The Color Of Stupid, Part 3

| Right | April 13, 2017

(I normally work as a shelver or circulation aide, but as some people have called in, I’m on loan to the computer lab.)

Patron: “Hi, can we make copies here?”

Me: “Yes, of course. The copier is right over there. just scan your library card and put in your pin, then pay the vending machine. If you have any problems, go ahead and call me over.”

Patron: “You can make color copies, too, right?”

Me: “Yes. Black and white are 10 cents, color are 50 cents. Just choose the ‘color’ option on the menu.”

Patron: “Ok, thanks!”

(A few minutes later, I hear muttered curses and hisses coming from that direction. Turning, I notice the patron looking frustrated and staring from one page to another, but as she hasn’t called for help, I’m not allowed to leave the desk. Another few minutes later, the patron comes back.)

Patron: “Excuse me, but the color printing is not working.”

Me: “Oh? I’m sorry. Maybe it ran out of ink? Let me go check on that.” *as I walk over to the copier* “Did it charge you the 50 cents per page? I can get you a refund for that.”

Patron: “Yes, it did. This is what came out.” *she hands me a heavy packet of black and white copies. At 50 cents each, I am alarmed. That’s going to be a big refund, and I would probably get in trouble because the copier ran out of ink and I didn’t notice*

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am. You know what, let me just check out the ink cartridge and change it out, and then we’ll get you set up with your color copies. You won’t have to pay twice.”

Patron: *huffs* “Thank you.”

(As I open the copier, however, I notice that not only are the color cartridges not empty, they’re almost full. Now really worried, I grab a ‘Library Hours’ advert from the stand nearby and set it to color copy using the employee account. The copy comes out in full color, no problem. Now I’m more confused than worried, but I still continue.)

Me: “Ma’am, could you please lend me the paper you were trying to make copies of? I’ll go ahead and do them for you.”

Patron: “Okay, here.” *hands me a black and white paper folded in half*

Me: Uh, ma’am, I think you gave me a copy accidentally. Could I have the original, please? So I can make the color copies?

Patron: “That is the original.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Patron: “I want to color copy that. It’s supposed to have the heading in dark green, the body in red, the times in navy blue, and the background a nice yellow. That’s why I asked if you could do color copies here.”

Me: “Um, ma’am, you set that on a computer before you print it out.”

Patron: “I know! I did! I set it up at home, but since I don’t have a color printer, I printed it out and brought it here to color copy it. My friend told me the library did color copies! I need those for a meeting in an hour!”

Me: “Um, once you print it out black-and-white you can’t just color copy it. Any copy you make will be in the same black and white. You need to print in color to copy in color.”

Patron: “Oh, really? I didn’t know that…”

Me: “…”


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