Something to be thankful for

Bad things seem to come in multiples, or at least that seems to be the way with me. I recently came down with a nasty case of the flu, and somewhere near the bottom of my low ebb, my trusty old printer finally coughed and gave up the ship. I called my friend Bill, “The Computer Wizard” and begged for help. He laughed at me and then proclaimed I had but two choices. “Buy a new one!” I informed him that, “Buy a new one!” was only one choice. He laughed at me again and told me the choices were ink-jet or laser. His parting words were, “Try Costco.”

It was 40 degrees outside and pouring rain. I did not want to go outside. Hell, I didn’t want to get out of my recliner. But being self-employed, I do not have the luxury of calling in sick. Besides, I had printing waiting that had to go out. I pulled my flu ridden body from the warmth and comfort of my chair and dressed in my warmest clothes. Where to go was the next dilemma. Then I remembered that my grandson had mentioned I could get things printed at the library, and a certain amount free of charge. Being of Scottish ancestry, the free part immediately solved the decision on where to go to get my printing done and I could stop by Costco on my way. “Two birds with one stone!” I saved my print files on to a thumb drive and headed for my car. I was already starting to feel a little better. But that feeling was fleeting at best.

Costco is only about two blocks from our apartment. But, due to the chilly weather, drizzling rain, and that I was headed to the library, I chose to drive. I finally found a parking place on the outer edge and in the back row of the over-large Costco parking lot, after not one, but two rude parkers zipped into parking places I was waiting to get in while the other car was getting out. The rain pounded down as I made the (no exaggeration) two block walk to the store!

The store was a mad house, packed to the gunnels with shoppers. I dodged my way through kamikaze grocery cart-wielders, finally arriving at the department that displayed printers, only to discover there was no one who could fill me in on the important facts, other than price, certainly not ink and toner costs, they were short handed—probably a lot of people home sick with the flu! I gave up, and made the rain-soaked, two block trek back to my car and bid farewell to Costco.

I ruminated on my frustrating wet and futile trip to find a printer replacement on the short drive to the library, arriving in an even fouler mood. However, much to my surprise, my mood immediately began to soften, even brighten when I made the turn into the Library parking lot. I found a parking place, less than a hundred feet from the entrance and the rain had faded to a sprinkle.

Inside, where the atmosphere was quiet and relaxed, I realized it had been a very, long time since I had actually been in the library. And Things had changed a bit. The truth is, I had no idea of where to go or how to get done what I wanted to do. That’s when the lady, who appeared in front of me, asked, “Can I help you?” I latched on to her, like a man-over-board latches on to a life preserver.

She not only escorted me to a computer and walked me through the process, but stuck with me until I had successfully finished my printing. And much to my surprise, it cost me nothing. As I exited the Library, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. We in Seattle should count ourselves blessed in having the King County Library system—one of the nation’s best. I know I can’t say enough about the service and how much I appreciate all those who work and volunteer there. They certainly saved my day!



8 responses to “Something to be thankful for

  1. Welcome back to the world of the living, Wally! The first two thoughts when I read this were: What’s a gunnel? and Deb’s gonna love this.

    • Gunnel was supposed to be Gunwales — it’s listed as an alternative spelling of the word Gunwales and another reason not to trust spell check! :). Besides, I had the flu!

      When are you coming to Seattle again?


      • Don’t think I can make it your way until next year’s PNWA conference, the last week in July. Even that’s a little dicey. Nonetheless, I’m entering my thriller in their literary competition. If I’m a finalist, I’ll definitely be there.

  2. Wally, there is something wonderful about libraries. I use the research librarians here all the time – mostly for things I need at the office. They’re terrific. I didn’t know about the printing thing, though. That’s a lifesaver.

    And I use gunnels for gunwales (almost everyone does now, because no one except navy and seafolk know how to pronounce it now).


    • I’m not sure but I think I get 70 free pages of printing each week, and 10 of those can be full color! It might be more than 70 pages per week. I thought that was amazing. and King County Library folks are very helpful. What a great resource! See you Monday in Bellevue!

  3. Sorry to be so late, Wally. Costco is trying at the best of times, never mind when you are not well. Happy you got our printing done at the library – that’s just awesome service!

  4. And here I MISSED this!! How could I??? Of course, I do love this blog. The library is the “heart of the community” as our board members like to proclaim. If I could get the customer service anyplace like we offer in the library — I’d be thrilled. A few years ago they did a customer service survey and we ranked high — better than Costco and even with Nordstrom. And the service at Nordstrom is legendary. Thanks Wally for the lovely compliments.

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