where is the mason-dixon line ?

October 12 2007

i went to kinko’s yesterday to print and fax some loan documents for the additions i’m putting on the house.

at 10:00am in asheville the average customer profile at the kinko’s matches the AARP’s demographic.

as i’m waiting for my fax confirmation at the check-out counter, the 70-something year old couple i saw struggling with the collating features at the self-serve copiers come over to pay for their copies.

this is the memorable quote from their conversation with the clerk:

kinko’s employee: ‘may i help you?’

the couple: ‘well, we were being helped by the colored man before. is he around here somewhere?’

ok, this is interesting to me for a couple of reasons:

1. as i write this, i cannot remember if the husband or the wife said this. but neither one seemed to think it was weird.

2. the kinko’s clerk’s (a white guy) reaction was subtle but slightly reassuring. he noticed what they said. and there was a slight pause before he answered their question. so even though he didn’t comment on their question, he at least was uncomfortable that they said it. that’s gotta count for something, right?

3. did they want to see the ‘colored man’ so he got credit for the sale?
if so, that means they didn’t want him to lose his commission?

4. it seems oddly appropriate to me they the couple drove away in a 1988 lincoln town car. i don’t know why. it just does.

by the way, i must admit i love kinko’s.

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