Having A Picture Scanned At OfficeMax Is Like Being On A Game Show

Adam and his wife never know what they’re going to be charged for scanning services at OfficeMax’s ImPress print center. I like to imagine that the ImPress employee stands in front of them holding a very long microphone, and tries to build tension before a coworker flips over the Actual Price card.

OfficeMax’s Impress must like charging a random amount for color scans. My wife is painting our Christmas cards this year, so she took a small, original water-color painting to OfficeMax to have it scanned so we could print them out at home. The employee did a great job and charged us $1.99. We figured that was fair price, and went on our way. My wife then decided she didn’t like part of what she painted and made a few touch ups, so we went back that same evening to have it scanned again. A different person was working, did a fine job and charged us only 25 cents. We didn’t ask about the price difference (maybe we should have?). The next day, she decided to paint yet another picture, exact same size as the previous one. We went back, a third time, for a color scan. Yet another person was working, and the price this time was $7.99! We couldn’t believe it. We mentioned the two scans from the day before, and they apologized and gave the third scan to us for 25 cents, which was awesome, but I can’t get over the crazy price differences. In the end we’re satisfied, but totally confused.

It’s nice of OfficeMax to give them the lower price, but it might also be good for them to pick a price and just list it somewhere where everyone can see.

(Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.)

Update: Commenter Scoobatz has solved the mystery!

Easy answer. OfficeMax employees have a keen eye for artwork and can see the subtle differences in the paintings. Seems like the wife did an OK job the first time, a terrible job the second time, then finally got her act together.