Mondays With Kafka.
BY Jimmy Chen
To: All Staff
Subject: My printer
Something fairly odd has happened. My printer’s toner (which usually lasts at least a month under normal printing frequency) was mysteriously depleted over the weekend. I’d rather not to get into it, but this was a very strange weekend for me. Let’s just say I’m a little “bugged” out, and not particularly in a chirpy mood.
Last Friday, I put in a new toner cartridge, and this morning it seems that it’s completely empty. At first, given the absurdity of such a notion, I erroneously concluded that something was wrong with the toner sensor, and that the printer was simply confused. I’ve been told that I have a way of anthropomorphizing machinery, but I could hear the gurgling soul within.
Anyway, I brought in a technician from Opt Inc. who specializes in HP printers. Having thoroughly inspected the printer, he concluded that nothing was wrong with the toner sensor, and that the toner cartridge was indeed empty. When confronted with vows of disbelief, he said, “Shit happens.” He then noted that, in this world, irrational does not mean impossible. I smell an aphorism.
To call this a moral issue and make implications of one’s conscience is absolutely absurd. We are all kind people. This is about getting at the truth—to find out what happened. If this is another one of your office gags, it’s not funny. The castle you guys made in the break room, while structurally impressive, was just mean. Also, a huge waste of paper.
I understand that this missive may be read as yet another example of the so-called “grim” disposition you attribute to me. I understand that my chronic pallor continues to create tension between myself and the rest of this company. However, I see my quiet repose as a welcome alternative to challenging each one of you to a wrestling match. I have eight arms (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Listen, my printer is exactly that—my printer. See the label. It says “Franz Kafka’s personal printer.” If you absolutely must print a poem for your lady friend, go ahead. People like to get laid—I get it. I don’t want anybody walking on eggshells here. Just try to observe that every piece of paper costs money, and black toner powder does not grow on trees. It’s mined from deep within the earth, in dark places you cannot imagine.
P.S. I want my mug back, too.
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