Ask Uncle Third Spur: “My Printer is Giving Me the Silent Treatment”

Dear Uncle Third Spur,

My printer, “Epson,” and I have been together for three long and mostly happy years. We met at an Office Depot and it was just love at first sight. I’m used to researching and being really picky about the printers I choose, but with Epson, I just went for it. Now, after the honeymoon phase has worn off, I’m starting to regret my impulsiveness.

The first sign of trouble in our relationship came only a few months in. Not to be too graphic, but Epson and I were about to.. get down to business, but then Epson told me it was “warming up.” Before this, we hadn’t had a problem just starting without any issue. I gave Epson time, though, and it was no problem and that’s how we handle that now. Then, Epson and I had a bit of a rough period when Epson started going through internal issues. Epson started having paper jams and this has been a chronic problem that has put a strain on the both of us. I stuck with Epson, though, because we had a special connection- a mini USB one. But, I wish I’d known how needy Epson is. It constantly needs new ink and paper and I just don’t make that much money to support Epson’s lifestyle.

Recently, the communication issues began, and I’m just on my last straw. Epson never tells me what it needs anymore, gives me mixed or vague messages, shuts down randomly, and sometimes just doesn’t even answer me when I try to find out what’s wrong. We’ve had couples therapy with Geek Squad, which seems promising until we actually get home and Epson stops working with me again. For a relationship that literally came with a manual, it shouldn’t be this hard!

I know as a relationship ages, there will be problems, but I just don’t know if Epson is worth my trouble anymore. I’ve been tempted by other printers, I’ll admit, but I’d never be unfaithful to my printer. I still love Epson but the problems keep getting worse. Is it time to finally pull the plug on Epson?

Sincerely, Low Toner and Low Patience

Dear LTLP,

It’s time to cut the cord on your useless printer. Communication is key in all relationships and if you’ve tried to overcome your problems with no avail, clearly it’s not a you problem but an Epson problem. After some years, we all experience issues in relationships, as you said, however, your printer seems to be resistant to change. Being receptive to criticism is one of the most important traits to look for in a printing partner. Do yourself a favor and try around some different printers. Warranties and return policies are your friends, though, always use consumer protection! You sound like a serial monogamist which is not necessary in today’s technology-driven world. Shop around, be a slut; this is your life and you can only live it once, don’t get tied down to a printer you don’t love. Try an upper class laser printer, or an older dot matrix, hell, even a 3D printer can meet your needs. And that’s what’s important, too: your needs. Your new motto: “C MY needs, K?”

Best of luck, Uncle Third Spur