Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An afternoon rendez-vous a la poste

I hate the post office.

I have nothing against the United States Postal Service, but the post office where I live is just plain awful. I will avoid going there unless I absolutely have to.

Today was one of those absolutely have to days.

After work I drove in the cramped parking lot to find all of the spaces taken. You have to drive down a small hill to get into the lot, and if you wait for someone to back out to get a space (which happens a lot), then you're risking getting rear-ended because people tend to coast down that hill.

So I found a parking space after someone takes his/her sweet time backing out. I pull in. The clock on the dash says 4:17.

I enter. I walked over to the counter to address my large envelope. I was mailing my W-2 forms to Papa Cat, who then would forward them to his accountant in White Plains, who has been doing all of our taxes for the past 30-something years. Mama and Papa Cat may live two-plus hours away from White Plains now, but they respect this guy so much that they still have him do their taxes. (Why I can't mail my W-2s directly to the accountant, no comprendo porque.)

So I addressed the envelope, inserted its contents, sealed it, and assumed my place in line. There were four people in line when I arrive, and as is wont to happen whenever I make a trip to la poste, the line quadruples in length whenever I get on. There's always some elderly person arguing with the employee over God knows what, and that holds up the line tremendously. Today, there was a woman who didn't speak English, only Spanish, and her daughter was there, translating for her. That transaction took a while.

Fortunately the line was fully staffed. I can't say that always happens; usually there's only one person handling the post-work crowd.

As I get closer to getting my services taken care of, a young couple knocks on the door that led to the room where people have their passport photos taken. They keep knocking, and knocking, and knocking.

It was 4:35. The sign hanging on the door of the passport office clearly states that it closes at 4:30.

You mean you couldn't read the damn sign?!?!

It's moments like those where I seriously question Darwin's theory of evolution.

So I finally get to the counter. The employee weighs my envelope and charges me $1.17. I know I could have used stamps for this, but because I do almost everything online now, I rarely need them. If I do need to purchase stamps, I either go to the A and Piss Off or to CVS. It saves me time, and I get to avoid the monstrosity that I was experiencing.

I gave the guy a five. He then informed me that he didn't have any singles. So we waited for his supervisor to finish with his transaction with another customer.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, he asked me if I wanted my change in quarters. This would have been a perfect option if I had to use a laundromat, but I have my own washer/dryer, merci beaucoup.

But I really wanted to get outta there.

I took the quarters.

I got back in the car and started the engine.


Nearly half an hour to get a task done that really should have taken five minutes or less.

The one time I didn't wait in line at the post office was the day I mailed my Christmas cards last year. The entire city was digging out of a snowstorm that occurred the day before, so no one was out. It took me twenty minutes to actually get there, and less than five minutes to get my cards stamped and mailed.

Then again, when you total the amount of time it took me to run that particular errand, it was the same amount of time that I normally would spend at the post office on a regular day.

Go figure.


Coffee Slut said...

Sounds like my local post office! I've been using one on my way home from work, in a tiny town ....there's never a line and the postal workers are so nice!

Hope you're having a great week!

Chessa! said...

don't even talk to me about the post office. it's horrible. luckily the one near me is not so bad but I'm always somehow shocked when the people are nice to me. how sad is that?

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, scenes like that make me wanna rip my hair out!

Anonymous said...

Love your random theory of evolution thought! Lol!

Vickie said...

I feel very fortunate. My post office is good. The people are nice. Though, the parking does suck sometimes. I think that is how they are designed:)

Vickie said...

Oh, BTW, I like the new blog design. It reminds me of a scrapbook page:)

Jenners said...

You can print your own postage online and just tape it on you know! I do it all the time because of all the reasons you just described!

drollgirl said...

d'oh!!!!!! i rarely have a good time at the post office. hope you don't have to go back to yours for a LONG time!

Kitten said...

It looks like a lot of us have had similar experiences at the post office!

Yaya: There are many days when I question Darwin's theory. I should start a series on that: "Questioning Darwin's Theory..."

Vickie: Glad you like the new layout! It's from It's one I'm gonna keep for a while. I don't think I'm gonna get sick of it!

Jenners: One of the reasons I went to the post office was to get my mailing weighed. I wasn't sure how many stamps I would have needed, so I got it weighed just to make sure that I needed more than one.

Drollgirl: I don't plan on returning anytime soon!