No worries, I thought, I’ll just leave early Monday and stop at the Target near the hospital before I go to work. Sadly, their photo lab was unmanned at 10:30am. Their self-serve kiosk was flashing a “need software update” message, but I figured I could use the regular kiosk and upload the photos from my drive, let Target print them at some point, and I could come back after work to pick them up. Except that the woman from the customer service desk said I shouldn’t do that. She said that the machines are shut down until someone shows up at noon, so I shouldn’t “send them now”, because I might lose my pictures. I took a moment to try and explain to her how memory works, and how photos sent over the internet in the middle of the night are waiting patiently somewhere until the photo printers warm up, but she was terrified that I would lose my pictures and wouldn’t let me use the kiosk. She told me to try Walgreens.
On to Walgreens!
Their kiosks were antiques, but they looked functional, and there was en employee sitting nearby, which was encouraging. No losing photos while the machines warm up at Walgreens! It was one of those kiosks with the various slots for you to stuff in a memory card, a CD, etc, so I poked around looking for a USB port. “You plug in!” “You plug in and touch screen!” This was the very helpful employee, for whom English was not a friend. I showed him my USB key, and indicated that there seemed to be no place to “plug in”. He rolled his eyes, walked over, took hold of a cable laying by the side of the keyboard, and waggled it at me. “You plug in!” And then he walked away in disgust at how stupid I was. Well, it was a USB cable. So… unless my USB key was looking for a male-on-male hot gay USB escapade, it was completely useless. In the end I remembered that my memory stick contained an SD card, and just used it that way, and I got my pictures.
When I went to pick up the photos after work, I shuffled through them to make sure they were all there, and the young girl at the register was watching me and looking at them. “Oh, wow, did you go on… vacation?” Surely confused, as there were pictures from Rome, Paris, Vancouver, DC, New York, and Philadelphia, and some wedding and engagement photos, with some Christmas thrown in for good measure. When I told her it was all for an immigration interview so I could get my green card, her puzzlement grew. Lily-white girl with unaccented (mostly, eh?) English? Immigration? I explained I’m from Canada and married an American, and she said “Wow, I thought they only did that for… you know… foreign countries. Canada’s, like, right there.”