Whaddya mean, sometimes?

User comes to this pilot fish's office scowling, and waits until she finishes her phone call before complaining, "This stupid copier wouldn't print my stuff until I put paper in tray 4. There was paper in all the other trays and it wouldn't use that paper, but as soon as I put some in tray 4 my stuff printed. Why would it do that?"

Hmm, says fish. Did you specify for it to print from tray 4?

"No. I just printed like normal."

Give me a few minutes to finish this e-mail, and then I'll come check the settings and see if I can figure out why it's doing that, fish promises.

Less than five minutes later, same user reappears in fish's office. The scowl is deeper now.

"The copier is printing my 11-by-17 stuff on two pieces of 8-1/2-by-11 paper," he says.

This time fish follows him to his office PC and looks over the settings for the document he's printing. Nothing stands out as unusual, so they walk over to the multifunction printer/copier to see if the answer is there.

Fish pulls out tray 1. It has 8-1/2-by-11 paper and the tray is configured for that size. Same with trays 2 and 3.

Tray 4 also holds letter-size paper -- but there's no guide near the long edge of the paper.

Reports fish, "I pulled the recently added ream of paper from the tray and handed it to the user. 'Add this paper to one of the other trays and fill this tray with 11-by-17 paper and everything should be fine,' I tell him.

"Seeing 8-1/2-by-11 paper where it expected 11-by-17, the machine was smart enough to use two sheets of paper to make sure everything got printed. Apparently technology can be smarter than the users sometimes."

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