- Print it out in different ways with different options.
- Change printers.
- Email the sender (perhaps ask to resend).
- Email my staff.
Spend no more than 5 minutes on the problem and if that does not work email the sender ``the paper you send me does not print correctly on my machine. If you want me to subreferee than FAX to (I gave the number). I have already spend 5 minutes trying to get it to work and that is my limit.''I of course opted for this option (she was happy to do it and it worked). I have seen too many people waste too much time on things that either do not work, or eventually do but the solution discovered do not help at all the next time such a problem occurs.
If the fax machine did not work I would have asked for the person to use a technology you may not be familiar with. Its called Snail Mail. If you don't know this technology then ask one of your older faculty to help you since this was a common way to send papers 20 years ago.
This is NOT being a Luddite. This is recognizing the limits of technology and knowing when to stop wasting time.