Friday, June 1, 2007

post office

Standing in a long, long line at the post office this morning with a package of items for my granddaughter, a letter of beads for my neice, and a letter each for my great neice and nephew in Indonesia. No clue what postage to put on these items. That is why I am there.

The line lumbers on with the two postal workers moving slower than molasses. One postal employee, “Daniel” (says so on his hand-lettered nameplate) is railing at a customer that the post office is using Fed EX to send out passports. Yes, a postal employee is bad-mouthing his own place of employment. The very next (victim,) customer, in line wants her letter guaranteed for tomorrow, but no doing, as Daniel explains that they cannot guarantee overnight to a PO box. He shows her the fine print on some form, and there is a language cultural issue, so he speaks slowly. Finally, he advises her that she can go to Fed EX but he is not sure if they guarantee overnight to a PO box. I start giggling. And sure enough, this would be the guy I draw in line when its my turn. Here is my side of the conversation as he waited on me and was interrupted by impatient older people who only wanted to know if their letter needed extra postage or for a form:

“please hand cancel this one (bulging letter), beads, eight year old girls don’t like broken plastic beads.”

“these are going to Indonesia, has the post office decided what postage will be to Indonesia?” (90 cents ! it went up six cents )

“no, this package contains no liquid, only baby toys to my granddaughter and I must confess there is a letter inside, so first class?”

“priority mail will be fine, since you says its too heavy for first class, thankyou”

I presented Daniel with a twenty. He asked if it were debit or credit, as he had not seen actual cash yet today, and was trying to be funny. I just stared at him, as I could not come up with a good retort and after I received my change back in my hot little hands, I thanked Daniel for not sending me to Fed EX. Sometimes its hard to keep a straight face at the post office.