An Inkling of Trouble

You know, I’ve been in the printing business for nearly 29 years now. These days, being in the same company for that long is getting rare. I consider myself lucky, as I work for and with great people.

Those of us who have been in this business for this long nearly all say, “I have ink running through my veins.” Having worked on the newspaper press when I first started, I too can make that claim. I still remember the day I went in for an interview. I wore a white, pristine, long sleeve Ralph Lauren cotton business shirt.

Seconds before I walked in to interview with the publisher, I accidently walked past a pressman and brushed my arm against his arm. My entire sleeve from shoulder to wrist was covered in black press ink. I used that to my advantage to secure the job, saying that I immerse myself completely in whatever I do. I guess the rest is history.

However, at home, because of my printing experience, I am the designated computer ink-jet printer fix-it guy. Believe me, those home printers are frustrating, especially when the ink cartridges run out of ink. And replacement cartridges are so expensive you nearly have to take out a home equity loan to buy them. But a lot of places will now refill the ink for about one-third the cost. So the last time we ran out of ink, I took it to have the ink refilled.

Now, for whatever reason, our 15-year-old daughter always prints out her homework minutes before she has to catch the school bus in the morning. So where the ink cartridge is concerned, it’s do or die. Sure enough, the ink was out. I brashly stepped up to the printer and whipped out the refilled cartridge. I snapped it in and stood there like I just saved the world.

The next thing I knew, we got a message saying the printer does not recognize the cartridge. No matter what I did, it would not print. I’m not sure, but I think I heard my wife joke, “Sure, you can put out 300,000 newspapers every week, but you can’t print your daughter’s homework.” That’s when I turned and gave her the st-ink eye.