Bang on time for the copier capers

A life in the year of Emily Shark

"your code is invalid." What? OK, stay calm: 1, 5, 6, 4. "Your code is..."

Bastard! You've got one job and you won't do it! "Ooh, look at meee. I'm a swanky new photocopier, all sleek and smug and totally sodding unreachable in a crisis..." Well stuff you - because, amazingly, I am not late! Yeah, you weren't expecting that, were you, you humming grey cube of misery?

Yup, ever since Mr Gorgeous moved into the classroom next to mine I've started being on time. It's weird. At first, I missed the adrenaline and the pointless competition with the bell. But hey, punctuality rocks! I now have seven minutes to make this photocopier grovel and obey me.

Let's see what this shiny white instruction booklet has to say about your sorry life. "Basic Errors" (that's machine-speak for "problems you will only encounter if you are a moron"). "To re-enter code, switch machine off and on again." Oh dear. That's a bit unoriginal, isn't it? OK. "Beep.

Warming up. Please wait."

What's so galling is that here's a human brain, which scientists claim to be the most complicated thing in the universe. And here's a photocopier, which claims to be one of the simplest things in the universe. And yet the photocopier is the master and I am the slave. Something ain't right.

For a while, its status as chief mechanical bastard in my life was briefly challenged by the interactive whiteboard. What a creepy name that is - "I don't want to 'interact' with you: I want you to do things for me, same as any other bloody machine."

The whiteboard understands this now. But the photocopier won't give up its role as staffroom thug. Look how much it loves the fact that a queue is forming here. And the bell is... Yikes! Two minutes from destroying all my plans! Come on...

"Hi Emily. You lucky thing, having a classroom right next door to the Italian stallion. Pity he's part-time."

"Oh! Hi Jennifer. Is he?"

"Watch out for Marian. She's finally divorced Mosquito Man and she's on the prowl. Goes to my gym now."

Damn! Why did I assume that I was alone in the tunnel of lust?

"But maybe, just maybe, she's trying too hard to impress him. Treat 'em mean and all that. God, it's ten to! Gotta go."

"Beep! Beep! Bloody hell, now what?

"Re-enter code." Oh, for... OK, 1, 5, 6I Rrrinnggg!

No! Stupid bell, not yet! 1, 5, 6, 4I "Beep." Come on... "Your code is invalid."

You evil git. I'm walking away. I'm not going to let you hurt me again.

"Press start." Oh, thank you! Treat 'em mean? Precisely.

More from Emily in a fortnight

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