There were five Fedex Kinko’s employees behind the counter when Henry and I walked in. “Ummm, hello?” I queried, realizing that none of them were going to approach me. “It’ll be a moment,” one of them muttered, not looking up from his computer screen. After waiting almost ten minutes for assistance, I gave up trying to distract my squirming child and let him do exactly what he wanted, which was to spin the greeting card holder until the cards blurred.

I had spent the better part of the morning trying to upload various versions of a five-page document on the Fedex Kinko’s print-on-demand website. My frustration had increased exponentially with every “unsuccessful upload” notice and I was mentally flogging myself for volunteering to produce the classroom directory when the site finally accepted my file.

This is how I ended up driving twelve miles, one-way, with my three-year-old son—at that special time of day which ought to be reserved for naps—only to stand in line at Fedex Kinko’s.

“Hey Rob,” said one of the copy guys to another. “Has anyone started the Hollister order?”

“Hey Rob,” I said, giving voice to my Inner Bitch. “Has anyone started working at this counter?”

They gave me my pre-paid order. But, I still needed to make copies.

I dragged Henry over to the self-serve color photocopier, put the original in the feeder, and punched the buttons for 16 collated packets. It jammed on the first set. You could have fried an egg on my head when we marched out.

Reluctantly, I drove to the other copy shop – the UPS store—the one located a mile from my house but whose website would not accommodate my large PDF file.

The UPS customer service agent held the door open for Henry and I when he saw us walking toward the store. I was shocked by his courteousness.

“How can I help you?” he asked as he returned to his spot behind the counter.


The gentleman adroitly made my copies, packaged and shipped a present I was sending to a friend, assisted two customers who came in behind me, and took two phone calls—all in the same amount of time that I had wasted at that other place.

It is a pleasure to be helped by someone who is good at their job. Big props, Steve at the UPS store. You saved my day.

As I was leaving, printed directories in hand, I suddenly recalled a moment with Liam when he was about three years old. We were walking on Church Street, hand-in-hand, when he stopped and pointed at a UPS truck. He posed the question, “What can Brown do for you?”

At the time, I had been both amused and appalled by how much advertising my son was absorbing in front of the television.

Now, I have an answer to that question. Because Brown did it for me.

*Lest you think I was compensated in any way to write this: I did not. I am gratified by words alone. Comments always appreciated.