Writer’s Bootcamp, Day Four


Sent to the Wrong Printer: You’re at work and you print something personal (and sensitive).  Unfortunately, you’ve sent it to the wrong printer and, by the time you realize it, somebody else has already scooped it up.

I didn’t mean to.  Had I known it would go to the wrong printer, I never would’ve done it.

I just wanted to say that I had used work time and office ink to print up something personal and sensitive.  But when I went to the printer right by my cube, there was nothing to be found.  I went back to my computer and realized with a sudden onslaught of dread that I had sent it to the printer across the floor.

Like an Olympic sprinter, I bolted from my area of the office, knocking over mail clerks and bumping shoulders with interns.  I overturned a cart in my efforts to get to that printer before anyone else.

But it was too late.  There stood my boss, scratching her head while holding a piece of paper up, an eyebrow cocked in confusion.  Before I could stop my forward momentum, my boss turned to me, the paper folding in between her index and middle finger.

“Is this yours?” she asked, motioning toward the folded paper in her left hand.

“I’m sorry, I really am,” I started babbling, my hands on my knees as I desperately tried to catch my breath. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“I just don’t get it,” she went on.

“I…I am so sorry,” I said between breaths.

“Just, what would make you want to print something personal and sensitive?” she cocked her head to the side.

“I guess, I guess…I just wanted to say I did?” I said, pressing myself up to a proper standing position.

“You know, I don’t think that’s what people mean when people talk about printing something personal and sensitive,” she said, unfolding the paper and holding it out to me.  In big, bold, letters, Times New Roman font, size 54 with single spacing, read: SOMETHING PERSONAL (AND SENSITIVE)!

“I don’t think that’s what they mean at all,” she continued.

“Am I in trouble?” I asked, looking around the office floor.  A small group of people gathered around me, including the tackled mail clerk and sore-shouldered intern.

“For printing a random phrase?  Of course not.”  My boss paused and put her hands on her hips. “Now, for the ruckus you just caused, on the other hand…  I think we need to have a meeting with HR.”

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