Dear People At The Post Office…

I had the pleasure of spending 40 minutes at the post office this past weekend.  I was picking up a certified package so I figured I’d mail out my cookie swap goodies at the same time.  Solid plan.  Until I got there.  Not so solid after the fact.

The line was 12 people deep.  At 9:40am.  The reason why was obvious.  Only one clerk behind the counter.  As much as I would like to slip a note in the nonexistent suggestion box at USPS, sadly they were hiding it behind the counter with the lone clerk this day.

But what I’ve never understood is how the people who are loud, the ones who complain for all to hear, always end up standing next to each other in line.  Is it a coincidence?  Is it fate?  Or does one person just become loud because the person next them is jawing away?  It’s a mystery of the world.  It’s unexplainable.

I stand there and wait my turn – the one clerk is doing her best and still being friendly, there’s no reason to huff and puff.  It could have been that it was too early in the morning for me to fully function.  But two people behind me are just yapping… going on and on about having to wait… and blah blah blah.  You see, the loud people in the line ended up next to each other.  Mysterious.

The other mystery is that these folks don’t seem to realize they’re loud complaints do nothing.  If anything, it just irritates.  And they may think they’re speaking for everyone in the room but I’d be willing to bet that 90% of them just wanted them to stop talking.  If they had a suggestion box, this is what I’d write on my slip of paper.

“I thought if I got here early, I wouldn’t have to wait this long.”

Me too.  Now do me a favor and quit breathing on me – your breath smells like an ashtray.

“I should just go to UPS – they’re faster and cheaper.”

Dear mister with the fu manchu, you are quite right.  UPS is faster.  Cheaper is debatable as many consider the pricing to almost equal.  But do us all a favor and go to UPS.  Then you can make someone’s day by offering them job security and possibly hold a conversation with someone who cares.

“Why is there only one person working?  [to the clerk]  Miss, could you page someone to help you?”

Lady in blue, this is a government building meaning that they have government time lines and employees and follow rigid government policies.  And it’s Saturday.  And they keep bitching about losing money and raising stamp prices, so I’m not surprised to see one person working the front lines.  But please keep offering your management advice out loud; I’m sure USPS will get the message.

“I don’t understand why more people don’t use the Internet to ship.”

Excuse me… I couldn’t help but overhear your 100 decibel voice contemplating why we don’t use the interwebs to ship our packages when I should be asking you the same thing.  You have what (1…2…3…4…) eight packages that your juggling as we shuffle down the way.  Sir, why don’t you use the Internet to ship?

“Did she say Israel?  Who sends mail to Israel?  We are going to be here even longer.”

Uh… Woman, I don’t know you from a bag lady, but please… for the love of Pete… shut up.  Your breath… did you make out with your box of cigarettes right before you came inside the building?  Ugh.

“I only have four minutes… four minutes is all I have or I’m going to be late for work… I can’t believe I’m going to be late for work…”

Dude.  I don’t care.  I’m not letting you in front of me.  And I can totally believe that you’re going to be late to work.  You’re shipping eight packages 30 minutes before you’re supposed to clock in.  Smart move, chief.  Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.

To learn more about Brooke and see her recent work, visit her new site at brookemurphyphoto.com. Follow Brooke on Facebook or Twitter.

November 24, 2010 - 9:19 am

Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon - Oh Boo, the joy of the holiday shipping season is upon us. As a recipient of one of your care packages, I thank you mightily for enduring the drama of the USPS. PS, at least you didn’t have someone shipping live chickens http://blurts.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/mailing-a-chicken-expensive-but-worth-it/ Imagine the crazy that would cause.

November 24, 2010 - 9:38 am

katie o. - I second Wendi’s comment. I got your sweet package in the mail and I seriously was grinning from ear to ear. You are so thoughtful!!!
So sorry you had to deal with the madness at the USPS. What a nightmare!

November 24, 2010 - 9:53 am

Becki D - Ugh, I’m sorry you had to deal with all of that…but dude, I am SO GLAD YOU DID! Your package totally made my last night AND my today! Thank youuuuuuu!!!

November 24, 2010 - 10:01 am

Brooke - Foodies unite with chocolate covered balls!

November 24, 2010 - 10:25 am

bro - The wife prints nearly all labels at home first and then we just walk in and drop off the packages. We used to wait in line but now we just walk in, pass the folks in line, set it on the counter, and walk out.

They really need a drop off counter. The kids hate the looks they get sometimes.

November 24, 2010 - 11:02 am

Melanie - Once you got to the counter you should have loudly told the lady what a great job she was doing on this busy morning, thanked her for being so friendly, told her to ignore the loud rude people behind you, and told her to have a wonderful day! I think I may have turned around and told smokey that I was glad they were going to be late for work….I have found myself to be a bit more fiesty now that I am preggers :) Not to mention I hate rude people…

November 24, 2010 - 12:17 pm

Tom B. Taker - What a tale! I liked this very much. It’s nice to hear your internal thought processes.

November 24, 2010 - 4:49 pm

denise:) - I think the nice, quiet people of the world should all take a stand and unite when these situations arise. We could all clear our throats simultaneously and say quietly, with a smile, “pardon us, but would you kindly STFU! Thank you.” and turn back to our patient and expected/therefore prepared for, wait in a holiday line. It could be a “Manners Mob”, you know… like a Flash Mob, only Politeness instead of Dancing…

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 24, 2010 - 5:10 pm

omawarisan - Good point, I think those people really do think they are speaking for everyone. I usually end up apologizing for them.

November 29, 2010 - 12:22 pm

Denise - When people act like that I have a tendency to same something to them and then be extra nice to the poor chick checking everyone out. My kids hate when stuff like that happens so lately, I’ve only be doing the nice bit.

December 2, 2010 - 7:30 am

J. Smith - Those of us who are bold probably would have suggested the loud ppl use the automatic postal center machine located 200 feet from the counter. Then when it was my turn I would have apologized to my fellow whipping boy federal employee. It ain’t easy serving the public fo sho.

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