I wrote this post in 2007, and to date, I get the most email requests to repost it, as well as searches on the blog for it. I’m at the office deep, deep into a pile of work, so here’s an oldie but goodie. Hope the newer members of the blog family enjoy, and for those that have read it once, I hope you still get a snicker.
All this nonsense over a box. A package. A simple mail transaction from one person to another, from Ohio to DC. Aggravation, irritation and frustration, all layered into a ridiculous 2 hours spent at my local Post Office.This all started last Christmas. Hubby bought me a new radio that could play MP3 cds and is compatible with Sirius satellite radio. As soon as I opened it, I loved it.About 2 weeks after having it installed, I lost the remote control to the unit.
Ugh! I know you’re thinking, no big deal girl, just hit the buttons on the radio face. Well, I would if it had all the same buttons as the remote. But some brainiac decided that they needed to make a remote the size of my thumb and put two very important buttons on it: Mute (ATT) and Source. I’ve been stuck in MP3 mode for months. No FM radio, no satellite, just MP3’s. But, ya girl is a bit on the lazy side sometimes, so I suffered without the remote for a few months until finally two weeks ago, I talked to my pusher man, Ebay, and bought another remote for $11.
And here begins the foolishness. The shipper informed me that the package was being sent United States Postal Service Priority Mail and that I should have it on April 20. I checked the mail on April 20 – no package. I emailed the seller, who sent me a tracking #. When I checked the package online, it indicated that the package was at my local Post Office. OH NO!! Instantly, I felt sick to my stomach, my head began to throb and a hot flush crept up my neck. Not my local Post Office at the intersection of Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue. Not the 10th rung of hell on earth. I couldn’t understand it – the package was small enough to fit in the mailbox. Why oh why was I being sent to the gas chamber?
A little info on my neighborhood: I live in DC, in a neighborhood that is starting to become gentrified, but it’s another 5-6 years coming. So, there are still abandoned buildings and drug dealers, mixed in with 400K homes and brand new condos. Get it?
So, I woke up early on 4/21 and headed down to the Post Office. This experience of picking up a package at the Benning Road Post Office may as well be a game of Roulette, or better yet, a game of Craps. As usual, the line is 20 people long and there is one person working. Freeze! Rewind that back TDJ. Did you say one person working, on a Saturday morning, at the Post Office? Yep, one person. And of all the reps it could be, you guessed it, the one with the McShittiest attitude. And ya’ll, I was just a little bit dead wrong. Why? Because I had a copy of my email from the seller, a printout from the Postal Service website saying that the package was there, but no pink package slip from my Postman. I know, I know. I brought fuel to the fire, but I didn’t have a choice folks. My lazy ass carrier has an aversion to leaving package slips.I listened to my hubby’s Ipod and let the time pass, as patiently as possible. I’ve got no choice but to wait. The P.O. is only open from 9-5pm on the weekdays, so that’s not an option. They only hold packages for 7 days, so if it arrived on 4/20, they would send that sucker back before I could get there again, on 4/28. Damn! I glanced at my watch and realized that I have been in line for over an hour. I tried my hardest to be on my best behavior.
Folks all around me were flipping out and showing their asses. One woman, bless her heart, lives on Southern Avenue in a new home and her mailbox has been stolen 3 times. Now get this – the carrier won’t leave the mail under the mat (as the customer has requested) and the Post Office claims they don’t have it. Huh? Her frustration bubbled over when she screamed, “Where the f*ck is my mail?” Not a fan of using foul language with customer service folks that don’t deserve it, but she deserved it. As Chris Rock says, “I’m not saying she was right, but I can understand.”
Ooh!! It was finally my turn. It had been 1 hour and 37 minutes. I approached the window, no, let me rephrase, bulletproof, frosted ghetto glass. WTH? Is this the Post Office or the carryout? Our convo went like this:
Me: Yes ma’am, I’m here to pick up a package.
Her: You got a slip?
Me: No ma’am, there was no slip in my box but –
Her: Ain’t no slip, ain’t no package. Next!
My eyes bucked, my neck rolled, my left hand flew to my fluffy hip and my right hand halted the old gentleman who was anxious to move up in line.
Me: I’m not done yet. I have a printout from your website that says the package is here. There was no slip, but here is the tracking number and my address. Could you please try to look for it?
Her: Look, I’m the only one here, so I can’t be going on no wild goose chases for some package that may or may not –
Me: Look yourself lady. I realize that you’re the only one here because I’ve been standing in this damn line for almost 2 hours. I’m next and I want my package. I’m not moving until I get it.
The folks in line behind me were cheering and laughing at the exchange, but I wasn’t yet removed enough from it to laugh, ya know? Ole girl took her sweet time and wasted 14 minutes of mine before she brought my package up. She placed it into ghetto plastic contraption #2 – the pressurized case. She opens the Lucite box from her side and slides your package in. But don’t touch your door, because it won’t open until her door is completely closed. Good thing too, because the thought of pulling her skinny tail through that box was quite appealing. But, I happen to know that crimes committed in federal buildings get you federal time and I don’t look good in khaki.
So, what did I learn from my experience? You can’t get back wasted time. My neighborhood is up and coming, but it’s not coming up as fast as I’d like it to. People need to really evaluate if they are cut out to serve the public. My experience tells me that a large majority of workers are NOT!
I’ve since changed my address with Paypal and with my credit union, so now all packages will come to my job. I thought about a P.O. Box, but I’ve have to deal with the same Post Office to set it up and at some point during the life of the box. And frankly, I’ve had enough of that place. So unless I find out that I’ve won the 50 million dollar Powerball and the only place to collect my money is at Benning and Minnesota, I won’t be back.