Photocopier


Every now and then something happens that shows you how people act or react to things. This can give you great insights into the people you work with, those who are managers and where there may be a problem.

This is the story of a photocopier. A photocopier that was used mostly by supervisors and managers. A photocopier that was in the shipping and receiving area.

One day I noticed that a couple of times supervisors had gone to the photocopier and had tried to make photocopies but appeared to be unsuccessful. After the second incident where it looked like the photocopier wasn't working I went to the photocopier. One the screen it showed a call for service notification with a service code and a phone number to call. Simple enough, I thought, one of the supervisors will call.

Every now and then as the days moved along I would see someone at the photocopier. When they would leave they wouldn't have any photocopies. I thought that was odd so I went and took a look. The same screen showed the same service code it had a couple of days before. I thought about that. When I had called or others had called for service my recollection was that the service technician was there within 24 hours.

I had seen supervisors and assistant managers at that machine. They had obviously seen the service call message, code and phone number because it filled the whole digital screen. You couldn't have tried to make a photocopy without seeing the message. There was another photocopier/fax machine which was to be used only by another operating unit and I believe that that is where people were going to make photocopies.

As the days passed more times I say supervisors, assistant managers and on two occasions the store manager come to use the photocopier. Not one person called the technicians to service the photocopier. I wonder how many times people went to use that machine since I was not in that area that often but saw numerous times people trying to make photocopies.

The machine is leased and we are charged for the number of copies used. The company that owns the machine calls once a month to get a reading of the total number of copies made. As it happened the phone call to give the reading that month was directed to me.

It's a very easy process. You can get the counter total either off the digital screen or there is a counter on the side of the machine. In this case the call for service notification had locked out the digital readout so I got the total off of the counter. Doing my duty I recited the total to the lady on the other end of the phone.

This is the point where she informs me that the total is exactly the same as it was 4 weeks ago. Meaning that the photocopier was not working for at least 4 weeks. Was it 5 weeks, 6 weeks etc.? She sent a service tech out the next day and the machine was fixed no problem.

What Does This Say About The Employees


Definitely, there was a lack of initiative which makes you wonder what other things weren't being dealt with. When you are a supervisor or manager the staff looks to you for leadership. If you won't take responsibility or act you are letting down the team.

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