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I have lots of stories from my part-time college jobs at the copy centers of St*ples and OfficeM*x just waiting for excuses to be noded. Here is the first.

My customers at the St*ples copy center ran the usual gamut of craziness, but there were only a few who left an impression. One was a slightly-past-middle-aged lady with carefully-dyed hair and enough jewelry. She appeared to be from a little above the middle of the middle class (an impression the reader should remember for later). She was nice without being friendly, which means she called everyone "sweetie" or "dear" but never stopped to chat. She was very quiet and moved rather slowly, and almost never changed her expression from a somewhat vacant smile.

Polite, Forgetful Woman's favorite trick was to carry an armload of scrapbooking magazines to the self-service area and spend half an hour or so copying dozens of pages from them... at $0.89 per page (full color). This is, of course, good for business, and none of the employees really minded seeing her come in. At least, we wouldn't have minded if not for one thing: she rarely brought more than five or ten dollars (always cash), while her charges were often closer to forty dollars. Despite her surprise at this week's 37 pages costing just as much as they did last week, we would store the unpaid-for pages in a bag under the counter. If she came back soon and seemed to have brought money, we would offer to sell them to her, which always elicited profuse thanks and surprise that we remembered (and a few more "sweeties" and "dears").

Perhaps an unremarkable story, but for one thing: I eventually quit St*ples and started working at OfficeM*x, and she was doing the same thing there! Apparently having a few reams of color copies on layaway at just one store wasn't enough.
And no, she didn't recognize me.

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