Tuesday, July 6, 2010


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.



Shelley said...

Me neither!

James said...

I hope she had a smile on her face when she told him.Thank you for the smile on my face, as I sip my coffee and enjoy my own retirement a little more.

M.Lane said...

Good for her! She gets a promotion in my shop. I have never put myself in that sort of a bind but I can say that Kinkos is fantastic when you need a dozen things copied, spiral bound and sent to Atlanta, and it is 10pm, and you find yourself in Bellingham, Washington.


Suburban Princess said...

Did she really say that?! That's awesome!!!! So many times when dealing with customers I just wanted to give them a reality check!

I wonder if Desmond Morris has any books or documentaries on the Unprepared Male.

Gail, in northern California said...

It's amazing, isn't it? How some people can suddenly make THEIR problem YOUR problem. Or, try to. That female clerk? Just as amazing. I'll bet it was all you could do to keep from laughing.

I'm convinced there are people who will wait to the last-minute because they ENJOY the chaos they create and attention they receive. Good or bad, like a child who misbehaves.

Great story, Toad.

Toad said...

Gail, I most certainly did not refrain from laughing, and even tipped the gal when I picked up my order.

SouthernProletariat said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that if he had been veerrry nice, and had a good reason for why he was ill prepared that she might have struggled through and at least attempted to help him. I have found most people to be willing to help if it is a true emergency, and if you ask kindly.

However, it sounds like the guy was simply a jerk, and deserved what he got! :)

JMW said...

That's great! Poor planning on his part does not make it her emergency. Sheesh.