An Open Letter to Kinko's
Sept 10 -
I must start by saying that before today, I've never come out of a Kinko's with a sense of
accomplishment. Most times that I've resorted to Kinko's in the past (that is, as a last
resort), I've generally left the store with the same feeling as one would after a game of
Three Card Monte. Let me start at the beginning.
My first experience at a Kinko's was almost four years ago. We were in Los Angeles just in
time for Spring Internet World (it semi-coincided with a Microsoft non-interview, a story
in itself) and needed copies of our resume, as well as a place to search for jobs in the
area. Someone suggested Kinko's. Little did I know how awful it would truly be.
Computer time was $12/hour, or "only 20 cents a minute" as the marketing team had
discovered. Faxes were two dollars for the first page, one dollar for each additional page.
Print outs were 50 cents. And the employees were DUMB. Dog dumb.
At Starbucks, you can pay up to six dollars for a coffee, a rip off in its own right, but
it's a definite cut above your average Joe. Six dollars might be a little steep, but if
you like paying more for higher quality, at least you can taste the quality.
At Kinko's, there we were paying $12 (and that's American!) for the same Internet I can get
in Canada for less than half. It was the same speed, same bandwidth, and with dumber hired
help. I mean, these people were flat out dumb. Dumb as a friggin' stick.
And something would always go wrong. The connection would fail, or the printer wasn't
working, or the fax machine was out of paper. And of course, the employees were dumb (and
I mean dumb), so they had no idea how to fix the error. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly),
the only machine in the joint that worked consistantly well was the cash register.
I remember being charged over $20 for a couple hours' work one dismal afternoon. For a
frame of reference, you can get a month of unlimited Earthlink web access for less. I also
locked my keys in the car. That was a bad day.
I never entered another Kinko's again to this day. Over four years. That's how much I
had been scarred by Los Angeles.
We entered the Newport Kinko's with much hesitation. We knew we were nearly out of the
flimsy business cards we had made in Grand Manan, and were hoping to get (a) more (b) on
card stock. If we couldn't fulfill (b) we would be happy enough with (a).
To cut to the chase, we were very pleasantly surprised. A half hour later, we walked out
of there with 300 photocopied and cut business cards, only $9 poorer, and a feeling of
success. The staff, though not necessarily described as friendly, at least were
knowledgeable and helpful, and they got the job done.
Perhaps it is a case of hiring practices differing from one coast to the other, or perhaps
Kinkos across the country have cleaned up their act and flushed out the employees with
IQs under 70. Whatever the case, we would like to thank the Newport Kinko's for
re-establishing our faith in Corporate America
And to the employees of the LA Kinko's, I wish you all a successful future in the fast food
Dog eat dog weather.
Fisherman's Mem. S. P.
Site Number. This is only the second place we've ever arrived at after dark. It's also the second place we've paid for in dimes and nickels. We took so long counting our change that the guy gave us the resident rate.
North of Highland
|Both:||Atlantis Special Edition Cereal|
|Lunch: ||Parking Lot|
|Shared:||Leftover Beach Fire Chili|
|K's Order:||Leftover Chili|
|A's Order:||Atlantis Cereal|