In an attempt to get back into blogging regularly, I offer to you a story of my 45 minutes at the post office. I typically avoid going to the post office, because the experience is usually full of the following elements:

  • Poor Customer Service
  • Germs
  • Chaos
  • Confusion
  • Lines
  • Annoyed People
  • General Frustration

Today was no exception.

It started when I opened the door to hear, “I WANT YOU TO LOOK ME IN THE EYES AND LISTEN TO WHAT I’M SAYING.” This coming from an elderly man to a post office teller. Yikes. All other customers very successfully avoided eye contact with everyone else.

I locate an “Express Mail” Box, fill it, and attempt to use the electronic kiosk to print my postage and label – alas, it’s not working.

So into the line of 15 or so people I go. Most people in the line are asking for holiday stamps. Of which the post office has none. They won’t get their holiday stamps until November, in case you were wondering. Apparently everyone else in the line was hard of hearing, because each of them just patiently waited for their turn, asked for holiday stamps, and were told they wouldn’t get them until November. All were disappointed. Several were outright flabbergasted. “November!? Why so late?!”

It was finally my turn. “Hi, I’d like to ship this pack-” “Where’s your label?” “Oh, I didn’t see any lab-” “Marcos! Are we out of labels over there? We’re out of labels. Here’s a label. You need to go over there and fill this out. Why aren’t you using a flat rate box? Go over there and get the flat rate box and repackage your stuff. When you’re done, come back here to me. Don’t wait in line again.” “Ooookay…”

While repackaging my things and filling out my label, customers inquired about holiday stamps. Others complained about the electronic kiosk not working. (“Marcos! The kiosk still isn’t working. Weren’t you going to put up a sign?”) Then the repository for packages got jammed, which caused even more chaos.

An empty-handed, middle-aged man approached a teller, wanting to know how much it would cost to send a package to New York. “Do you have the package with you?” “No. I don’t have the package yet. Can’t I just tell you its size and weight?” “I guess so.” “It’s 16×20 inches and weighs 7.34 pounds.” “Okay.” “I’m shipping it from Dallas.” “Dallas? We’re in Austin.” “Oh, I’m shipping it from Austin to New York City.” “What’s the zip code?” “Why? Do you not know the zip code to New York City? It’s New York City!” “There are several zip codes in and near New York City.” “Well just pick one!” So the teller picked a zip code, and told him it would be about $16. Imaginary Box Man was dismayed by the information, but seeing as he didn’t actually have a box to send there wasn’t much he could complain about, so he left.

I successfully repackaged my things and filled out my label, returned to the lady, paid for my things, and left – electronic kiosk still broken, package receptacle still jammed, labels still missing from the boxes area, and a line full of people – most of whom were probably there for holiday stamps.

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