Friday, May 9, 2008


I have been trying to calm down, but I don’t seem to be succeeding. Is the Post Office a government agency, a quasi government agency, or an anti government agency?

I go to the Post Office in New York City. It is a horror. The lines go on and on for the better part of an hour. They have something like 15 teller windows, but usually only a few are manned at a time.

Today was hot so they kept the ceiling fans off and the outdoor fans off I suppose in the hopes that some of the customers couldn’t take the heat and would go home.

After waiting twenty-five minutes the fire alarms started screeching and the manager – we will call him Mr. Blue Stuffed Suit – came running out from his four hour lunch break to tell everyone to run out of the building that this was not a drill. I never saw the postal people move that fast in my life.

Ten minutes later we were let back in. The fire alarms had sensed a melt down because it was so damn hot. Of course it was, the lines were long and the fans weren’t on. Body heat added to climate change and management incompetence had combined to produce a melt down condition. How fitting. How typical of the Postal bureaucracy.

This time I got near the front of the line because most customers gave up and went home, and because some of them were waiting behind a locked side door that never was reopened. Now there were 6 tellers working furiously and all the ceiling fans and the outside fans were working. Of course they were. Mr. Blue Stuffed Suit had been woken up from his nap and was marching up and done in the teller area looking very official.

The finale to my day was when I asked to buy 10 self stick stamps, and the clerk told me the price was going up on Monday to 42 cents from 41 cents – I guess this was a self anointed reward for screwing up how a Post Office should function because there was no notice and no signs. Was the post office – notice I no longer capitalize it - planning to keep this price increase for incompetence a secret so we wouldn’t get mad? I am already mad. Are you mad too? Write to your post office. It probably won’t help, but it might give some postal supervisor a big laugh.

This is just great. I had put 41 cent self addressed stamped envelopes in some letters I just sent out to 2 publishing agents on 2 different novels that I wrote so now I won’t get the rejection letters that usually come back in them. Maybe I am better off.

Maybe I am better off if I stop using the post office altogether. I’ll use Fed Ex and the Internet. They haven’t figured out yet that customer service is dead.

Maybe I’ll complain to my congressmen – notice I no longer capitalize him either. He and a lot of his fellow congressmen and women haven’ figured out yet that we are not voting for them any more.

We want real change, not the kind the special interests have been buying for themselves. We want the kind you can get only through the ballot box. Vote the bums out. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being sweet-talked and taken advantage of by both political parties.

I want services that work. I want to be treated decently. I want the government to be responsible to the people. I want things to function the way they are supposed to. I want someone to have my best interests at heart.

There, I feel better now that I’ve vented, what about you?


Anonymous said...

You are right! The Post Office is often a nightmare in any location, especially in the big cities (e.g., Chicago). said...

bad part about the post office is that it is privatized; when it actually was a gov't agency, it used to run a balanced budget (the only govt agency to do so!) and the increases were not as frequent as we have seen. does anyone still remember 10 cent stamps?