Doing my job

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September 13, 2004 // UPDATED 4:05 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Britt Johnsen
Britt Johnsen

Mike LaMonica, Kinko's copy worker, 80 S. 8th St.

If Mike LaMonica had to describe in two words his job as color key operator at Kinko's, he'd say: "organized chaos."

LaMonica works at Kinko's in the IDS Center, where he usually completes about 20 or 30 jobs a day.

Workers don't track how many copies are made each day, but they guess it's in the thousands. This Kinko's also serves many large companies, including Qwest and Wells Fargo, who keep workers very busy, LaMonica said.

He said the job also offers benefits.

"If things are going well, it can be pretty fun," LaMonica said. "And then the binder breaks and the cutter goes down, and it's not as fun."

Those not-so-fun times vary, though. Some days, it's fast-paced and demanding. Businesspeople often come in and want copies or projects faster than possible.

"They need it yesterday," he said.

However, other days, his job entails waiting for copies to print -- or even less.

"I checked out the Apple Web site, if you know what I mean."

LaMonica is used to variety. He freelances graphic design work on the side, including business cards, posters and logos. Graphic design is his specialty; he went to school for it at Brown College.

Folks such as LaMonica are common at Kinko's, he said. What waiters and waitresses are to struggling actors, Kinko's employees are to musicians and graphic designers, he joked.

He said he began as a temporary employee, but two years later, he's still working there. Aside from earning him money, he said it's also a job wherein he can use some of his graphic design skills.

LaMonica, who commutes from Maplewood each day, will continue cutting, laminating, foam core mounting and binding.

But he won't stop there.

"It does go well beyond that," he said.