At the end of winter semester, I had to put together a portfolio of all my work for my document design class. The teacher had warned us throughout the semester that it would be a lot of work to get this done, and told us several times to not leave it to the last minute because she would, under no circumstances, accept late work (this always brought back a vivid recollection of a friend who had taken the same class the semester before, calling me in a tearful panic because she was trying to get everything printed out but had forgotten her credit card and she didn't have enough time to go home and back if she wanted to turn it in on time).

I got the point: Do it in advance. Now I've probably set you up to think that this story is about me actually procrastinating what I had planned to do in advance. It's not. I did it in advance.

The thing was due on Saturday, so on Monday I went to Cougar Creations to get everything printed and organized for my portfolio. Here is an honest account of what happened at Cougar Creations.

There is a mac and pc lab at Cougar Creations that is not free; you have to pay by the hour to use the computers. It's beneficial to use them, though, because they print directly to the high quality printers.

The lab was not busy. Neither were the workers. The two girls at the cash register were very involved in their own conversation. I stood at the register. Girl 1 acknowledged me. Girl 2 saw me but didn't make any indication that my presence at her counter was supposed to alter her actions in any way. She continued to show her coworker pictures from a Pampered Chef catalogue and tell her what she needed to order. Meanwhile, Girl 3, sitting at a desk in the work area, watched---she seemed like she might have been the supervisor.

Finally, when Girl 1 finished her nice little chat, she decided to help me. We printed off a few things. The things I was printing required several trips to and from the cash register and specific instructions. Every time I went to the cash register, it was the same battle to get her attention again. At one point when I went up, Girl 2 had her hand bandaged in toilet paper and was getting help from Girl 1 to put red ink on the end of it so that it looked as if her hand had been severed. "Ketchup!" she cried. "If only we had Ketchup! Wait! Someone can probably run to the Cougareat and grab a couple packets!" I made eye contact with Girl 3: The Supervisor, and though she was clearly annoyed with the employees' behavior, she did nothing to stop it.

At another point, I gave specific instructions to Girl 1 about how I needed something to be printed. She cut me off half-way through, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it." She didn't get it. When it was printed, she handed me the printout and I had to say, "Okay, if you had listened to me, this is what I was asking you not to do."

The whole time I was in there, I was wondering about those who would procrastinate their portfolios until later that week. I, understandably, was frustrated with them, but I had six days to get this done, not six minutes. I was glad that I had planned enough time for their obvious incompetence.

After I was done and closing up programs on the mac, another lab user asked Girl 3: The Supervisor for help. She came over and in answer to the lab user's question, said, "I don't know. This is a self-service lab---the customers are supposed to know what they're doing. I've never used a mac. So it's not that we're ignorant. It's just that we don't have to know these things."

I couldn't help laughing out loud when I heard it. "It's not that we're ignorant. It's just that we don't have to know these things." I think that's pretty much the mission statement of Cougar Creations.


Coop said...

The girls were aspiring Dallas Roberts students, no doubt. Gotta love the hard-working student employees in the Wilk.

Savvymom said...

Every time I go to that place I have experiences like that. Finally I started saying things to get their attention. "Excuse me, it's your job to help me not stand there and chat. So this is what I need from you."
Only now I can't do that because I am pregnant and being the pregnant raunch is way worse than being a regular one. So I go to kinkos and pay more and they just do everything for me. I love that place.

Tolkien Boy said...

I waited in line for five minutes while they talked about how they both would like to date their (respective) boyfriends' roommates.

I didn't yell at them, but I did glower. Well, somewhat. :)

Nemesis said...

My friend took paper that she needed cut for her wedding announcements to Cougar Creations and they did it completely wrong and ruined all of it.

FoxyJ said...

Ah yes, apathy and laziness! I've heard so much of that the last few days as classes have started--"if I don't have to know it for the test, then I will not do the reading or in any way allow that extra knowledge to enter my brain. Yuck. (Not that I am not ever like that, but it still bugs me when other people act that way).

Cicada said...

On Cougar Creations' behalf, I do think that I should say that when I came back later in the week and the person who is obviously the boss of the whole joint was helping me, the service was exemplary. I felt really bad for him that he obviously had such crap employees.

daltongirl said...

Some people are ignorant.

Some people are ignernt.

Those Dallas Roberts girls are both, and that spells pathetic, b/c when you're stupid AND rude, well, you just don't have a heck of a lot going for you. Except you know how to do hair. And nells.

Coop said...

Don't feel bad for the boss--he/she hired them.

ambrosia ananas said...

You know, since I go around ruining all your good efforts to preserve my anonymity in potentially embarrassing situations, I can't really pass up the chance to expose myself again.

I was the friend who called Cice, crying about my portfolio. And I was the friend who was enormously grateful when she put money on my signature card so I could go print it. And I will put the rest of the story on my blog, so as not to be a thread-hijacking post hog.