You Just Had ONE Job to Do...

I’m now convinced this is a front for money laundering

I recently submitted an article to the Literary Gazette of our county newspaper, The River Reporter. The theme of this issue of the Gazette was, “Dirt” meaning anything to do with agriculture, given this is an agricultural community.

That was a topic right up my alley! I knew that they would publish the article. However, it was a surprise they used it as the centerfold!

The article pretty much describes my transition from cidiot to full-time resident in this beautiful agricultural community. It’s also a soft infomercial extolling my friend’s farm, Beaver Dam Brook Farm in Ferndale, New York. Although no one got that except him and his wife. Even arch enemies in this town approached me and said, “That was a very sweet article.”

As a gift to my friend, I wanted to laminate the article and went into town, fifteen miles away, to Staples. Yes. I know I should get my head examined to go there after all the grief and aggravation I go through with them. As a result, I get all my office supplies from Walmart: paper, copier ink, tape and envelopes. Funny enough, it’s mostly the same brands at significant discount than at Staples - especially my printer ink.

Over the years, I’ve had several articles laminated at Staples, even others published by The River Reporter.  Prior to parking at Staples I made one pitstop to purchase a fresh and new edition of the newspaper just for this purpose. The article inside was pristine.

Moments later, I entered the cavernous and, might I add, EMPTY, Staples store and made my way to the copier section. A customer leaned on the counter and on the other side, three customer service people ran back and forth looking for her product, 200 copies of a document.

After waiting ten minutes, I cleared my throat and said, “Is anyone interested in laminating this?” I waved the centerfold.

A woman screeched to a halt and came over. She picked up the article, brought it to a machine and then returned. “I never did this before and I’m scared of ruining it.”

“Is there anyone else who can do this?”

She didn’t respond except to slap on the counter a form for me to complete. Then, she said, “Why don’t you return this time tomorrow and it’ll be done.”

I asked, “How much does it cost?”

She pulled out a tape measure, measured the article and then consulted a book.

I said, “While you’re at it, deduct the price of gas for driving thirty miles out of my way because you don’t know how to operate equipment at your job.”

Ignoring me, she said, “It’s five dollars and change.”

Suddenly, a tall guy popped up. “I know how to do this.”

He took my article and brought it back to the machine. He laminated it, cut off the ends and proudly put it in front of me.

In shock, I looked at this mess and said, “Is this Saran Wrap? Why is it wrinkled? Why is the last part of the article folded in parts so you can’t read it?” Then, I peered closer. “What the fuck? There’s DIRT trapped inside the laminate!”

He stared at me.

“Do you realize you ruined the article? Will you reimburse me the $1.50 so I can go out and buy another newspaper to go elsewhere to get it laminated?”

He snidely repeated, “No, I will NOT reimburse you the $1.50.”

I picked up the wrinkled laminated article and walked out without paying. I drove thirty miles, spent forty-five minutes in Staples and lost $1.50. And I wondered why the giant megastore is empty.


It would’ve been beautiful except for the wrinkles!

You’d never believe this was fresh off the press!
It takes genius to fold an unfolded paper. See the piece of dirt to the right?

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CF Winn said...

No...just no...

maura stone said...

You have my permission to shoot me should I ever return to Staples.