Many, many moons ago in a world that now seems far, far away... I worked in an envelope factory. If you think modern printers are a problem, you should try working on an envelope machine. An envelope machine takes a roll of paper that weighs over 1,000 lbs prints on both sides of the paper in up to 5 colors; dries the ink; cuts the paper into sheets; trims the sheet into an envelope blank; creases the blank to prepare to fold it; cuts holes in the blank for the window(s); applies patch (clear plastic), with glue to the windows; applies gum to the envelope; folds the envelope; dries the envelope; stacks the envelopes; and finally boxes the envelopes at a rate in excess of 1,000 - 1,500 envelopes per minute.
Granted when I took that job I had to take a mechanical aptitude test and I had the fastest time on that test they had ever seen. I also ended up doing a lot of PLC work on those machines.
In many ways I prefer working on mechanical and electrical issues to the computer issues that crop up, but the money and working conditions are definitely better working on computers.
Regular business printers are a piece of cake. The biggest problem with printers is finding the needed parts. In my experience most printer problems fall in to two or three categories.
- Paper / Paper Path
Either the paper is not installed in the printer correctly, or the guides are not properly set for the paper being used
- Incorrect pressure or worn rollers
The printer is not properly set (or designed) to print on labels, envelopes... or rollers / bearings have worn out
- Toner / Fuser issues
Either the wrong type of toner, defective cartridge. Or the wrong type of paper is in use for the type of toner / printer settings.
Actually parts failures are pretty rare for me any more. The worst printer I can think of was an old HP LJ 1300. The fusing roller had a silicon sleeve over it and when you ran envelopes through the printer it would groove the sleeve and then when printing on regular paper there would be lines where the grooves were. I had to replace a lot of fusing rollers on that model printer.
As others have said, users are the biggest problem in IT. I can understand, fix, repair mechanical, electrical, programming issues far better than I can people. That isn't to say I don't like people, or help them. But trying to explain to someone why they need to fan paper before adding to a printer or how to properly set the guides and why that is important can be very ... challenging.