“Right Now” Is A Staple Of Copy Shops

, , , , | Right | March 3, 2020

(A customer comes in with a folder of stapled bundles of paper.)

Customer: “I need copies of these.”

Me: “Okay, and would you like to keep the copies the same as your originals? In stapled packages like this?”

Customer: “Yes, please.”

Me: “Okay, and do you need it today?”

Customer: “Oh, I need it right now.”

Me: “I can certainly start it right now, but I can’t have it done right away for you. Something like this is a bit more time-consuming.”

Customer: “What’s time consuming about it?!”

Me: “Well, I have to take the staples out and copy each package individually, and I’m assuming you want the originals re-stapled?”

Customer: “Ugh, this is ridiculous! You’re saying you can’t do it right now?”

Me: “I can definitely start it right now; I’ll take them to the copier right away. But like I said, it’s a bit more time consuming and takes more attention. I can guarantee it in an hour if you like. But it—”

Customer: *cutting me off* “It’s going to take a whole hour?!”

Me: “I can guarantee it in an hour, but I might have it done in less time.”

Customer: “Fine! I guess I don’t have any other option!”

(I quickly fill out an order form.)

Me: “And is this your cell phone number? I can call you as soon as it’s done.”

Customer: “Oh, I’m going to stand right here while you do it.”

Me: “Okay.”

(The job is going smoothly, and the store isn’t busy at the beginning, and I’m dreading her saying something snarky about how it didn’t take long like I said it would. Before I get too far into the order, I hear her on her phone talking loudly:)

Customer: “I’m waiting for them to try and get my order done because I needed it yesterday and this is getting ridiculous.”

(When I was halfway through her order, a line-up formed and I had to stop to book in a complicated order for someone else and also do a passport photo. It took me a little over half an hour to get her job completed in between and after other customers. She was really nice to me when I brought it over to her, I think because she realized she was being rude. But I’m SUPER glad that she stayed so she could witness what it’s like for us behind the counter, and why I don’t tell customers I can do their orders for them on the spot. Just because it isn’t busy at one moment, it doesn’t mean it’ll stay like that. Other customers exist, too.)

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Taxing Faxing, Part 26

, , , | Right | February 15, 2020

Customer: “How much is faxing?”

Me: “It’s $1.50 a page for local and $2 a page for long distance.”

Customer: “It’s going to [Town].”

Me: “That would be long distance.”

Customer: *making a sour face and shaking his head* “No. Noooooo, no way. That’s not long distance.”

Me: “Why did you ask me, then?”

Taxing Faxing, Part 25
Taxing Faxing, Part 24
Taxing Faxing, Part 23

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Not Talking To You Like A Dummy, Yet A Dummy You Are

, , , | Right | February 3, 2020

(I work in a copy shop. This happens in the self-serve area:)

Customer: “Excuse me. How do I put the paper in?”

Me: *in a happy tone* “Just like you’ve got it!”

Customer: “Okay.” *turns the paper sideways*

Me: “No, the way you just had it.”

Customer: *in a super defensive tone* “Okay, I was just checking to make sure!”

Me: “Okay.”

(A few minutes later, the same customer calls me over again.)

Me: “What’s happening?”

Customer: “Nothing!”

(I look at the screen by the copier to see that he has not yet chosen a print option, and that his payment card is already in the machine. You have to put your card in last, when it asks for it, or the machine gets confused.)

Me: “Oh, it looks like you’ve confused the machine by putting your card in before it wanted it, so if you just—”

Customer: “Excuse me. I know how to follow directions! I really don’t appreciate you talking to me like I’m a dummy! I’ve already done everything it has asked and it’s not working!”

Me: *taken aback* “I wasn’t talking to you like a dummy. You said it wasn’t working and I was saying why I thought it wasn’t working. If you take your card out, we’ll try again.”

(He takes his card out of the reader.)

Me: “Okay, now touch the ‘copy’ option.”

(The customer puts his card in the machine.)

Me: “No, don’t put your card in. I said to push the ‘copy’ option.”

(The customer takes his card out and presses “copy” on the screen. He then stares at the screen, which says, “INSERT PAYMENT CARD,” in giant letters. Then, he looks at me.)

Me: “Put your card in now.”

(He puts his card in and then stares at the screen that says, “PLEASE QUICKLY REMOVE YOUR CARD.”)

Me: “It’s asking you to take your card out.”

(After I got him started, he said, “Thank you,” in an overly pleasant tone and said I was very helpful. That’s probably because he felt like an idiot for saying he knows how to follow directions when he clearly does not know how to follow directions.)

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Unfiltered Story #183952

, , | Unfiltered | January 23, 2020

(We have a combination Cash Checkout and Copy Centre, so we can’t promise copy orders get done immediately since we take care of people at the check out as well. This particular day is incredibly busy and we have had non stop line ups. All available cashiers are up at the cash)

Customer: Yeah, I need these copied

Me: Ok, would you like to do it in self serve, or do you want to leave them with me?

Customer: I don’t know how to do self serve, last time it was so confusing!

Me: Ok, then you can leave them with me

Customer: Whatever you gotta do.

Me: Ok do you want them express?

Customer: Yes, I need them right now!

Me: Ok, I can’t do them right now, I have to take care of the line up first. If you–

(The customer throws his hands in the air and leaves before I can get another word out. But then I see that he just makes his way to back of the line again. Of course when he comes back to me again, there are more people behind him in line)

Customer: Yeah, I want these copied

Me: Like I said, I can’t do them right away while there’s a line up

Customer: I just waited in line twice!

Me: I didn’t mean for you to go in line again. I just meant I couldn’t start on your copies until the line up was gone. Let’s go to the copy counter and fill out and order form.

Customer: This is ridiculous! (he follows me anyway, and I start filling out an order form)

Me: Ok, so we guarantee 1 hour, but since this is only a few copies, I could probably get it done in 15 minutes?

Customer: WHAT!? You want me to wait an hour!?

Me: No, I said 15 minutes. I just have to take care of the line up, but I might be able to do it in between customers.

Customer: I’m paying for this!

Me: yes I know you are

Customer: So you should do my copies!

Me: I’m going to. But I can’t do your copies while there are people waiting in line. I can *book in* your copies and then do them when I have time.

Customer: I can’t believe you made me wait in line twice and now you’re telling me it’s going to take an hour!

Me: I said 15 minutes. And I didn’t make you wait in line twice. But like I said, I can’t stand there at the photocopier doing your order while there are people in line waiting to be served

Customer: There isn’t even a line up!

Me: (looking at the 6 people waiting to pay) Um… yes there is

Customer: FINE! Do whatever you have to do! (he starts to walk away with his papers)

Me: Ok, sir, I can’t do your copies if you don’t give me your papers.


Me: um…. kay…. (I start to go back to the cash to help with the line ups)

Customer: I can’t believe you’re not doing my copies! I’m paying for them!

(I ignore him and continue checking out customers until it dies down about five minutes later)

Me: The line up is gone so I can start on your copies.

Customer: It’s about time!

Will Moan Until You’re Black And Blue

, , , , , | Right | January 1, 2020

(I’m the supervisor in a copy center that’s part of a larger retail chain. Unlike some other similar copy centers from competing chains, ours does not have PCs available for public use. A man rushes up to the PC just as I step away from it, sits down, and begins browsing the Internet.)

Me: “Sir, did you need copies?”

(The customer ignores me.)

Me: “Maybe some color prints, or duplicates of something you already have…?”

(He shoves a stack of papers at me.)

Customer: “I need twenty copies of this.”

Me: “In color or black and white, sir?”

(The customer ignores me.)

Me: “Because if you want the blue sections to show up, I’ll have to make them in color.”

(He continues to ignore me, so I decide I’ll make black and white copies. I bring him the finished prints.)

Customer: “No! These are wrong! Useless! They’re garbage now! I want it to look like this!

(Since his original document was already a copy, the set I made is of noticeably poorer quality.)

Me: “Sir, any time you copy a copy, it’s going to—”

Customer: “When I print it from the computer, it doesn’t look like that!”

Me: “That’s because you were printing from a digital version. That’s always going to be a better print qual—”

(He interrupts me again to demand more copies, and ignores me any time I try to intervene. Several associates approach him and each time we’re ignored. The customer stays for a full two hours before I have had enough. I call the store manager over to assist me, since he has the authority to kick customers out of the store.)

Manager: “Listen, buddy. This PC isn’t for customer use. You’re preventing us from completing other customers’ orders and from doing work that needs doing around the store. I need you to wrap up what you’re doing here and leave.”

(There’s a heated argument about whether or not the customer is allowed to continue using the PC, and the store manager eventually convinces the customer to get up out of the chair and pay for his copies. Once everything is settled, the store manager goes back to his interrupted conference. The customer waits until the office door closes, and then approaches the PC again.)

Customer: *to me* “How long are you going to be using that computer? Because I have stuff to print.”

Me: *incredulous* “Sir, as the store manager just told you, this PC is not for customer use. Unless you have your documents print-ready and saved to a flash drive or CD, I can’t help you. Just because he’s not standing here, that doesn’t mean I can let you back on the PC.”

Customer: “Fine! I’m going somewhere else!”

(He collected his things and stormed out, but not before taking down the names of all the associates who were present for the episode.)

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