere and in any medium. By the way, I'm pretty sure the second stage of grief you went through is denial, not "denile."

  2. Just in case you're not aware you sound like a pretentious tool, I feel I should let you know: You sound like a pretentious tool. See? You learned at least 1 fact on the internet today. Thanks for the correction on the spellling miztake. Glad you are around to patrol the internet for errurs. You are now one the 34,000+ who have gratified me, so thanks for reading, and kiss the deepest darkest part of my ass.