Thursday afternoon, Newmentia released the pupils early for parent conferences. Visitors are few and far between at the secondary level. So Mrs. HM decided to make hay while the sun shone. Actually, that’s a lot of backbreaking sweaty work. So no, technically, she didn’t make hay. But she gathered up her two units that she plans to feed the pupils next week, and tromped off to the teacher workroom to make copies.
Mrs. HM had a plan. She would run her two-sided copies on the lesser Kyocera, and her multi-paged, staple-needing copies on the greater Kyocera. Nobody was around. A tumbleweed could have rolled across the workroom landscape. If Mrs. HM had fallen victim to an industrial accident, nobody would have been there to save her before she succumbed to blood loss. It might as well have been space, with such a lack of somebodies to hear her scream.
She got a rhythm going. Put on a set of papers for Lesser Kyocera. He’s lesser, because he jams up staple jobs. We treat him like he’s simple. Then a set for Greater Kyocera. Back and forth, like a well-oiled machine, Mrs. HM darted, gathering her sets of papers in order, stacking them on the table by the faculty women’s restroom. In fact, the process was running so smoothly that she was on her last two sets of 70 double-sided when it happened.
Pinky strode in with a sheaf of papers in her hand, and gave Mrs. HM the look. “Oh. Are you using both copiers?”
“Yes. But I’m done as soon as each one shoots out my stack of 70. Nobody was around, so I used both of them.” Let the record show that we had from 12:45 until 6:00 to get those copies done while waiting for parents to show up.
“That’s okay. I’m not in a hurry.”
Within a millisecond, Jewels dashed in, past Mrs. HM standing at LK, and began rifling through the papers coming out of GK.
“Go ahead and rifle through all my papers. That’s the last set.” Which was not so much an invitation, as a way of shaming Jewels for her nosiness. Shame which went right over the head of Jewels, because she dug up a set of copies and waved them.
“These are done.”
“They’re not my last set. Somewhere, I have 70 copies waiting to get out.”
“Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is using both copiers, I think.” Said Pinky. For no particular reason other than to shame Mrs. HM, most likely.
“There was nobody here! So I used both copiers. Geez. You guys are like vultures standing around waiting to pounce.”
“I’m in no hurry.” Said Pinky. Standing impatiently.
“I just printed some things from my room. That’s what’s coming out now.” Let the record show that the thickness of that stack was roughly comparable to the thickness of the unabridged hardback edition of The Stand.
“Oh. I thought I was done. Now I'm just waiting for mine to come out of the machine.”
Here’s the thing. What did they expect me to do, take twice as long by only using one copier? Call every room to see if somebody was going to need one? I was running my copies, standing right there tending the machines. Unlike Jewels, who sent a considerable print job from her room even though when you do that, your screen tells you if the copier is idle, or is running a job. And who’s supposed to unjam that print job if it gums up the Kyocera’s works? Or fill its gullet with paper if it digests the 6 reams which Ms. Ventricle put in it that morning?
So Mrs. Hillbilly Mom let herself act just as entitled as the copy-jumpers. She spoke up this time. Long gone are the days when Mrs. HM would apologize and gather up her stuff and sit patiently for her copy job that was interrupted and delayed by 10 minutes. No. She defended herself, and even let her nose get out of joint. She let her B-flag fly.
She’s mad as not-heaven, and she’s not going to take it very much longer.