After all, it WAS a hardware issue

Senior programmer submits a trouble ticket that his laser printer doesn't work correctly after he replaced his toner cartridge, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

"The user said that the printouts were striped, which he also claimed was the very reason he replaced the toner cartridge," fish says.

"Our junior tech was dispatched to help the user resolve his printing issue."

When the tech arrives, she inspects the printout. Sure enough, the printing is in stripes -- and it's almost certainly a problem with the toner cartridge.

She opens the printer, removes the toner -- and finds that a long plastic ribbon is hanging off the side of the cartridge.

But when she begins to pull the plastic strip out, the programmer tells her, "Stop! That's supposed to be there."

The tech, not wanting to do something wrong, returns to the IT area and asks a senior tech. His response: "Yes, in fact, there are instructions molded into the plastic cartridge telling how to remove that strip."

Says fish, "The tech removed the strip and reinstalled the cartridge, and the printouts were perfect.

"After the tech left, she asked us, 'If the previous toner cartridge that he replaced was having the same issue, I wonder -- did he throw out a perfectly good toner?'"

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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