Copier Jam: Emergency Solution

Small Business Cartoon: Ideas Lighting Up

Broken copiers were the bane of my business existence. Paper jams, ink problems, paper problems, ink jams…. Ugh!

And although they deny it, I know copiers can sense urgency. The one time I’d need something copied or faxed right away? BAM! Error message. (Ooh! I can feel my blood boiling even as I write this!)

One day while watching a co-worker attempting to bribe the copier with super premium toner, I noticed the fire extinguisher in the hallway with its glass pane and message, and the above cartoon was born.

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Mark Anderson, professional cartoonistAbout the Author: Mark Anderson’s cartoons appear in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. Anderson is the creator of the popular cartoon website,, where he licenses his cartoons for presentations, newsletters and other projects. He blogs at Andertoons blog.


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

9 Reactions
  1. Mark: You cartoon could be an illustration for the scene with the demolition of a copier machine in “Office Space” movie. 😉

  2. I gotta say, that’s one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie.

  3. Didn’t one of the guys use a baseball bat? Maybe it is time for you to create a cartoon about the “stapler”… 😉

  4. Haha, that’s funny! I could think of quite a few things I could substitute for the copier too. Even though technology is convenient, it doesn’t always cooperate.

  5. thanks for the posting…
    Seems you’ve got it down. Copiers and fax machines have come a long way, but man they still do the same darn thing with errors..
    At least we get error messages now and a location where the problem is happening!

  6. I’m with Amanda — there’s some technology I’d love to substitute… starting with my digital camera with all the baffling commands and modes. (All I want to do is take a picture, for crying out loud!) 🙂

  7. Anita: Regarding digital cameras and all the commands and modes. Yesterday I purchased a Xmas present to myself. I wanted a simple digital camera. I went to my local photo store and asked and ended up with a Fujifilm FinePix Z30. It was on sale (about 40% discount), so I had to get it. I think it is catered to teens with its bright colors and round design, but I didn’t care so much about that. I picked the one in bright orange in order to make a splash! 🙂 I took a picture of Morris the cat yesterday. See my post, Fine Pix of Morris the Cat.

  8. Welcome to the Corporate World. In such cases, you can always expect to encounter problems in any existing business, be it a faulty printer, PC or a faulty workstation.
    Great cartoon.

  9. This reminded me of the classic you tube video, done to “you had a bad day”, where it shows people going berserk and taking it out on (apparently) uncooperative computers. Hilarious video, if you’ve never seen it.