Going Postal

When I went to the post office to get the 420 1-cent stamps, there were two clerks working. The clerk Susie was busy helping a couple complete applications for passports. There were three people ahead of me in the line of the other clerk named Debbie. Debbie was telling the first customer about her divorce and about her son’s living arrangements. I was shocked by such inappropriate behavior. The second customer, turned to look behind him, and he and I rolled our eyes at each other in disbelief. When the man got to Debbie he asked for two stamps and plopped coins on the desk. The next person in line was a young woman carrying a baby. Debbie commented that the baby was “precious” and the clerk and the woman began chatting about different family members. 
I began tapping my car keys on the table and I looked around and five people were lined up behind me.

When it was my turn I said that I wanted 420 1-cent stamps and Debbie asked, “Are you sure?” I answered, with seething rage, “I’m QUITE sure!” Debbie continued, “Well, a lotta people are confused by the Forever Stamps.” I answered, “I have NO confusion; I NEED 420 1-cent stamps.” She looked in her drawer and said, “I don’t have that many.” I said, through clenched teeth, “Perhaps you could ask Susie if she has any.” Debbie returned with a stack of stamps and counted them into one pile. I said, “You didn’t count right; SHALL I show you HOW to count them?” I took the stamps and counted 5 each into 4 piles and I said, “There’s 400; I need 20 more.” I counted out 20 pennies and gave her four 1-dollar bills.

Her behavior was unprofessional and unacceptable, mainly because she was inefficient! There’s a time and place for lively banter but NOT when there are eight people waiting in line.

At home I was fuming about whether I was going to call the Postmaster or write a complaint letter, and Les said, “You’re lucky she didn’t go POSTAL on you!”

Editor’s note: For obvious reasons I’m reluctant to ask Sue why anyone would need 420 one-cent stamps! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Going Postal”

  1. Sue, I can understand and feel that I was once in your shoes as I waited inside at a bank teller’s window, being next, and then the teller serviced three drive-ins whilst I was waiting, and I said some things in anger that seemed to almost tarnish forever the small-town relationship feel I had once felt that I shared with said teller.

    Next time, I hope that you can choose to cherish being in a small town where the postal clerk indeed does know many of her clients family members and such; so long as it isn’t just gossip it usually does help to get to talk about problems and other such things.

    Nowadays, if I found myself in such a situation I’d likely try to join the conversation, which could, generally, go two or three, or four, ways, as follows, off the cuff:

    * My additions might simply bounce in and out of the conversation and my wait be even longer than it might otherwise have been – yes, that’s a risk,
    * Said client, now realizing that others are also listening might abruptly be finished and my wait be over,
    * I might get a weird smile or other look as said customer stomps off, or
    * I might make a new friend, get invited to eat or, perhaps, not have to sleep under a bridge that night.

    Who knows, if you could see such things in light like mine, next time instead of going in once to buy 420 1-cent stamps, you might go in four times, buying 105 each time, so that you and your friendly neighborhood clerk could have more opportunities to chat, catch up on old times, and enlighten some impatient frazzled newcomer to the luxuries of small-town life.

  2. Sue I sympatheize with you.. There is only post office I will frequent That one is in Jamestown NC.. They are hard workers. When the axe comes down and post offices are closed this one will probably get shut down.. The reward system for the slackers.
    The under 10 items cash only line is yet another place that chit chat goes on plus customers with a cart full and a check book @ the bottom of their bag.

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