Clean

The Kinko’s clerk commandeered my project after noticing I was looking critically at a dot the copier had left in the top margin of my resume. There were scratches on the copier’s glass, he tried to polish them away with Windex and a paper towel. He called me by my first name, the first time looking from the corner of his eyes for my reaction to see if it was correct to shorten “Jeffrey” (what he’d read off the resume) to “Jeff”. I excused myself to retrieve an invoice for the computer time I’d used earlier. The guy at the main desk found the invoice and said, “I can ring you up in just a minute, . . . except it looks like you might have some other business,” staring past my shoulder. I turned around, and my friend was gesturing for me, “Hey, Jeff. Come back. Come back.” Back on his side of the store, I asked, “What’s the problem.” “I need you to get some more of this heavy-weight paper.” He’d burned through the fistfull I’d grabbed earlier. I went back behind the clerk’s desk for some more. Every copier he tried left its fingerprint on my resume, but we both pretended that the last one didn’t. “See these look great. Wasn’t that worth it?” I thanked him. He gave me a discount. I walked out of the store with a small stack of resumes; and each resume had an identical line of a dozen tiny dots scattered across my name.

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