This is why I don’t let users change their own printer cartridges

I was in a classroom today when the teacher told me that they hadn’t used their printer in years because it was broken.

At least, I think that’s what they said, because whenever someone tells me they haven’t used a printer in years, what I hear is “Despite my annual protestations, I don’t actually need my own personal printer, please take it away”.

Which I did.

However, when I went to remove the cartridges for recycling, I found out why it didn’t work.

As much as I hate changing printer cartridges, I put up with it because this is the inevitable alternative.

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

10 responses to “This is why I don’t let users change their own printer cartridges”

  1. ICT Tower (@ICTtower) says :

    There is an inkjet at the back of my classroom too. I didn’t ask for it and nobody ever uses it. However, it would print amazing photos if anyone ever wanted any. Then again, it would probably need new cartridges after 20 prints and that’s never going to happen, is it?
    While I’m here, there is a discussion about having just one fast colour laser printer on each floor here, shared between two classrooms instead of one small laser in each classroom. I’m not sure this would be an improvement. For one thing, I don’t want potentially 50 kids hanging around a printer out of my view. (They’ve already broken the current and only machine that is out of teacher view). Any thoughts or experience of this kind of arrangement would be welcome.

  2. ScottishTech says :

    I love the auto-translation at the start of this – kudos :)

    On a vaguely related theme, we have unused PCs which are replaced annually. I really wish I were joking.

    There are 3 classrooms in our school which have the 5 PCs at the back of the room swapped over each year with the “least crappy spec” that’s going from spares.

    This is in spite of the fact that I know they don’t get used.

    Our Altiris DS console is configured to delete accounts on its console which don’t check in after 90 days. If they check back in after the 90 days, their account gets recreated.

    For 4 years running now, it’s absolutely guaranteed that when I come to replace these PCs at the Summer, they’re not on the DS.

    My protests are ignored so I think this coming Summer, I’ll just replace them with empty shells and see how long it takes for someone to raise a support call.

  3. Quick Question says :

    I work in the IT Department of K-12 private school in the US and I whole-heartedly agree with not allowing employees to change the toner. Upper administration doesn’t think it’s such a big deal but it increases my workload by at least double.
    The same goes for paper jams. Employees are to notify us immediately if there’s a problem with a printer instead of trying to fix it themselves. We’ve had employees take flat-tipped screwdrivers to the inside of a printer, trying to remove a jam. Inevitably, they end up nicking the transfer belt, causing hundreds of dollars worth of damage.

  4. Mark says :

    Good GOD why are you giving people inkjet printers?! Stick some inexpensive black and white laser printers around and then for the 1 print in 1000 where they need colour they can use the network attached colour copier / printer. Inkjets a usually terribly made, obseleted every 6 months and often not compatible with the following years stock of print cartridges.

    • The Angry Technician says :

      The few inkjet printers we have pre-date my time at the school, and the only reason they still exist at all is because their owners are too lazy to walk to the networked lasers and kick up a fuss to SMT whenever I try to take ‘their’ colour printer away from them. I’ve gotten rid of more than 40 since I started.

      • Quick Question says :

        Don’t get me started on this. We have several users who are too lazy to get up and walk to the nearest laser printer in their office. In most cases, this printer is no more than 20 yards away. They insist that they have a laser printer on their desks.

  5. Wallace says :

    Be strong. Chuck all your inkjets in a skip. And ditch the small laser printers in classrooms too!

    We introduced Papercut MF nine months ago, making users responsible for their printing/copying costs, meaning that they had to ask their line managers. After a lot of complaints, which we ignored, once users have got used to it, they are perfectly happy and the savings have been huge.

    Love Papercut and the four large copier/printers we now have. (From IBS, who have been brilliant.)

  6. Steve says :

    My pet printer-consumable peeve is those laser printers that for some inexplicable reason need the toner to be put into a reusable plastic carriage that has inevitably been thrown away along with the empty toner cartridge and, if you can actually find someone who sells them, cost nearly as much as the printer to replace.

  7. Mohamaddubai says :

    We have two networked laserjet printers for each building in our campus and use Print manager plus to allocate print quotas.We have been saving a lot since we introduced it 5 years ago. Since 2012 we have introduced print realease stations beside each printer, now we dont see pile of printed paper uncollected at the printer. All this cost us couple of hundred dollars and we have recovered it in the first year itself.

  8. Dangerous Dave says :

    Don’t let user change their printer cartridges? Uh, huh. Unfortunately it’s impossible to change printer cartridges via an RDP session on our help-desk. Which means they get me to drive 30-40 miles to some school in the boondocks just to put a colour cartridge in some £80 HP OfficeJet. At least I get to listen to Ken Bruce and don’t have to pay for the Diesel.

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