Come Back, Dave

The old copier repair man never met a problem he couldn't solve, and he was generous with information that made me a better customer and a better designer. He taught me how to work with the machine to get the results I wanted, and he praised me for being willing to learn how to care for a printer. He took up far too much of my time, but I never really minded. A year ago, I was among the first people he told when he decided to move out of state to be closer to family.

The new copier repair man smells like a combination of Pine-Sol and cigarette smoke, a scent that invades my personal space even more often than he does. He laughs nervously at all the wrong times and has never once fixed a problem the first go-round. But worst of all, he is condescending when he explains to me how toner fuses with the paper, what toner is, and what paper is. "Well, 24-pound paper is very different from 20-pound paper when it goes through the machine, you know."

I smile at him as I wonder which paper gives the best paper cuts.