I think I figured out the place to go when I want to find impatient people. (I fully admit, I’m one of them when I’m there!) Ever visit the post office? Wow. This place is loaded. I don’t really understand why it is, but every time I go there I meet the cream of the crop of grouches.
It really confuses me, because when I sit down and think about it… the ends don’t match up. Let’s see:
Getting mail= Awesome, possibly the best part of the day
Writing letters= nice, and rejuvenating when you have the time to put into it
Mailing letters= fun, as long as the stamps are in stock in your wallet
Mailing letters from post office= aggravating, and just about every other word that’s synonymous with it.
Maybe it’s just New York? Or maybe it’s just me? Either way, every time I’m in there, I’m usually on a line and everyone on the line is rolling their eyes and dead pan staring down the postal workers like this task is the most burdensome thing they have ever had to do. Post office customers make getting a root canal look like a walk in the park.
What is it about the post office that makes everyone so darn edgy? Even I notice my demeanor change when I walk through that door. It’s usually a sigh followed by an evaluation of how many windows they have versus how many people on line there are, then the feet start to tap when you observe how they, as always, have one working window per every 10. And a line out the door down the street to the Sunoco.
"Um, hi? United States Postal Service? Yeah, in case you’ve been living under a rock the past 3 years..the country is facing this like economical thingy where people are out of jobs and I was just thinking……since I had so much time waiting on this lovely line you always have….that maybe, if you know, you needed some more postal people…..maybe you could hire another two or three? Just a thought….."
But seriously. Today I went to the post office, and there was no line. NO LINE! This was a gift from God. Especially since I had 42 manila envelopes that needed to be individually weighed and stamped. So with a smile blaring across my face, I skipped up to the one window open, greeted the postwoman and presented my mail to her.
As if my mere presence in the post office set off some kind of alarm, the door opened. It opened again, and again, and again. A line formed almost instantly. I brazenly turned around to assess the damage when the door opened again, and I saw the line reaching to the back of the building.
Quickly, I turned back to the postwoman and tried to mentally stop myself from sweating out of sheer shock, and rising anxiety.
"Hurry!!!" I started screaming inside, "They’re all going to kill me! They’ll bind and gag me with stamps, then ship me off to Bosnia if I don’t get out of here quick!"
The postwoman scanned envelope #5 silently, stamped it gingerly and set it in a bin. The door swung open again. It was like Chinese water torture.
With each scan, my heart skipped a beat, "Almost there! 18 more go!"
The door creaked loudly, and I could hear people tisking, feet shifting, packages crinkling, and my guilt was near critical mass. I could feel them throwing glances at the back of my head. This was payback for all those thousands of times I had stood in line and grumbled over the lady taking fourteen years just to mail a letter.
Finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I lunged my body forward further into the window, cutting off my peripheral vision completely. The postwoman looked up and I nervously explained to her in whispers, that the line was getting long, and I could feel the mutiny building.
"Nice office, by the way, " I added, to somehow ease the total weirdness of my actions. "Huh, American Flag. That’s great to see, you know you don’t see many of those anymore." (Instant insert foot into mouth…it’s a government office! Duh!)
Needless to say, a horrendous 19 minutes later, and I was released from one of the most humbling moments of my short life. I would just like to take this time to say to everyone who was standing on the line that I created, thank you. Thank you for not tripping me on my way out, casting me dirty looks (well I wouldn’t know, I sulked out of there with my head so low) or for calling me any names. I know you probably struggled with thinking about many of these things but thanks for holding back. You’ve all helped me realize how beneficial an at-home postage meter would be to my life. It is definitely a priority now. And you can bet your bottom dollar, I will wait on line happily the next time I am at the post office.