The other day I had to go to the Post Office to mail a package. I made sure to avoid my neighborhood Post Office because it is like going to a zoo. There's always a long line, people in line are crabby, it's understaffed, and the workers move just as slow as they please. And why should they move faster? The Post Office pretty much has a monopoly on mailing things by parcel post. I
n order to keep my sanity, I went to the one in the basement of the John Hancock building. I feel like it's one of the city's best kept secrets; no one knows it's there. Plus, it's close to work. The line was really short: two people in line, two people at the counter. I figured I'd be in and out in five minutes. Think again. Try 25 minutes. The customer at the counter was mailing eight large boxes that he hadn't taken the time to tape up or address prior to going to the post office. The Postal worker didn't care. One by one, the man taped the boxes and addressed them. Each time the Postal worker had to grab him a piece of paper to write the address on. He had to look up addresses and mess with the packaging tape. While he was doing this, a line of ten deep had formed. I have to admit, for the first 30 seconds of this scene, I was mad, but I quickly got over it and found the entire thing hilarious. The people behind me failed to see the humor. While Mr. Unprepared taped up boxes, the other customer had about 15 little packages she had to mail. At this point, the woman behind me yelled, "Can't you have him step to the side and finish that? It's taking forever!"
She read my mind. I don't like to yell those things out, since I have sympathy for anyone working with the public. At work on a daily basis, I have customers telling me to do my job and I hate it.
The Postal worker said, "No, I can't. I've already got him in the system. I can't end it now." The women sighed and muttered, "I didn't know that not wrapping packages was an option. I am going to do that next time. " I am sure she will. I imagined her bringing in a huge shopping bag full of bubble wrap, gift wrap, tape, ribbon, and an extremely breakable gift. She would take up an hours worth of time and think nothing of the line. Sort of like Mr. Unprepared.
After the woman with 15 packages was done, an old women was buying three stamps and checking on a package she mailed in 1984 stepped up to the counter. The clerk was very patient with her and helped her the best she could. The line was not pleased. I, on the other hand, was laughing at how funny this situation was. It was better than watching a sitcom. Finally, it was my turn. I almost didn't want the fun to end. As I was leaving, I heard the Postal worker tell Mr. Unprepared that she was going on a break after she was done with him. How I wished I could've hung around to see the looks on the people's faces as she put up her close sign. I am sure a riot ensued. It would've been priceless.