I share a room (Office? Not quite.) with a printer. It's fancy, and I hate it.
When it arrived, there was a lot of ooo-ing and aaah-ing over its features. It staples things! It will print two sided and scan and copy and email things directly to you! It comes with its own lint-free cloth for cleaning its pristine glass surfaces!
It is the best printer in the world!
As it turns out, this printer is an open invitation to mess things up. The fancier a printer gets, the more likely it is that someone (it's me) will need to become certified in printer repair just to head off any crazy, duplex printing accidents.
While I do wear my headphones everyday to deter conversation, I also wear them to drown out the fancy noises our fancy printer makes. Getting ready to print? Ker-THUNK, click, click, click, beep-beep. Paper jam? Rapid fire beep-beep-beep-beep-beep beeeeeeep on repeat. Just checking in because I noticed you took your headphones off? Click! Beep! Click! Click!
Admittedly, sounds of malfunctioning technology are preferable to unwanted conversations.
I "joke" with my boss that he causes the most printer catastrophes. (That is if we're taking "joke" to mean that I keep an actual, running tally in the corner of my desk calendar.) Remember that two week period where you insisted that you didn't have an option to set print quantity? So you just printed 16 copies of every email you received? But then said, "Ooh! I didn't even notice that!" when I came to your desk to point out the quantity setting in the pop-up print dialogue even though you clearly noticed it at some point when you changed the number from "1" to "16?" What a fun romp into the world of technology!
It's just a printer. You're not launching a nuclear missile or piloting a mission to Mars. You aren't performing surgery on a beloved world leader. You are printing an email. In 2012, there is nothing simpler or more unnecessary.
Though "meetings" top my list of All Time Least Important Office Activities, I think "printing an email" is a close second.
I'm not saying my boss is the only one to make printing mistakes. Not at all. I'm just saying that maybe for every mistake, there should be a penalty system. I propose every printing error should result in a one week ban of printing privileges.
Someone I know would be retiring without printing another page.