Photo Phoibles

A slightly embellished* story:

At lunch today I rode my little bicycle as fast as I could all the way to Hy-Vee to get some photos printed. Pant, pant, gasp, wheeze.

The lady there didn’t have a clue what was going on. After I finished pushing buttons at the kiosk, she made me stand there with my receipt in my hand and wait for five or six minutes while she stood on the phone trying to call the supervisor to help the other lady that was standing there waiting. All I wanted to do was give her the receipt and tell her “I want these on that new ‘Luster’ paper.” But I had to stand there for five or six minutes while the lady called the supervisor. Then I had to wait for the supervisor to actually walk across the store. Then I had to wait while the supervisor helped the other customer. The whole time the first little photo worker gal was just sort of standing there. I asked her if she had a pen. “If you can’t tell the supervisor I want Luster paper, I’ll write it down for you,” I said. “You can give her the note.” She told me to “wait just a minute and someone will be right with you.” So I stood there longer.

Finally I got to talk to the supervisor. “Here,” I said. “I’d like these on Luster paper please.”

“You mean matte?”

“No,” I said. “The machine gave me a choice between matte and glossy. I don’t want either of those. I want it on Luster, please.”

“Oh, well, we don’t have matte paper any more, just Luster and glossy.”

“I’d like Luster, please.”

“You mean matte?” she asked.

I sighed. “Yes, matte.”

“When do you want these?”

I scratched my head. “What’s the cost difference?”

“Four cents.”

“No, no. That’s the price for 4×6 prints,” I said. “I want 8×10’s, just like it says on the receipt there.”

“Oh. I don’t know what 8×10’s cost,” she said. “But I think it costs a dollar more per print to get them in an hour.”

“I don’t need them in an hour — but I’d like to have one of them by 5:30 tonight if I can…?”

“So you want them done in an hour?” she asked.

“No.” I pointed at the receipt. “I ordered five 8×10 prints. I’d like just ONE of them done tonight by 5:30. That’s still five hours away. The other four can wait.”

The supervisor looked at me like I’d just grown horns. “How am I supposed to know which photo you want first?”

By this time I was getting edgy. I’d already been gone 45 minutes of my lunch hour, and I still had to bicycle several miles uphill to get back to work. And I have precious little tolerance for incompetence these days. “Well,” I said, “if I had known the price difference between same day and next day was so great I would have run these through as separate orders, but you don’t have your prices posted anywhere. The photo I need tonight is the one with NO motorcycle in it.”

“But you ran five photos through. How do I know which one you want?”

“I just said, I want the photo of the people with no motorcycle. All the rest have motorcycles. I want the picture of my parents.”

“Yes,” she said, “I understand that… But now I’m going to have to process all five of your photos today so you can pick up just the one tonight.”

“No. No no no… The other four can wait for a month for all I care. I just need the one. You can see them on your computer before you process them, can’t you? Just print the one I want.”

“Oh. Yes. You’re right. I’ll have that one done in an hour for you. You can pick the rest up tomorrow any time after noon.”

“Okay,” I said. “Just out of curiosity, when are you going to print the other four?”

“Oh, I’ll do them all at the same time.”

“So why can’t I pick them all up tonight?”

“Because you only paid for next day. Same day costs more.”

*By embellished, I mean “some of this happened,
but most of it is made up simply to make it more dramatic.”
If you’re reading this on Facebook, you can see the original blog at, click on “Blog.”

4 thoughts on “Photo Phoibles

  1. The Guv'ner

    Good GOD. I am laughing so hard because that scenario has happened to me at least seven million times on a myriad of subjects and the temptation to just jump over the counter and smash the cashier’s head off the desk is amazing.

    Maybe it’s one of those “work placement” schemes for morons? 🙂

  2. Leonesse

    When did you get into town?

    (That is my new line for when the craziness of this town spills out into the rest of the world. And I apologize for that, I am trying to contain the insanity.)

  3. The Guv'ner

    Love the pix. I hope when one day I get my VESPA you don’t beat my ass for not riding a manly bike. :):) I used to ride a Moped in the UK and it’s ok, I’ve heard all the jokes. It had pedals for God’s sake, it’s like going out with “YES I AM A HORSE’S ASS” stamped on your forehead. But I loved that bike. Not enough to buy insurance, sure but hey….


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