A Guide to Crusty Old Printers - Strategic Flow Management

A Guide to Crusty Old Printers

Published on 14th August 2021

…that moment…

You’re staring determinedly at the crusty old printer as he reels off a round of printer-babble, arrogantly astounded that you don’t understand why your job is expensive/late/complicated… You know he’s probably got a point but your brain is unresponsive to the incoherent stream of words. So. Many. Words.

You will be damned if you will admit that you don’t know what they mean. Admitting incomprehension is admitting defeat. This is a battle of wills. And you are losing.

Well my friend, I’ve got your back! After many years of working in the print industry and surviving countless such battles, I’ve a few tips for you on how to deal with those Crusty Old Printers.

  • To begin, let’s call them C.O.Ps. If you spell it out, it almost feels like swearing. Try it. “That Cee Ohhh Peeee!!”
  • Never, ever hesitate. Hesitation reeks of doubt. The second a C.O.P. smells doubt, they’ll hit you with a volley of printer-babble that will knock you on your derriere so fast your head will spin and you’ll be ordering fries with that.
  • In this rare instance Google is not your friend. C.O.P. babble is elusive and mostly invented pre-computer. We in the industry like to drop terminology like Pharrell drops beats. Its our ‘thing’. People have written dictonary’s where explanations are so vague and full of confounding printer-babble that they will destroy your mind. This is intentional.
  • Growling is the standard method of communication between C.O.P.s and the general population. Anger, rage, stubborn refusal to budge and arrogant dismissal are the primary emotions. You should remember this is not directed at you personally. Please take a moment and remember that C.O.P.s spend their lives with impossibly tight deadlines, incomprehensible language and, dare I say it, other C.O.P.s.
  • Appreciation will win the day. C.O.P.s are all ‘big old softys‘ on the inside. Remind them of how they are saving your day and they will perform magic for you. Your urgent job? Not a problem. You’ll never know the rivers they swam or the mountains they climbed to get it done in time, but there it will be, on time at your desired location.

Despite the gruff behaviour, your average C.O.P. really is on your side. Always ask what the term means. The C.O.P. may be dropping terms like intimidation-bombs, but they may just be forgetting both their age (it has been over 20 years since anyone needed to manually composite film*) and that jargon is not a real language. In all reality, the C.O.P. does know a thing or two and will be happy to explain the reasoning to you.

Being informed gives you a chance to both understand their point of view and effectively debate your position. You know the outcome that you want and the C.O.P. ultimately does want to achieve this for you.

*See what I did there? C.O.P babble casually inserted.

We at the Strategic Planner love showing off how clever we are. Enjoy learning confounding terminolgy yourself with our dictionary of printer-babble. It will be updated regularly with some of the better terms thrown around the industry. Follow the updates weekly and blow