The last episode of Game of Thrones marked the end of a cultural event spanning eight years. More than fantasy fare, the series provided universal themes that resonated with modern viewers. From the political undertones to the doomed love affairs, the HBO epic went beyond escapism into lessons on how to find our inner hero and navigate the challenges of today.

After all, the office workday can have as much intrigue as the court in King’s Landing while tech or customer challenges can seem like White Walkers storming Winterfell. And mastering the Dothraki intensity of printer problems can feel like sitting on the Iron Throne. Game of Thrones may be over, but printer breakdown is coming. It’s the long night of blank documents…unless we can understand the show’s characters and how they manifest in your own office of business printing environment.

Do you spot a colleague or yourself below?


The Printer Mother of Dragons

Like Daenerys Targaryen, this coworker is ambitious, visionary, and seeking the greater good – but often at a very destructive high price. This individual may not be riding a dragon, but she burns through paper and toner at an alarming rate. Color ink is overused, everything is printed on one side of the paper, and nothing is ever recycled. Her work is outstanding, mind you, but the office budget remains in ashes like King’s Landing after she rides past printers.

The Printer Mother of Dragons is just a creation of your typical office culture – just like Daenerys is a product of brutal Essos. Statistics reveal that  90 percent of companies don’t have a proper print policy, and two-thirds don’t track printing expenses.

How to help this character: Show her the way of wise rulership with a printer policy, which can save between 30 and 40 percent in costs. If anything, print volumes tend to decrease by about 10 percent when workers believe their print usage is monitored. Where do you find one? You don’t have to go to Westeros, as we offer one in our Green Office Printing Guide.


The Scared Hound

Few in the series are better fighters than Sandor Clegane, also known as the Hound. But because of childhood trauma, he’s so scared of fire it causes immediate flight. In our world, this person is deathly afraid of the fire known as printer issues. A warning light flashes on the printer, and he’s sprinting to his desk. He’ll never let anyone know there’s a paper jam or even change the paper sometimes. All of this leaves the next person — usually with an important contract to print — fuming like one of Daenerys’ dragons.

How to help this character: Beyond some heavy therapy, printer monitoring solves the problem of the Scared Hound. The printer or copier is digitally surveyed by printer monitoring software. Any issues like low ink or breakdowns are immediately alerted to a supplier or manager, keeping operations alerted at all times.


The Noble Soldier

In Game of Thrones, nice guys not only finish last but often finish dead. Unlike his father (sorry, uncle), Jon Snow has thrived. However, it seems he’s always pulled into different fights because of his desire to help. This often causes him to make the wrong choice. Does your office have a Jon Snow? That’s the coworker or IT person who’s always running around dealing with printers. He’s so helpful! But he’s also not at his desk when he needs to be; or in the case of an IT person, printer issues keep him from other problems like network outages (27 percent of all IT Help desk calls are printer related). His heart is in the right place, but resources go down the drain.

How to help this character: Partnering with a Managed Print Services (MPS) provider puts printer issues in the hands of dedicated experts, allowing others to focus on their jobs. We feel our services are as noble as Jon Snow, including our no-cost printer programs, but feel free to go on a knight’s quest to find your treasure.


The Impersonal MPS Three-Eyed Raven

Speaking of MPS providers…

From a curious boy to the mystical Three-Eyed Raven, Bran Stark has gone through quite a character arc. The problem, some have said, is that his evolution into an all-seeing wizard has left him aloof and cold. This character development sounds like that of many big-brand printer or copier representatives today. They start as friendly companions and then become distant and detached soon after you sign the contract. It’s like they’re not there, even if they seem full of that magical knowledge that keeps your imaging devices working. Just as bad, you’re stuck in a long-term agreement with no way out.

How to help this character: There’s nothing you can do, presently. The Impersonal MPS Three-Eyed Raven works for another company, often so large that customer support is just as faceless. And that long-term contract is a like a mighty curse! What you can do is learn and next time work with a smaller, more flexible company comprised of regular, down-to-earth magicians.


The Diamond in the Rough Heroine

Like Bran, his sister Arya Stark has grown into a formidable character. But it took time, and Arya’s stubbornness made things more difficult.

This storyline is often the case with an office manager when it comes to a printing environment. As a young girl, Arya didn’t want to listen to others in her quest to become a great fighter. In the business world, this manager clings to printer myths like the printer being secure, brand cartridges are superior, or that all printers work the same in every office. This ends up with more printer downtime and higher costs.

But like Arya, a mixture of setbacks and determination will bring about the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes. Then it’s time to win.

How to help this character: The right printer for the right office is a royal destiny of productivity and improved budgets. What’s more, it doesn’t take Bran Stark to provide arcane knowledge. Our Ultimate Guide to Mastering Office Costs supplies an approachable, step-by-step roadmap to changing your printer from a dragon to a king. In even less time, our Office Print Challenge will point to printing issues and how to fix them. With some instruction, your office manager will soon be slaying those Night Kings of overbudget and constant printer repair. You won’t even be banished to the Night Watch.


Can you relate to these characters or have some of your own? Contact a local Cartridge World printer partner, or if you need printer solutions for your home or office business.

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