Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cuz bein' rich is such a...

The young man hit me up for twenty cents for printing. The reason? He only had twenties. In fact, he showed me this, opening his wallet before my very eyes so that I could gape at them. There were probably 4 or 5 crisp portraits of the bigamist and murderer himself in there. I bet he could have traded them in for an entire benjamin. Our flush friend, this latter-day Lochinvar, outright refused to believe that not only would I not spot him money for his prints* but that he had to walk ALL THE WAY OVER TO THE CIRC DESK (at least 14 paces) and get change for his lofty legal tender in order to make them. Even my usual shrug followed by the threadbare quip that they don't trust me with money did nothing to sweeten his mood. He left, comparing your humble deskslave to a member of a certain mid-twentieth century political party known for a variety of unsavory practices including, but not limited to entering the Soviet Union unbidden with large and bloodthirsty armies. The Least Happy Guy in Deskslave Land trudged over to the circ desk (did I mention that it's easily 14 steps? Maybe more, like 16.) returned and got his prints. Walking by on his way out, he waved his print outs before me, remarking sourly that he had gotten his prints in spite of my efforts to do him wrong.
"Awesome!" I replied, cheerily.

* Ironclad rule, even if he'd asked politely instead of informing me that he needed the twenty cents. I used to give small amounts of money out to students at a community college where I worked many years ago. A dime here, a quarter there. It hardly amounted to anything, but that was the problem. It was only a dime, and the loan, so important in the moment, was forgotten instantly. I never got anything back, not even once.It felt too cheap and petty to remind people that they owed me, unless they were hitting me up again. So I stopped contributing my deskslave's mite. Except a few times when patrons have been deeply aggrieved at the printer or copier "stealing" their money. Before they print, they are told how many pages they will be paying for, but it does no good. They print first, cry over spilled milk later. So when somebody goes to the wall over their dime in that case, I do enjoy theatrically emptying my pockets and hopefully finding some pennies and counting them out for wronged party.

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