We've all been there. At some point in our lives, we end up standing on line in the post office, waiting to mail some random package to a family member or friend or to mail back some unwanted parcel from a company or purchase we can't wait to get rid of. The passive and patient folks in the light blue shirts take this albatross off our hands and release it into the wilds of the postal delivery universe.
So why do I loathe the post office experience? It's the people.
Not the workers, they are just folks committed to helping us get our stuff from point A to point B. Sure, some are better than others but let's face it dear reader, we can find that anywhere. I mean, some barbers are better than others, some sales reps are better than others and definitely, some government workers are light years beyond their piers when it comes to even being human beings.
No, I mean the random cross-sections of humanity that seem to converge on the post office ONLY when I need to get something mailed. And maybe it's my 21st century on-the-go lifestyle talking here, but why does it seem like two back-to-back eternitys every time I am in line at the P.O.? PLEASE don't tell me I am the only one wanting scream bloody murder when I'm in line behind the little old hearing-impaired lady who needs to mail a package return back to a country no one can even pronounce and wants to pay with a fourth party check converted from Euros from South Uzbekistan. Oh, and this endeavor always requires a minimum participation of no less than 43 on-site postal staff with several having to jog to back area every 30-40 seconds.
Then there's the chatter box. Often a middle-aged woman who, while buying a book of collector's stamps, wants to ask about the logistical delivery dynamics of the postal air fleet along with an accompanying powerpoint and interactive synopsis of the ins and outs of why that particular postal worker choose a career in the parcel delivery industry.
And then, there's the stumper. He's the guy (always a guy) who has a question no one can answer, a package no one has ever seen and has no idea how to deliver and/or asks questions no one this side of mensa has any hope of answering. Commonly, after more than 40 minutes, his solution is often a .12¢ supplemental stamp.
Finally, there are the Post Office Patron Zombies. These once-human, undead lifeforms emerge from their crypt and actually buy coffee to hang out at the post office and use it as a meeting place! AGH!! For crying out loud, isn't that why they have Starbucks?!? Go away! The rest of us have somewhere to be and have no interest in being in this building a second longer than necessary. I know I need to set a good example of patience and restraint as an example to my children but really, people – stop it!
As a final thought, I must admit how much I delight in the modernization in many Post Offices that now have the postal Debit card postage machines. You Take your package, weigh it, and a few touch-screen later, you buy your postage, pop it in the big metal can and your out. Done. I hate to sound elitist, but thank you God!
The need for a postal service is evident but now, as the holidays approach, keeping me from going Postal while at the Post Office well, that's a good thing. We all have enough lines to have to stand in, one less is just fine with me.