Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tales from the post office

Some of this happened last Saturday, and because of that reason, I wasn't going to write an entry about it days later (old news in my head), but I had to go to the post office again yesterday, so I figured I'd lump together my post office thoughts for everyone to read today.

I recently was won over by online mailing (you pay for postage online, print out label, stick label on package, and then mail), but it only works if you're shipping within the US. So I had to go to the post office last Saturday to mail out some international packages. Since it was now after the holidays, it shouldn't be so bad, even on a Saturday, I thought.


I turned the corner, and low and behold, the post office parking lot was resembling a mall parking lot on Christmas Eve except way, way less parking spaces. I had to wait in a line of cars to get a parking spot. Actually, I was just waiting to either park or get out of the parking lot so I could park on the street and walk. I even had to wait for a lady using a walker to get across the parking lot, but instead of using the walker like a normal person would, she was walking while sorta shoving it ahead of her. Since I was stuck waiting for so long, I ended up getting a parking spot. I didn't let the full parking lot get me down. I've stood in long lines before.

As I walked up to the door, I saw that the line was really long. I had to get my game face on, which basically means, if you think I'm going to listen to you complain about the long lines, you're clearly mistaken and should just talk to the wall instead. The walker lady was in front of me, but she mumbled something to the lady in front of her and walkered herself out of line.

The lady turned to me and cautiously said, "Did you hear her? I'm holding her place in line." I guess my game face scared her.

"Oh, no worries. It's okay." What was I going to do? Walker her away when she came back?

The walker lady walkered herself as close as she could get to the side register, and said, "I'm handicapped! I want to be helped next!"

While she was saying that, a lady got behind me with her 3-year old kid. He was attacking anything and everything near him. Instead of making him stop, the mother just mumbled, "no, stop," and kept her place in line. The kid ran off and the next thing I heard was the emergency door alarm going off way on the other side of the post office.

I turned around and looked to see the kid standing there, kinda holding onto the door. The mom started quietly yelling at him, and so he ran to her. Then I heard a loud smack.

Since I turned to face the front again, I got to see the walker lady walkering herself back to the side register. I never got a good look at her face until this point, and I'll tell you, the walker lady was trying to make up for whatever physical ailment she had by plastering on inches of make-up on her face. Blush, lipstick, eye shadow, eye liner.... it was truly frightening. She got helped next at the side register, and when she turned to leave, all of us in line had to move out of the way so she could violently shove her walker through the lobby area.

I moved back in line, and that's when I got felt up by the 3-year old. The kid was banging into me (the mom had him standing in front of her so she could keep her hands on him). The first time I turned around and gave him and her a dirty, "you better keep your kid away from me" look, to which she responded with the "oh, you know kids, I have no control over him, and isn't he so cute?" smile. He banged into me again; I turned around and gave her another look; she ignored me. It happened again, same thing -- ignored. So when I felt a small hand going up my butt crack, well, I had to put an end to this nonsense.

I turned around and vomited, "Would you please keep your kid from touching me????!!!!"

She backed up 2 feet, knocked into the people behind her, had to apologize to them, and then stood off to the side, away from me. Now, she didn't back up 2 feet because I scared her or anything, I think it was more that she was trying to make a point that if I asked her to keep her kid's paws out of my butt crack, then, yes, she will back-up as far away from me as she could. But, being in her own "my kid is out of control, I'm really to blame, but I'm not going to do a thing about it" world, she forgot she was in a long line of people. So be it. I got my point across.

That was when I finally took some time to look around. I saw a poster advertising the new stamps at the new rate for 2006. Oh yes, I thought. That's right, the rate is going up. When is that, I wonder?

Duh. How about the next day? Which accounted for all the people making the local post office a miserable place to be. I just didn't know that it was rate changing time. I knew it was coming, but since I stopped worrying about things so much, these things that don't really require worrying don't stick in my head too much. Well, at least I can get some 39 cent stamps.

When I finally got to the register, the lady (who knows me and therefore doesn't make a big stink about the thickness of my packages when I want delivery confirmation, thank you very much and damn you Ken!) asked me how long I had to wait. Before I could answer, she asked me if it was the longest I ever had to wait at the post office. I told her I think it was, but I saw the parking lot and knew what I was getting myself into. She said she didn't want to see how long the line was.

I didn't blame her. All for stamps! Buy stamps in the mail, people!

Yesterday I had to go in to mail something to an APO address (which means you need a customs form -- just an FYI) and to pick up something that was sent to me registered mail. The line was sorta long, longer than I expected, but it was moving pretty quick. When I was up front, I got to hear the postal clerks repeatedly tell people (sometimes the same people about 10 times), that they were out of 1 cent and 2 cent stamps, and that they expected more after 2pm. There was a lovely sign posted on the counter saying as such.

When the man behind me (who was riding my butt like no body's business; I don't know what it is about about the post office, but all conceptions of personal space are left out the door) heard the clerks and/or read the sign, he started mumbling into my hair how he couldn't believe that they ran out of stamps already, and oh my god, and this is dumb, and they're dumb, and vomit, vomit, vomit.

I don't know if he expected to me commiserate with him, but he wasn't going to get any sympathy from me. Even though I didn't realize what was going on on Saturday, I got my stamps. And even if I didn't, I would have just ordered some. Plan ahead, people! And guess what? It's people like him that buy all the stamps which then makes the Post Office run out. It's not their fault. Long lines aren't their fault either. Long lines are a result of idiot people who don't come to the post office prepared or have stupid questions or cut the line to ask a question that they know will require more than 2 seconds to answer.

So, in other words, I ignored him. I was chatting with the clerk while the man behind me was being rung up at the adjacent counter, and he had to give a speech about how it wasn't worth his time to come back for the 1 or 2 cent stamps, and he'd just buy the 3 cent stamps and lose the money! So there! Like the clerk cares. Then he did the one thing I hate the most about people who are regulars at stores or restaurants, when they get someone helping them that they don't know, they have to ask about every single other clerk who works there to show that they are special. He proceeded to ask how blahblah was, and where blahblah was right now, and then to top it off, he told to the clerk helping him to tell one of the other ones something, which I didn't catch, but I can guaranty you it wasn't anything wonderful, and then he left with his regal horns blaring.

Now, I know the post office people. They know me. But I don't walk in there acting like I'm special. And since I do know them, I know it's not their fault that they ran out of stamps. So who did this man think he was?

So that ends my tales from the post office. On a good note, I left that day knowing the clerk thinks my husband is quiet and nice. Little does she know.....

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