The digital revolution

It came to my attention today that I haven’t used a photocopier in about eight years – and in that time, the ubiquitous machines found in offices the world over have become a lot cleverer than they used to be.

I’ve made a zillion copies of our passports and visas on the scanner at home; I’ve photographed important documents with my phone; but because everything I do at work is on my trusty Mac, I’ve never had to photocopy anything. I wasn’t even sure where the office copier was.

Today, I found myself wondering past water coolers and filing cabinets looking for the large white Xerox machine I was pretty sure still existed. I came across it outside the meeting room, and lifted the lid, intending to quickly copy something for my son’s homework.

That’s when I saw the touchscreen, offering me about 30 different options with icons I didn’t understand. It seemed to want to email my page, or at least copy it onto a server thousands of miles away. But, really, all I wanted was a paper copy.

I jabbed at the green button. The machine juddered to life, and made a copying-like noise. But it spat nothing out.

I pressed the button again. More whirring, but still nothing.

I peered at the touchscreen and changed a few settings. Colour: Yes. A4 paper: Yes. Scale: 100%. 4D (just joking!). Where on earth was it emailing my son’s homework to? Could I possibly be circulating it to the entire company? How hard could this be?

Hooray, I didn't email my son's homework to the whole company!

Hooray, I didn’t email my son’s homework to the whole company!

More difficult than I’d thought, it seemed. And perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised: after all, it was announced recently that Dubai wants to become one of the most connected Smart Cities in the world by 2020. It’s even been revealed that drones (remote-controlled quadcopters) are to be used to deliver official paperwork.

After trying to locate from which end of this paperless copier / fax / scanner / drone command centre / tea maker (whatever it was) the whirring noise was coming from, I furtively looked around to see if there was anyone (kind) I could ask. I was in the sales department, though, surrounded by people who’d sell their grandmother to book an ad. Then, of course, a small queue formed behind me.

The pressure to duplicate my page in front of everyone was too much, and I admitted to the lady next in line that I was clueless.

Within seconds, she’d elicited the same noise, and directed me to a tray dovetailed neatly into the front of the machine.

Where there were about 30 copies of my son’s homework – more than enough for the whole class. I swear older, clunkier photocopiers used to churn out copies to a side tray, didn’t they? Far too smart for me, these new digital copiers.

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About Circles in the Sand

Sun worshiper, journalist, mother, pilot's wife and distracted housewife living in the land of glitz and sand
This entry was posted in Dubai, Work and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The digital revolution

  1. I know just what you mean about these new fangled super duper photo copiers. They are a nightmare. I used to just lift the lid, put the document on the glass, close the lid and press ‘Copy’. Sometimes I would even tell it the number of copies I wanted. Simple. Then there was the arrival of the new photocopiers and there is no such thing as making a quick copy of something! I need a personal code number now just to get the thing working – then there’s the minefield of paper size/orientation, ratio, collation, stapling… I HATE them. 😦

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