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October 13th, 2006


I drove over to State, where I was able to park free in the parking deck (since school is not in session due to Fall break) across from the building I went to work in.

In the office, I ensured that I had the latest version of the August newsletter on my flash drive to take to Kinko's, made 8 copies of the "supplemental checklist" that has to be submitted with each of the 8 copies of the newsletter — one for each of the judges, and did a little bit of editing on the October newsletter.



From there, I went to Kinko's on Hillsborough St., where I spent way more time than I anticipated getting 8 copies made of the August newsletter, folding the pages, and using the long-arm stapler to bind them.

It took a very long time for the kid working there to "set up my job." He had to walk around a couple of times during the set up, once to get more paper for the copier for instance, and I couldn't believe how slow he walked.

It reminded me of when I used to work in fast food in college, and how I just raced around the place, while some others just sauntered without a care in the world that there was a line out the door, or that the drive-thru line was wrapped around the building.

This is one of those situations where I usually take a step outside of myself and observe my thoughts: "You are judging him on how you operate. You think, 'Doesn't he care about his job? About the customers? Does he see that there's a lot of people waiting to be helped?' What if he's got it all figured out. This is just a college job to me. It's not worth my health getting all stressed out about it. I'm moving at a pace commensurate to the wage I'm being paid."

After about 15 minutes, he delivered the first "proof," which, I promptly noted, had two extra pages on the end of it. "Okay, I'll take those off; otherwise, it's alright?"

"Yes," I said.

Another 15 minutes go by, "Okay, here you go," he said. Then proceeded to take about 10 minutes to ring up the order for me.

I took the 8 copies over to a desk to assemble and as I started putting them together, I found that instead of pages 2 and 11 being on the back side of pages 1 and 12, they were blank. He had not duplexed the pages, which is kind of essential in assembling the newsletter. Back to the drawing board.



Once I got it all together, I put the entry form, 8 copies of the newsletter, each with its own copy of the supplemental checklist (not stapled to the newsletter!), and (with help from Robert by phone) addressed the envelope to the Society for Technical Communication ATTN: Competitions.

I imagined running into the post office, for two seconds, having it weighed it and stamped, and done with well-ahead of the August 15 postmark deadline.

Instead, I found a line out the door. Grrrr!

I finally got to the front of the line, where two clerks were helping people. Just as the person with the left clerk finished, and I started to step forward, she reached over and plopped her "Window Closed" sign down on the counter.

The guy with the other clerk had no less than 12 envelopes that were each being first put on the scale, next having its zipcode punched in by the clerk, followed by a stamp printing, and ending with her sticking it to the envelope. Five, six, seven, eight...

I really had to restrain myself from just yelling, "OBVIOUSLY YOU PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THAT IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!"



Robert and I had dinner at Irregardless, always my restaurant of choice when it comes to special occasions. Though, I have to say tonight that they may be pushing it in terms of value for your money for a meal.

Robert ordered one of the four entrees listed under "Small Plates," which was billed as "Surf & Turf" — a small tenderloin and shrimp.

When it arrived, both of us just looked at the plate, which was at least 75% empty. No lie. This piece of filet was somewhere between the size of a quarter or half-dollar at the most, and there were three shrimp on the plate. And four asparagus spears. That was it. For 16 bucks.

Robert joked, "I'd give you a bite, but that's all there is." Funny and sad at the same time.



I met Joe out at Flex, where we played some pool, and then later went to Legends in time for the 12:30 show.

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