Friday, October 9, 2015

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Post Office



I was standing in line at the post office.  In case you have ever ordered Daredevils merchandise and wondered why it was so late in getting to you, it is because I am the one that has to go to the post office and mail it.  The “shipping department” is me cobbling together a box in the driver’s seat of my car.  It’s a very high end enterprise that allows me plenty of time to observe humanity at the post office.  Generally, the more time I spend observing human beings, I become more and more amazed that society functions at all.  The most basic tasks are an immense challenge to most of the population.  Can you imagine that the same society that created the computing power in a smart phone also contains people that cannot get a box from point A to point B even with an almost fail proof postal system in place?

The problem appears to be that most people, especially in lower class areas, have no idea how the post office is set up to work.  They step up to the counter with no real plan of any kind.  They just haven't thought this thing out.  A shoddy box or envelope is incorrectly addressed in their hands as they struggle through the basic inquiries of the postal clerk.  How do you want to send this?  First class?  Overnight?  “Ughhhhh…. Ughhhh…. I don’t know… I… I….I?”  I saw a guy once try to mail a box with only “Jim Smith… Houston” written on it.  He had no idea that he needed to have an actual street address much less a zip code.  How could someone reach the age of 40 in the United States and not know what a zip code is, or that the letter carrier might not instinctively know where “Jim” lived in Houston?  "Hey, is that a box for Jim?  Yeah, I think he lives behind that convenience store on Maple.  I'll buzz it over there."

There is no place in America more filled with time burglars than the post office (except arguably the airport).  Here's a quick piece of advice I have earned the hard way.  At all costs, do not get in line behind an elderly woman.  If I am buying stamps, it will take me roughly 25 seconds.  I do not care what art work is on the stamp.  You've got flags?  Fine.  Oh, Charro is on a stamp now?  That's fine.  As long as it works, I am on board.  Elderly women will go through every possible variation of stamps available to them with remarks to the clerk of “Oh!  That one is pretty!” while the line lengthens filled with people like me that just want the wait to end.  Two weeks ago I was standing in line for 17 minutes while a woman mailed a letter and debated with her friend if she should get the Paul Newman stamps or not.  (In the end, she risked it all and got them.)

I also have a complaint about the ambiance in the post office as a whole.  The music played in the post office is always horrible.  I don’t expect some sort of indie rock dance party when I go to the post office, but for example, the downtown Cleveland post office plays exclusively “smooth jazz”.  This is also known as “shitty jazz” to people that like Miles Davis or John Coltrane.  Whenever I hear “smooth jazz” I think Billy Dee Williams is about to glide out of the back room and seduce the heavy bottomed woman in line in front of me.  Look, I just want to mail somebody a “Nashville Surprise” CD.  I don’t want to see Billy Dee Williams “getting it on”.  

It’s not better in the suburbs either.  Today I heard Autograph’s “Turn Up The Radio” while in line.  I had never noticed prior to today there is an awful keyboard part in that song.  I imagine that somewhere even now when that song comes on at Applebee’s a solitary man at the bar will lean in to a pair of women conversing over their Jack Daniels deep fried pork bites.  “Excuse me ladies… You hear that song?  I played on that…”  He will then sit back in his stool expecting to bathe in praise and wonder.  “No, no… I’m not singing… That’s me there!  Hear it?  That keyboard part!  Wahhhhhh!!!!  Hear it?”  The women will go “ohhh” in a dismissive manner and resume their lives.  The man then hitches himself up at his stool and quickly finishes his Miller Lite tall draft when he realizes that this didn't turn out like he'd planned.  He makes a hasty exit and rides off in his Fiero trailing a mist of disappointment and scorn.

I know there are all sorts of new fangled high tech shipping options out there.  I'm sure I can probably set something up online where an elf comes to my house, picks up the boxes and leaves after giving me a foot rub.  For me to even start the initial foray into setting that up seems too daunting. I'm continuing my evolution into my father, must as he must have evolved into his.  I am leery of technology, sure that if I click the wrong button online I will fall victim to some sort of identity theft scam.  Just by looking into more affordable and convenient shipping I will probably have all my worldly possessions stolen by online goons.  Russian gangsters will show up at my house waving official looking documents.  "You Greg?  We take house now.  It ours.  We make party with dogs.  Bye bye.  Have a nice."  I will be left in my "golden years" rowing some sort of slave ship like an extra from "Ben Hur".  With luck I will work my way up the ladder and empty out the "slop buckets" for a few extra sheckles that I can spend in port on medicine for my sores.

To those of you waiting on Whiskey Daredevils merchandise, please be patient.  It's coming.  Eventually.  I just have to get back to the post office.

3 Comments:

At October 10, 2015 at 7:03:00 PM EDT , Blogger Robert Barrett said...

I got my "Nashville Surprise" in a timely fashion, for that I thank you. This was my first mail order experience since the Estrus heyday.

 
At October 13, 2015 at 8:19:00 AM EDT , Blogger dirk said...

Greg,

You might want to check out USPS.com

You can print and ship packages: https://reg.usps.com/entreg/LoginAction_input?app=GSS&appURL=https://cns.usps.com/labelInformation.shtml

and have them picked up by your Letter Carrier: https://tools.usps.com/go/ScheduleAPickupAction!input.action

and even get free shipping boxes delivered to you for Priority Mail Shipments (Check out the DVD Box for shipping CDs): https://store.usps.com/store/browse/subcategory.jsp?categoryId=free-shipping-supplies&categoryNavIds=shipping-supplies%3Afree-shipping-supplies

You can order the boxes, have them shipped to your house, print the labels and have the shipments picked up, all for free (except the postage, we gota make money somehow)without ever having to go to the Post Office.
No more old ladies or bad music.

Easy

Your Frendly Local Postal Worker

 
At October 13, 2015 at 10:47:00 AM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Oh, I know there is an easier way. I am just slow to embrace it and am paralyzed by new technology.

 

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