Going Postal

Earlier today, went to my local post office to mail a letter and buy some stamps. I spent about 45 minutes standing in line with a dozen other people.

There were two tellers working out front. One was a young chap who didn’t really count, as he was tied up the entire time with a couple who were apparently there to negotiate an international treaty. The other was an elderly lady who had no business being there; she was not particularly quick or attentive, and between every customer she shambled out of the room for a few seconds – presumably to summon help from the legion of Post Office workers who were banging away in the back. It was to no avail, as nobody joined her…

I am not upset at these two; they were good people, doing the best that they could under trying circumstances. I am, however, incensed that there was no available help when demand exceeded supply. I was not the only one. One of those in line muttered something about making reservations, another lamented that not bringing a sleeping bag. I remarked that this made Wal-Mart look good, and that if Kroger’s tried this in their stores they would be bankrupt in a week.

So why do Postmasters behave like this? Because they can. The Post Office is effectively a monopoly; they can get away with stuff because you have nowhere else to go.

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  • Wizard Prang  On June 5, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    Postscript: This was not a one-off. Some weeks later, after retuning from London, I went in to pick up my mail. It was about 8:15 in the morning.

    There was only one person on duty (plus another chap who kept walking back and forth, shaking his head and trying to look important)


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