I bought something so sleek today, so minimalist in design, so hip, so modern looking, that I couldn’t figure out how to turn it on. It was printer. The box said it could do everything. It promised it could scan big things with its oversized glass plate, copy every size under the rainbow, hook up to your wireless network effortlessly, print really fast, print from your phone – from anywhere, and give you two sided copies in one swoop. Adorned in shiny gloss black plastic, it came out of the box sheathed in a thousand individual pieces of protective static cling vinyl, each piece covering a specific part of the machine. It took nearly thirty minutes just to get it unwrapped. With the cartridges installed and the cord run it was ready to plug in. The instructions showed a picture of the plug going into the wall. After that, the instructions showed a picture of the wireless network button blinking. After that, the instructions repeated in Spanish, then in French. So I plugged it in and waited. The blue light flickered, then went black. I ran my hand over the machine, hoping to find a button that the instructions missed. I unplugged it and tried again. I turned it sideways. Then opened the various doors that gave access to stuff inside. Still no button.
So I cussed for a while. My wife had been trying to help find the power button, but I insisted it was not there. “Those are either the worst instructions ever or there is no button,” I said to her, adding some cuss words not recorded between the words you are reading. I figured there was no power button because it would make sense to leave one out on such a sleek looking machine.
With a few extra pains in my back (the sleek printer required a big bulky box to carry it from and back to the store), I watched the manager at the computer desk that I had passed by just an hour earlier with my new purchase experience the same issues I had. “Yep, it just flickers and then nothing,” he said as I shook my head in mutual disappointment. Then he ran his finger over what was seemingly sleek nothingness on the bottom right corner of the printer and an illuminated POWER light revealed itself. I just looked at him. “Guess it works, huh?”