Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Things I Love About the Copier Industry

No, that's not a paintball marker...I miss that Jeep.
One night at the bar, while attending the MWAi Executive Summit, I was in a rather animated discussion about women in the industry and your MPSA.

During the conversation when I mentioned out loud, "The Managed Print Services Association", one of the more elderly industry participants replied, "Managed Print Services Assholes" as he walked away.

Granted, this particular fellow is known as a little more than a crusty has-been.  I mean seriously, what kind of yahoo says stuff like this, out loud?  An old school copier schmuck, that's who.

I guess my years of running under the moniker, "The Death of The Copier" in the copier industry, has thickened my skin or maybe I felt sorry for him - I said nothing in return.
The number one thing I love about our industry:  Creepy old copier guys who think the internet is new and managed services can be sold in blocks of time.
My chat with these two passionate young women rotated around 'how the MPSA should...' do this or that in pursuit of new members, they had a difficult time understanding our distinction between attacking and attracting, a common occurrence in our industry.

"We don't want everyone," I responded, remembering the old-guy's 'asshole' remark, "we attract folks who believe MpS encompasses everything before and after toner hits paper...people with vision"
The second aspect I love about copier folks is their inability to see beyond "duplex as a value-add".  (wait for it...wait...there!)
Our conversation soon transitioned into how there aren't enough women in tech, copiers, management, the MPSA,  PTA, NFL, NBA, Boy Scouts, Pee Wee Football or politics.  I may have forwarded the argument that there "just aren't enough women".  Their retort was the silence of disdain - tactical withdraw initiated.
The next remarkable aspect of the copier industry is how some men regard some women.
We were joined by a guy I respect, a person with toner in his veins, enjoying the benefits of a well known last name and successfully roams the cyber landscape.  He too, was on the 'attack to increase numbers' mindset.  Unfortunate, yet understood.  Listening to him regale the need for proactive membership drives, discounts and such, my heart warmed at the thought of new people getting into the copiers/printers/MpS/MS business.

Fresh minds unencumbered with a need for paper, entering an industry built on exorbitant paper use - delicious irony.
Another facet of our industry I admire are the new people entering the wonderful world of copiers...managed print services.
As the year comes to an end and another trip around Sol begins, its nice to reflect and behold.  Our industry is in its twilight; what is today, will not be tomorrow - we're all on the same rock hurtling through time.  It is the people we share space with who make the journey worth while.

In the end, we're all somebody else's memories.

"Until the F*k# Wheels Fall Off..."


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