Over the weekend I finally finished the roll of film I started in the mountains. Last night, after work, I took it to a drugstore to be developed.
It turned out to be an excrutiating experience.
When I walked in, a young couple were standing at the photo lab counter. A voluminous black woman was behind the counter, flipping through envelopes of prints. When she saw me walk up, she announced generally, "I ain't workin'. I just come to get my pictures." And giving the envelopes a dismissive flick with an enormous talon, she walked out from behind the counter without finding the young couple's photos.
I decided to just look around for a drop box and a stack of film envelopes. I found the envelopes but instead of a drop box there was a box box which had no notice telling me to leave film there.
Now a real on-the-clock photo-lab employee had turned up, but was having trouble helping the young couple. He couldn't find all of their pictures, and now there was a second young couple waiting behind the first.
I broke down and asked the black woman, who was still standing around, if I left my film in that box. She said yes.
I left to look for shaving soap. While I was looking, I heard "Manager to the front" a couple times, from the PA system, in a thick Mexican accent.
When I got to the register, the first young couple were in front of me.
The young woman was saying, "Look, it was supposed to be a double set of prints for $4.99 and an index for $1 more. They didn't give me an index, so I don't think I should have to pay that extra dollar."
"Manager to the front please," said the Mexican cashier into his microphone.
I think I need to find a new place to get film developed.