Excerpts From FedEx Kinko’s Employee Manual*



FedEx Kinko’s is America’s premiere destination for copies, presentations, and business printing. Yet whenever I go in there, it feels like the store could be more efficiently run by puppies and easily confused clowns. A reading from their previously top secret Employee Handbook may explain why.

Hello new employee and friend, welcome to the FedEx Kinko’s Family! While your official training is complete, there are a few more guidelines you’ll want to follow to truly be part of the FedEx Kinko’s Team. Follow each one, and pretty soon, you’ll feel right at home!

Be Stoned: As you know, we here at Kinko’s take sobriety very seriously, which is why you were required to pass an extensive drug screening upon hiring. However, now that the paperwork has gone through, feel free to weed it up at any given opportunity. We find that a store full of high and potentially asleep staff members creates the unpredictability that customers have come to expect from FedEx Kinko’s. Research shows that the danger a customer feels when handing off an important business presentation to an employee who looks like an extra from Dazed and Confused has been crucial to our success. We’ve been told it’s the closest a businessman gets to bungy jumping, so please: always be high. If you are new to the Kinko’s team and have had trouble locating drugs, give it a week. Jim will approach you. When he asks if you’re a NARC, say “no.”

Never Have a Pen: Our customers love irony, and there is no irony greater than an employee at an office supply store never having the one office supply required for them to do their job. We not only sell pens, we give them away with little drawings on them that say “FedEx Kinko’s: Copy, Print, Pack & Ship!” — so wouldn’t it be funny if one of those pens was never around when you had to create the paperwork necessary to copy, print, pack, or ship? Of course it would! We at Kinkos believe that in order to supply as much joy as possible to our customers, it is necessary for every employee to be unable to find a pen in a store that is filled with pens. Occasionally a customer will get irritated with this little gag, and perhaps yell, “Come on! This isn’t even funny!” while making an angry face. They are wrong. It is funny. Or perhaps they’re playing along with the joke, making it even funnier. We’re actually not totally sure. But either way, don’t have a pen. It’ll be awesome.

Always Get Something Wrong: Nobody likes a goodie goodie, especially your fellow employees. So, in order not to show them up, please get one thing wrong in every order. Things you could get wrong include: the wrong color paper, the wrong size paper, sneezing on extremely important originally copies, etc. Be creative!

Rock the Smock: Every FedEx Kinko’s employee will be given a blue apron. Sometimes it will be the only way to distinguish between you and a hobo, so it must be worn at all times. To answer a common question, yes, you must wear other clothing in addition to the smock.

When In Doubt, Linger: You will note that every FedEx Kinko’s location is laid out the same: an area for customers, a sea of complex looking machines and devices for employees only, and a long grey counter that separates the two. Respect this divide. Whenever you are tired, confused, needing alone time, or simply wanting to send your girlfriend a text, feel free to wander back into the ocean of business machines and stare at one quizzically. Maybe you’re trying to fix it. Maybe you’re in the middle of an important job. Or maybe you’re just trying to pass gas without anyone knowing. The customer will have no idea, and if you just stand staring at the machine long enough, eventually they will give up on getting assistance and walk away. Important: Should a customer try to talk to you while you are lingering next to a machine — Do Not Respond! The counter division is to be treated like a sound-proof booth. They may speak, but you can not hear them. It may seem cruel, but it’s the only way they’ll learn.

Know Less About the Machines You’re Using Than the Customers: The great thing about FedEx Kinko’s is that you’re treated like a professional even though your skill is something almost any human being can do. I mean, come on, who can’t make copies? We’ve found that when a customer realizes this, that they’re more skilled at your job than you are, it’s an important personal moment that they really enjoy. At first they’re upset, but then they smile and shake their head like they would at a confused child, or an old person who has started to lose their mind. Don’t ruin this for them. If you know how to do all the fancy things on the copiers, keep it to yourself. Our customers prefer it this way.

OK, Friend. Now you’re ready to join the FedEx Kinko’s team, where if we don’t give our best, we at least give you a pretty good copy of it!

*Not really.

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