During the last years of my working career, I worked from home, which I eventually found enjoyable. I did miss some of the office routine, and camaraderie of fellow employees, but I learned to cope. Then I found the local Kinko's store. "Your Home Office" as it was self described. For those unfamiliar, Kinko's is a chain of copy shops which offer a wide range of business services, such as computer rental, shipping and in olden, pre-cell phone days, had banks of telephones for customers use.
Most everyday, the same boys and girls could be found making calls, having coffee, doing their office stuff in a little suburban store front. We became each other's back office. Kinko's had an incredible business model working for a while.
Then I moved, then Kinko's moved and eventually I retired, and never thought of my friends at Kinko's again. Until last week.
We needed some blueprints copied. From the dark recesses of my little gray cells Kinko's emerged as the place to go, and since my last visit, a store opened not far away. So I went, and much the same crowd, only different was there. It was quietly reassuring.
Got there a little after lunch. As I was explaining my needs and wants to the woman at the counter, a guy who appears to be in a whale of a hurry runs in, rushes up the counter, and blurts out that he needs X done NOW!
The counter girl told him that she didn't know how to do X, Bill did, he was at lunch and he'd most likely, happily do it upon his return. Hurry boy, felt he would get faster service if he requested louder.
Can you imagine how often a counter clerk at Kinko's runs into an unprepared male?
Calmly, she retold the story of Bill, his nutritional requirements, his willingness to help, rah rah.
Rush boy looks at his watch (it's about 10 'till), "I've got an appointment on the hour, and I really need this NOW", he snapped.
Exasperated, Ms. Kinko replied, "Well sir, I guess you're F***ED".
From the look on her face, he knew she was right. Oh, how I don't miss those days.