It has been an age old passion of people to complain about the US Postal Service. I worked for the USPS for nine and a half years back in the 80s and I’m proud to say I got the hell out of that dysfunctional organization before I took it seriously enough to bring a gun to work. If you’ve ever read Bukowski’s book “Post Office” all I can say it is not a work of fiction.
I did all sorts of jobs during my years there. I was a carrier, a clerk, a window clerk, a time keeper, a nixie clerk, a registry clerk and a 204B. Window clerking was fun. I was able to move lines along quickly because I could anticipate what people really wanted. When they brought a parcel to be mailed my first question was “Fast or Cheap?” That generally cut the wheat from the chaff.
I’ve been mailing some packages lately and though I bring my parcels nicely wrapped and clearly addressed with the proper priority stickers I still have to wait in a long line to be met usually by only one window clerk who feels obligated to give me and everyone in the long line before me a sales pitch. I understand being asked if what I am shipping contains liquid, perishable or hazardous material, but I don’t need to know about the other services like certification, return receipts or overnight delivery with prices quoted for each. I don’t need to know about insurance. I feel they will next start quoting me the names of their children and pets just to slow the line down further.
Yesterday I went in to mail Dalia her birthday present. Happy continued 35, Darlin! My package was neatly addressed and I had the customs form all filled out. I knew how I wanted this parcel to be handled, yet I still got the entire sales pitch and prices. The clerk read the customs forms and made me aware that the postage will cost more than the content. I under stood that when I walked in and I know a stamp costs more than an envelope and a sheet of paper a letter is written on. I had my money out ready to spend. I wanted to get the hell out of there and leave all the questions to the other people in line.
I specifically wanted to use the customs form I used because I wanted to mail the box Priority to Canada. I have experience with the Canadian Postal Service and I’m sure there will be delays up there, so I wanted to get it up there as soon as possible…on a flight not in the back of a right hand drive Jeep. I hope it makes it to Dalia before her 36th birthday. I really need to start using Fedex or UPS.
I’m sure the postal clerks are under the gun from their managers to do all this. Postal Managers are basically jerks with slogans. Back when I was there I heard some doozies, like when we were forbidden to ever use the phrase “Junk Mail.” We were to call it, “Business Bulk Mail” and we were required to smile when we said it. Rat bastards!