Thursday, January 20, 2011

P Off

Included with my mail yesterday was a crumpled card, dated the day before, informing me that I had something at the post office that the mailman was unable to deliver and that I needed to pick up. Looking at the card I saw my local post office was open till 7:00pm. I had time, why not go?

But when I get to the post office, a sign in the window says they are only open until 5:30. The doors were locked but a guy on a bicycle by the front door explained that one of the managers would occasionally unlock the door and help people, "but I don't know if he'll help you."

When the manager came to the door, I showed him the card and asked if I could pick up my package.

"No, we're closed. You'll have to come back."

"You can't just get my package for me?"

"Well, I can tell you if it's here, but I can't give it to you. We're closed."

Showing him the card: "It says you're open until 7:00."

"Those are old cards. We close at 5:30 now."

"Um, are you going to get new cards?"

"We have them, but we're not allowed to use them until we use up all the old cards."

"Okay, can I have the package rerouted to another address?"

"No, you can't do that. But you can have the package redelivered to your apartment."

"But I'm not at my apartment when the mail comes. That's why I'm here now."

"Can you come before 5:00?"

"I'm not taking time off work to come pick up a package."

"Saturday? We're open Saturday. Can you come then?"

I don't know what the package is, but whatever it is, it better be pretty spectacular.


Mom said...

It is sometime later that I am reading this...what was in the package? And doesn't this make you (a general "you") understand why the US Postal System is in such trouble?


I find myself on the fence about my feelings about the post office. On the one hand, it is pretty amazing that we can spend a relatively little amount of money to send something anywhere in the country in a remarkably fast amount of time.

I also understand why postal employees get aggravated...I mail a lot of packages and every single time I go to the post office, I see people who somehow are completely incapable of packing and properly preparing a package for shipment without having to return to the window again and again... it ain't rocket science.

But I've also seen the massive power trips that many postal employees are on, primarily by making customers wait for no reason other than they can.

It is a safe bet that at some point in our lifetime, the USPS as we know it will no longer exist... it's going to change radically. For better or worse remains to be seen.