Tonight I got pushed to that point. Some of you may be familiar with the term "bricked" where a device is made non-functional through misuse or failure. Well, today I learned that it's a term that's also applied to printed paper. I ran into a job that had been bricked. Bricked is a combination of factors. Coating, powder (or lack of), load height and length of time it's been left standing. The coating is a varnish applied to gloss text. There are different types and they dry at different rates. Aqueous coating dries slower than alcohol based coating. Powder is basically corn starch that gets deposited on printed sheets to prevent offset of text from one sheet to the next. It also helps keep air between the individual sheets. The last two need no explanation.
Today I get this job that's printed on thin, brittle paper with a heavy aqueous coating and there's little to no powder in the stacks which were about 6000 sheets high. To give you an idea of how heavy 6000 sheets of this paper (80lb gloss text) is, an inch thick handful (about 150 sheets) is close to 50lbs so 6000 sheets is a ton. Anyway, it was okay for the first 1000 sheets or so but from there down the coating had solidified between the sheets turning the stack into a pillar of glued paper.
Trying to fan out paper that's been partially glued is frustrating but then having 2, 3, 4 or more sheets pulled into the deck instead of one at a time is absolutely infuriating after that 200-300th time. To top it off, the paper was so brittle that you couldn't pull it out from the infeed deck without tearing it. It got to the point where I'd run 3 sheets and throw away 2 on average. This went on for 3 hours until I finally gave up.
I shut the machine down, walked up to my boss and said "I'm done, the folder's won." I then went on to tell him that I was at the point of punching out and going home, permanently.
Some days it's better to just stay in bed.