Copy Error

, , , , , , | Right | November 8, 2019

This takes place in a government office where people often come to do research. There is one copy machine in the entire room for however many people are in there, usually 10 to 20. Everyone who is there regularly is careful not to take too much time on the machine out of respect for everyone else. 

On this particular day, an older gentleman decides to make some copies of pages in a book. He gets to the machine just before I do and stares at it for a good half minute. I offer to help him, tell him where to position the book, show him where to put the money in, tell him it’s 50 cents a page, and show him which button to push for copies. He makes one copy, waits until there is no more noise coming from the machine, looks around for the copy, takes it out, reads it carefully, then puts it down on the table next to him. He then reads the book some more, looking for the next page he wants to copy. Same routine: make one copy, read it carefully, put it down. Then, he needs more money. He digs in his pocket for his zippered pouch, which takes half a minute. He opens the zipper, digs around in it for a while, pulls out a plastic bag, digs around for a dollar bill, puts the rest of the money back in the bag, puts the bag back in the pouch, and then put the pouch back in his pocket. He looks for the next page he wants to copy, copies it, reads it carefully, etc. He runs out of money, digs the pouch out of his pocket again, takes at least two minutes extracting another dollar bill, puts everything away again, and slowly and carefully makes two more copies. He realizes he needs more money, takes the pouch out of his pocket again…

I finally suggest that he take the book off to the side to figure out which pages he wants to copy rather than stand there. 

It takes him a full twenty minutes to make seven copies. The three people in line behind me give up and find something else to do.

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