Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Going Postal

Due to my home-based business, and the fact that the majority of my customers live out of state, I am a frequent flyer at the local post office. I am old-fashioned in that I generally go to the actual post office; I've found that some places have a postage surcharge, making it more expensive than the good ole USPS. One of my favorite features that the postal service offers is the self-service kiosk (also, the flat-rate priority boxes and the ability to pay for postage online and schedule a pick-up from your home).

When I have to take H with me on my weekly treks, I often feel reminiscent of my days of raising (and containing) hogs . The last time was during Christmas, and I literally had H clenched between my knees while the woman at the counter was having me tape Priority tape to close the package (the infamous quilt that I made for my parents and shoved into the box), all the while H was sqealing with delight and charming the customers behind us in line. Seriously, a trip to the post office should not be a cardio workout. Thus, my enthusiasm for the self-serve kiosk...I can go at any hour of the day and leave H at home with J.

During my most recent visit, I got to the branch while it was still open, so decided to go the old-fashioned route and have the employee assist me. To say he was less than enthusiastic about being there is being generous. Because I was raised in a small town where cheery chat can defuse any situation, I commented on how much I like the post office, and that the kiosks have been a wonderful addition.

Well, suffice it to say, that was not the thing to say. The Disgruntled Postal Worker (DPW) kind of snuffed and stated, "Yeah, but weah losin' people cuz of it." Me (still not getting the gist): "You mean customers aren't coming here because of them?" DPW: "No. Joabs." Me (tittering nervously) "Oh, that's too bad." Then the DPW goes on to talk about how everyone is in a hurry these days, in fact "too much if you ask me." He continues to talk about how the grocery stores are even taking business, commenting that if teenagers can't get jobs at grocery stores, where can they get them...I wasn't sure where DPW was going with his argument, since he had just contradicted himself without seeming to realize it, so I just nodded sympathetically, secretly wishing I'd not had so many packages that day. Seriously, his sentences weren't even complete; I had flashbacks to the old Chris Farley sketches on SNL when he would just sputter out a string of non sequitors.

When DPW mentioned people being in too big a hurry, I joked that Massachusetts does have the highest accident rate in the nation, (a fun fact provided by my insurance company) and DPW scoffed "Not really." So I said, "Uh, yeah, really." Anywhooo...I decided to just cut my losses and stood there quietly while he finished.

Maybe the reason that people service themselves may have something to do with the fact that the kiosk provides better dialogue than the actual live bodies behind the counter a lot of the time.

1 comment:

Alex Elliot said...

Now I'm curious which one you were at. The one in the center of town is my least favorite. That's the one where OS always looses it and on one occasion even began liking the floor.