On any given day, I have the privilege of speaking with George whose last name I’ve never known or perhaps not remembered, but he is universally known as ‘Mr. Kopy’, the name of the family business (located on Main Street near Second, directly across from the Book Store) for which he helps out as the general manager.
Philosophers come in many forms and in my three years and two months of living in Chico, I’ve come across many deep thinkers in all sorts of circumstances and spanning the scale of demographics.
George, has become for me and is to many others, a Downtown Philosopher of the highly intellectual and deeply compassionate mold. He possesses a prerequisite for such a title: humility.
He is basically nose to the grindstone or in his case, nose to the modern day printing process in running a good business.
I spend enough time at Mr. Kopy writing on a computer (other services include a large stock of school and office supplies as well as private mail boxes) to get a strong sense of the excellent customer service he and his staff’s good front line behavior provides. It’s both a serious and happy place.
In existence as a locally owned, community-oriented business for 40 years, George’s family took over five years ago.
“We offer the best price, quality and experience in Chico,” he says proudly adding, “And one copy is always free.”
Mr. Kopy was hugely helpful with printing tickets, posters and flyers in ‘A Bridge for Books’, a fundraiser held for the Butte County Public Library in which I was involved and is how I got to know George.
One recent afternoon I was talking with him outside the shop. I don’t recall what I said, but it was self-deprecating and George surprised me by moderately raising his voice (he is a soft-spoken man), but being very precise, “Don’t put yourself down! You are a beautiful human being. Everyone is a beautiful human being, that is what I believe.”
It was a good thing for me to hear from someone I respect at a time when I was feeling unsure of myself. It happens.
It’s also an excellent and authentic philosophy on how to treat customers in a business very dependent on technology, but even more so on face to face, over-the-counter transactions.
Providing good service and viewing humanity as beautiful strikes this reporter as a win-win business model.