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Unfiltered Story #253098

, , , | Unfiltered | February 8, 2022

I’m an out-of-state student from Louisiana. As one of the final steps to graduation, I have to turn in my completed college thesis to my campus library. The thesis has to be printed on cotton paper. So, I call the print shops around town and ask them if they have any. I get only “no’s” until I call the last number in the phone book.

Employee: Hello, [Print Shop Name].

Me: Hello, I was wondering if you have any cotton paper.

Employee: What kind of paper?

Me: Cotton.

Employee: … what? Cod in?

I realize my Louisiana accent might be a little too thick to understand over the phone (which, in hindsight, might have been a problem when I called the other print shops, too). Normally, I pronounce the Ts in “cotton” like Ds. It’s so automatic that I’ve done it again this time.

Me: I’m sorry. Do you have any cot-ton paper? *emphasizing the Ts*

Employee: … Yes, we have cotton paper.

Me: *relieved* Oh, great! Thank you.

I hang up and drive over. It’s a small print shop about 20 minutes from my campus dorm. When I walk in, only one woman is behind the counter, talking to a second woman standing on the other side of the counter. I assume the second woman is a customer and settle in to wait my turn.

Employee: *stops talking to the woman and glances at me* Can I help you?

Me: Oh, are you done helping her? I’d like to get something printed on cotton paper, please.

Employee: Well, I’m busy with another project at the moment, but if you come back in an hour, I’ll be able to help you then.

Me: … Okay. I’ll be back then.

I explore the neighborhood for a bit until I find a fast food restaurant and go in and have a snack. The whole time, I’m weighing the likelihood of her actually needing an hour to work on a project against her possible desire to want to get rid of me. But since they’re the only printers in the city that I know for certain have cotton paper, I have no choice but to wait an hour. When I get back to the print shop, the employee is alone. She looks surprised to see me.

Me: *as pleasantly as possible* Hi, could I get that print job on cotton paper now, please?

I hand her a flash drive, and she plugs it in. There’s only one file on it.

Employee: Is that one page?

Me: *plasters on even more Southern charm* Uh, no, 67.

Employee: *surprised* Oh, 67?

It takes about two minutes to print my 67 pages, but when she returns to the counter, she’s suddenly more pleasant than she’d been up to this point.

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