I like to start all the new staff out in the copy room for the first few days. They get to meet everyone they will be working with right there; as well as learn what copy room idiocracies each different employee possesses. While most of the staff exemplifies excellent boardroom manners, there are some that fail in that regards in relation to copy room manners. Totally different arenas, boardroom vs. copy room.

For instance, the little sign right above the new $12,000 scanner that says “not for personal use” I find has been misinterpreted by many to say “gone to the beach”. I’m sure it a trick of the eye, and that no one would intentionally misuse the equipment for their own personal gain. You know things like job searching or copying material that belongs to the company for private use. Scanning your personal financial history to a loan officer for a house you want to build, but that’s just a necessity, right? You really don’t know someone until you have spent some time with them at a copy machine.

You really don’t know someone until you have spent some time with them at a copy machine.

An E-Scanner is an all-in-one unit that allows you to copy, fax, or escan a document over the internet. I find it fascinating when an escan fails, however. Since all scans are attached to the internal email system within the organization, they generate non-deliverable notices just like any other email. Each message bounces back if not delivered. To me escan and email are synonymous. If you escan a private message to your Hotmail account and you miss a letter, a non-deliverable error message is generated – just like a regular email account, because that is what it is. Those non-deliverable error messages unfortunately generally always came to my computers attention, since it is the default email account. Don’t worry, the content of the email generally isn’t displayed “in full”, but the where, to whom, subject matter, and IP addresses are. Besides if anyone really wanted to know what you were doing “at the beach”, all they would need to do is pull the internal hard drive and have a look-see. No one is stalking you, but nothing is private in business either. You really aren’t at the beach.

How many college degrees does it take to turn on a copy machine or scanner? I’ve been called in more than once only to learn that they simply needed to plug the scanner back into the wall. Then there is the task of loading paper and putting ink in a machine. That task brings out the beast in the most civilized professional. The royal blessings just flow within the domain of a copy room. We used to have a very holy fax machine that received an overabundance of blessings on a daily basis. Many times you could hear the conversions from way down the hall.

they simply needed to plug the scanner back into the wall

In steps your five star, newly hired, going to rock this place employee. You hand them the keys to the building, and one of those keys belongs to the door of the copy room. Everything you want to know about someone you will find out in the copy room. Everyone you want to meet and “avoid” will also be in the copy room.

Here are my strong words of wisdom to the newbie employee. Place your middle finger and your thumb ends together and hold them up to your shoulder – now flick it. Yes, please flick that chip off your shoulder if you have been given copy room duties your first few days. I’m not being cynical when I say that you are in there for a reason. It’s not punishment.

Not every employee will come to you with a chip on their shoulder. I enjoy those types of employees, they set the stage for their own success early. They seem to integrate into the professional team environment much more rapidly.

I don’t fully understand what happens in the brain of employees once they enter the copy room. But I do know that for some – the gloves come off. It’s a form of road rage without the road. For others its a chance to chit-chat and get to know one another.

Good luck with your new job.

Can I sneak in a few quick copies, just a 100 or so?