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Labelling fail

Last week, the lady in charge of school administration in our school needed to print some labels. These labels were for envelopes containing acceptance and rejection letters to next year’s prospective parents. This was the first time anybody was using the labelling feature of our new school administration software, which was a nice step forward for us as we continue to get departments to move onto the software.

However, we quickly got called to assist her, as the labels were printing incorrectly after a certain number on the page. We tried to troubleshoot everything, changing layout values in the program and so forth, to no real avail. By chance, I looked at the back of the box of labels and noticed something interesting. While the labels were supposed to be compatible to the Avery standard, I noticed that the box we had was a unique product of the brand that wasn’t compatible. Once I pointed this out, we all realised that this simple oversight was the reason why the labels were not lining up correctly.

My colleague ended up phoning various stationery stores to see if they had the correct labels, but there wasn’t any available at that moment. Eventually he was forced back into trying to adjust the labels to fit the custom label paper we had, which after much fighting, he was able to do.

All the effort and frustration could have been avoided if the lady in charge had noticed the fact that the labels the school had were not the correct type. The support desk of the school administration software couldn’t make heads or tails of the problem either, since they had set up the templates using Avery compatible standard labels.

Although it’s easy to laugh about such things now that the term is over, it’s frustrating things like this that cause unnecessary frustration and fuss. All I hope is that instead of continuing to use the hacked together label, the school will purchase the properly compatible label paper for next term.

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