Posted by on March 24, 2020

Part of my weekly discipline is to draw two cartoons on Tuesday.  These cartoons I share with three people on a regular basis.  In order to do that, I need to scan the drawings into my computer, from which I can then send them via email.

I’ve been using an old hp printer for scanning.  It stopped printing a long time ago, but the scanner still functioned well.  The newer Epson printer that I use for printing and copying doesn’t scan as nicely as the old hp, so I’ve had both devices sitting side-by-side for a while now.  However, last week, the hp decided it wasn’t going to scan any more.  No matter how much time I gave it to find my computer, it insisted that it could not connect.  I figured that, given its age, it probably had had enough of doing anything anymore and was ready to go to that Electronics Recycling Center in the Sky.

So I bought a new Epson printer on Sunday.  That experience alone was a reality check in itself.  I went to Best Buy because it occurred to me that the last three printers I had bought were from Staples, and they all gave me problems.  Maybe a change of vendor would help.  When I got to the store, I discovered that they had the entrance barricaded off with temporary yellow “fencing.”  I had to tell the salesperson what I was looking for, and she looked it up on her phone.  When I found the picture of the printer I wanted, she got it for me from inside the store, since they were not allowing anyone into the deeper recesses of the building.  Once she brought the printer out, I was permitted to move behind the barricade, but only as far as the outer entrance where they had set up a cash register.  I asked the salesperson about setting up the printer.  She assured me that it would be a piece of cake, since everything would be done wirelessly.  “They don’t use disks any more,” she said cheerfully.

I brought my new Epson home and followed the directions carefully (I’m one of those men who actually reads the instruction manual instead of forging full steam ahead thinking that I know it all).  This printer did not use ink cartridges; rather, you had to fill the four reservoirs from bottles of ink.  This supposedly is both eco-friendly and economical.  I filled the ink reservoirs and charged the ink according to instructions.

The next several steps went well.  I was able to find all the information on the printer’s tiny screen as well as on my computer.  The only problem was that, once the installation process was over, the message, “Installation was unsuccessful” kept coming up!

By the time I had had it up to here trying to install this thing, I had used about five hours out of two days and made no less than eight attempts, using every alternative approach (manual, wireless, automatic, etc.) available.  Frustrated?  Let me tell you about frustrated!

I contacted my younger son who is my go-to in times like this.  I thought maybe something in the computer was preventing the connection from happening, like a firewall that activated itself or something.  While he didn’t think a firewall would be the problem, he couldn’t put his finger on anything specific that I might or might not be doing either, suggesting that I try to find Epson’s website to see if there were any troubleshooting ideas there.  That proved to be an even more frustrating experience than I was already having!  The site sucked me into a loop that took me nowhere.  A statement on their site said that their phone staff was stretched thin (the virus and all), and to please use their email first, which I did.  The only problem there was that when I clicked “Send,” the message came back, “Your email was not sent.”  Does this company really want my business?  If so, their difficult and highly frustrating processes are no way to win it.

I decided it wasn’t worth trying to make this thing work, since it seemed to have made up its mind not to, so yesterday (Monday, the 23rd) I put it all back in its original packaging and returned it.  This time Best Buy wasn’t even letting people get out of their cars (“We decided we were being too free,” according to one young man)!  An employee came to the car to see what I wanted and took care of it from there.  A nice young man took the printer from my back seat, took my receipt, asked me the reason for the return, and promptly brought me a new receipt for my return.

So, I’m back where I started: no scanner, and two cartoons to send before tonight.  As an interim measure, I’ll probably end up taking pictures on my phone and sending them that way.  

I sure hope I can find a printer that actually is easy to install, but, more so, that works.

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