Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Post Office

If ever I am in need of using up copious amounts of patience from my constantly deepening well, I simply walk to my local post office. Many companies in America worry about efficiency, customer service, et cetera, et cetera. The post office, on the other hand, is run by the government and therefore need not concern itself with such trivial details.

Allow me to describe a prototypical Jeremiah visit to the post office. First, I enter and survey the ambiance. Every post office I have ever been in looks the same. The dingy white tiled floor, the dingy walls, the dingy florescent lights. Fung shui all over.

Next, I go to the counter to address my mail. Yes, that's right, I have been coming to the post office for years on end and I still can't remember to address my mail before I get there. And I am punished severely every time, as hundreds flock to the line while I try to squeeze the extended nine digit zip code into the tiny space I have left for it.

I take my place behind everyone that showed up after me but was thinking ahead of me, and the line creeps along until I am at the front. At which point every postal worker but one takes their ten minute break. There could be 300 people in line, desperately shoving and sobbing, trying to give their money to the post office, but that "Next window please" sign is coming out the millisecond their break starts. It is a simple fact of nature. And they don't take their break in the back room, they just wander around in the shadows, mocking us.

The lone remaining window will be occupied by some poor soul, a postal worker with a customer who, for one reason or another, feels like he must take five minutes to complete his transaction. These are the same people, mind you, that are capable of addressing their mail in advance, yet, when they get to the counter, are incapable of choosing what stamps to get. Oh yeah, pull out the stamp sheet, let's have a look at your current inventory. Fascinating. Oh, wow! There are so many choices! Flowers? Or maybe kittens? Some famous person? How about something seasonal, perhaps, like reindeer? You never know what exciting design they will choose.

The customer is finally wrapping up and I make the mistake of prematurely leaving the head of the line and walking to that window. At which point, every postal worker finishes their ten minute break and starts helping the customers that were behind me. Suddenly, the lone employee, the one that worked while the others played, the one I felt bad for, realizes it's time for her break. "Next window please", BLAM, right in my face.

By this time, my well of patience has run dry, which, if you recall, means the purpose of my visit has been accomplished.

1 comment:

MommaMcCarthy said...

ARGH! My face turns red and my flaring nostrals give off smoke every time I think of USPS. I have had SOOOOO many frustrating experiences with them!!!