#318: Copies

May 9th, 2014

“It is my pleasure to extend to you an offer of employment on behalf of _____. We are all very impressed with your professional skills and your interpersonal talents. We believe you will be an important contributor to the continued development of our programs and a key member of our team.”

People leave the damndest things at Kinko’s.

The machine next to me shunk shunk shunked out the chapbooks I’ll sell at the Studs Terkel fest this weekend. Bored while waiting for my stories to tumble out of the machine, I had looked down at the table to my left to find someone had left a photocopy of their job offer paperwork.

I looked down and read it, before pacing over to the table to my right. There was paperwork there too.

“I am currently unemployed,” a person had written in all-caps chicken scratch on a fax sheet.

The fax sheet was aimed toward a transcendental meditation clinic.

“And have been for a few months. My money is tight, and I need any assistance I can get. The purpose of starting TM is to combat my depression & anxieties that have stemmed from work & unemployment. I am looking to center myself in order to begin looking for work again, and to possibly change careers. TM was also suggest by my therapist.”

I paced back to the first table, one of the ones carrying pens and rulers that sits between copy machines. I looked down at that paperwork.

Position Title: Account Executive

Reporting Relationship: _____ – EVP/Chief Marketing Officer

Base Compensation: Your salary will be $80,000.00 per year.

It then went on to info about pay periods, pre-tax deductions and the minimum $4,000 per quarter the man could expect in bonuses and commissions for the first four fiscal quarters starting July 1, 2014.

The other sheet had a checklist too.

Occupation: Unemployed

Are you employed full-time or part-time? Neither

Monthly income: $1200.00 – unemployment insurance

Monthly expenses: ≈ $1600.00

Amount in savings: $3500.00

Amount of debt: $4800.00

Both these people had been at a Kinko’s/FedEx Kinko’s/FedEx Office Plus Pro or whatever it’s called now. They had been at the same place, on machines standing next to each other on the same grim night, a few hours before I was there.

I don’t have a lesson from this. I don’t have thoughts that wrap the whole thing in a pretty bow. $80,000 a year or negative $400 a month, accepting a job or begging for a break on meditation, they were in the same place, at the same fluorescent-lit store on the same dark street hours apart from each other.

People leave the damndest things at Kinko’s.

Shunk shunk shunk went my machine.

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