Persnickety Post Office people

post office linesWith my annual Christmas What if? book giveaway ended (December through January), I was notified by Goodreads of the winners names and addresses.

I’m always happy when people want to read my book (sure, I’m happier when they buy it, but, surprisingly, not that much happier), so I don’t delay sending out the books.

Let me digress a moment here to mention how good I am now getting at this mass-mailing thing. I get prepared well in advance of the giveaway ending.

First, I bought the padded envelopes online (I found I could get 100 online for the price of 25 in the store…with free shipping!). Next, I created my “Congratulations” letter (which contains previews of Books 2 and 3). Then I bag each book and put it in the envelopes (self-sealing, no less).

Finally, as soon as Goodreads got me my list, I printed off the addresses on Avery labels and packed everything in a box to go to the post office. I’ve gotten to “master” level on mail merge and label printing (though I still put the labels into the printer the wrong side up, so there’s that).

Thus, chipper and totally prepared, I ventured into my little local post office (in a strip mall) and waited patiently in line. There were only 3 people ahead of me and one person off to the side for package pick-up.

Seems they were a little short on help (or maybe just part of the Post Office headcount cuts), so the lady looking for the package person was to be disappointed. I invited her to rejoin the line in front of me (she was there before me, after all) and, after some cajoling, she relented.

Now, I knew I would be there for some time, since I had 25 padded envelopes going to 25 different locations (via Book Rate, an extremely economical and not too slow method). Knowing this, I adjusted my disposition to patience level 8 and simply used the time to chat with other people in line.

Except the elderly lady in the front.

In what always perplexes me about certain people, she kept complaining to the person behind her (two up from me) about how slow the line was, how bad the service was, how stupid the customers were. Considering the person behind her that she was talking to was a customer, I didn’t quite understand her thrust.

Indeed, in the quiet of the little Post Office, she was about the only thing we heard. The employee behind the counter (one of my faves), did his best to pretend he didn’t hear her as he concentrated on his current customer. Sadly, this was one of those people who did not know precisely what they wanted or how to send it.

The employee patiently explained the options and potential delivery times. At each point, the lady in front would sniff (or snort) and make a derisive comment about the likelihood of delivery.

She was finally up and she completed her transaction and left. All within about 10 minutes of my arriving. I have no idea how long she had been there before I came in, but what difference would it make?

I just can’t see the point in having an attitude like that in any line, but even more in a Post Office where there are so many choices and it’s in the customer’s best interest to ask questions.

Absent it being her first time in a Post Office, to which her comments would suggest otherwise, knowing that some customers will take longer than others should be part of her preparation for going.

Beyond that, it was just plain rude and I took offense on behalf of the good people working there. As usual, when I got up to the counter, I was taken care of efficiently and spent some quality time chatting with the employee as he stuck postage labels on each package.

Thankfully for the other people behind me, a lady came from the back to open the other “window” (just a counter spot). I thanked her for me and them.

Goodness, please, if you’re heading to the Post Office, remember to adjust your attitude and patience meter appropriately. Don’t be the persnickety person at the Post Office.

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