Hey! Guess what your tax dollars are being used for now! Nope. That's not it. Your tax dollars are being used to make USPS workers even MORE inefficient! It's true. I was there just today, and I can vouch for this new development.
All I wanted to do was send a package to my #1 son. Not even a real package. A thick manilla envelope with 28 two-sided pages of his rental contents insurance policy, a three-page letter from the Office of Higher Education concerning his Bright Flight scholarship amount, six dollars for Chinese food on Friday, three doses of hope in the form of scratch-off tickets, a check for his September rent and expenses, a receipt for money I withdrew from his college savings, and an itemized list of where the money has gone since June 30. That's all. FYI, it cost $1.88, I think.
So here's how it went. I got there right after they opened. Not the dead-mouse-smelling post office, but the main hub. Four people were ahead of me. At first, I though two windows were open. Wrong. Two guys were standing off to the side, scribbling on paperwork. The lady at the counter being served seemed to have a major malfunction.
I would fill you in on that malfunction, but I couldn't concentrate because one of the scribblers stepped over IN FRONT OF the lady ahead of me. So Scribbler turned to chat, in the manner a line-cutter
tries to get away with their impropriety without being tarred and
feathered and stoned and run out of town on a rail. He was killing her
with kindness so she didn't kill him. And she let him live. "Oh, that's okay. Go ahead. I'm in no hurry. I've been to a yard sale, and I'm headed for more."
Well, I WAS in a hurry, because my sister the ex-mayor's wife was at that very moment barreling towards Mom's house, probably to run inside and rip me off by stuffing trinkets in her purse, thinking I would never know. Oh, wait. That's how SHE thinks of ME. Never mind.
The customer being served must have had something complicated to ship. She had to use that thingy like a debit card scanner, and declare nothing leaky or explody was in her shipment. The clerk was taking forever. But then miraculously, the transaction ended, right after Clerk asked, "Do you want to rent a post office box today?"
Scribbler jumped up. He wanted to mail a note to a friend. That's what he said. He didn't need an envelope. It was all ready. Just a stamp. Forty-nine cents. But he, too, had to declare nothing leaky or explody. He, too, was offered a post office box.
Yardy was next. Sending a small package. A box more diminutive than one in which Twinkies are sold. Well. That befuddled and discombobulated Clerk. She called in a cart-pusher from the back. They discussed it. Told Yardy that nothing was amiss, but that it would cost $18 and change to mail it. She balked. "It's not worth that."
"Well, we have just gotten a new computer system, and it won't let us change anything. Your package does not fit any of the standard sizes. There's no way to figure out what it costs." But apparently, they did. By hook or by crook. Because Yardy pushed those buttons to declare nothing leaky or explody. And she handed over a twenty, and got change back. She did not desire to rent a post office box.
Just as it was my turn, Scribbler Too, feinted like he was jumping my claim. No sirree, Bob! I guess my stinkeye made him reconsider. But the cart-pusher stepped over to open up a window just for him, while I was stuck with No-Know. Did you know that you must declare nothing leaky and nothing explody for a manilla envelope? You do. And it takes five minutes for that manilla envelope to lay on the scale before a price comes up to mail it. I did not even see No-Know put that paid postage sticker on my envelope. Nor toss it in the outgoing bin. She was, perhaps, too intent on inquiring as to whether I was keen on acquiring my very own post office box.
My needy son had better get his hope and necessities this week.