Q: I do a lot of xeroxing at our local library, and often end up waiting behind some massive jobs. When is it permissible to ask the person using the photocopy machine if you can jump in and make just one?
A: Obviously, if the other person is coming to the end of their task, you might as well wait. But, if he’s in the middle of a big stack, it’s fine to ask, “Would you mind if I copied this one page?” Just be sure you’ve got your act together first. To ask for a favor and then fumble around for the right page or wrestle off a staple can be most annoying.