Any printer training session lasting over ten minutes should be illegal. I should know. Not only did the one I was required to attend at my Zurich office last over three hours, but it was also in Swiss German. At first I was optimistic.
“It will be a good opportunity to practice your Swiss German listening skills,” I told myself.
Since my Swiss German comprehension has about a 10-20 per cent hit rate (in comparison to my High German at about 80 per cent), I could understand that the trainer was discussing how the printer converted RGB colour to CMYK but that’s where that insight ended.
And also where my patience with printer training and Swiss German stopped too. And unfortunately, at this point, I still had 2.5 hours of Xerox education to go.
I’m amazed sometimes that by not understanding much of anything, I can function just as well as someone with 100% comprehension. Things discussed, no matter what the language, seem to be about 10% information and 90% waste.
So it was sort of amazing that 90% of the stuff about the Xerox printer was even being discussed at all.
But then again, the Swiss are apparently as thorough about printer training as they are about cleaning the streets (I mean, the poor street cleaner didn’t even get Easter Sunday off in my town).
So not only did I have an opportunity to ooh and ahh over toner cartridges, I even got to learn about the part of the printer where the toner “waste” ends up. And I touched it. (Try not to get jealous now).
Nevertheless, trying to pay attention to a three-hour lecture when you don’t understand much is not to be underestimated in its ability to exhaust. Therefore, the most exciting moments of the session were when an equally bored colleague would quickly check his email, as seeing what was in his inbox was at least somewhat more amusing than a guy talking about preventing paper jams.
Anyhow, one thing is certain. Three hours to learn about a printer is excessive in any language, not to mention one that’s not yet yours.
The last hour was especially excruciating so I went home soon after that, too tired to do much of anything else but sleep on the couch and try desperately to dream about something other than beautiful colour copies.