Monday, May 25, 2009

Even If You Are Wearing Nice Jewelry, You Have to Wait to Mail Stuff

What is it about post office and post office type places that bring out the worst in people… including me?

Scene:
I come in to the UPS store on High Ridge (with baby sleeping in stroller) after an old lady and before a middle aged man.
UPS Man is helping two ladies who have some complex things they need notarized. A couple more people come in; now 4 or 5 of us are waiting. As always in a post office-like place, tension is in the air; no one likes mailing stuff.

UPS Woman comes to counter: “Who’s next?”
I point: “The... lady in the vest.” (I didn’t want to say, “The old lady.”)
So, UPS Man and Woman are both busy helping people. I’m standing in between the UPS Man and Woman, feeling pretty good, knowing I’ll be next, knowing that the next guy in line knows that I’m next.
As the guy and I are waiting relatively patiently, an older-middle aged lady, dressed nicely and talking on her cell phone, comes in, glances at me, walks by me, and stands really close to the old lady.
OK…, I think to myself. Maybe she knows the old lady, and that is why she is so close to the UPS Woman.

Then I hear the UPS Woman: “I see it, ma’am, but I’m helping this lady, so you need to wait.”
The nicely dressed lady is pushing her envelope across the counter toward the UPS Woman: “But it’s just a drop off.”
“I can see that, but I’m helping this lady, and anyway, you’re talking on your cell phone.”
Me, chiming in bitchily: “Plus, I’M next.”
UPS lady: “And that lady was here first, and she also has a dropoff.”
(I didn’t even know I had a dropoff, and I wondered if the UPS Woman was just saying that to have one more reason not to help the lady decked out in all the tasteful gold jewelry- no, I’m serious, it was tasteful.)

The UPS Woman finished up with the old lady, then processed me super fast while the lady with the gold jewelry stood there (probably ready to try to cut in front of the guy who was waiting after me).

This unnecessarily tense encounter me reminded me of a time at the Riverside (Greenwich) post office, where a guy was a total jerk to the clerk, and I yelled at him when he turned around to try to get one of us to agree with him. I shouted something like, “We're all waiting too, but you’re the only one acting like a big baby.”

I think people procrastinate the distasteful task of mailing something (God forbid you have to TAPE up a box, because I don’t think all post offices have thick tape you can use), then when they finally go to mail it, they go on their lunch break when they have no time. Inevitably, someone freaks out.

You wouldn’t think mailing stuff is hard, but it kind of is, and it always seems like a customer tries to pull something crazy.

That reminds me: Last night I dreamed I found two guns in a women's bathroom. One was scary, but the other one was nice, so I fired it a couple of times in the bathroom, not really caring if I was scaring people.

8 comments:

Chris Preovolos said...

The only good thing about my office moving to Springbrook/Hopedale is that its super close to the Camp Ave. Post off office with the 24-hour mailing machine thingy.

The Atlantic Street Post office is hell on earth.

-CP

anne said...

Nice that you got some support from the UPS Woman, though. Usually when I'm waiting an eternity in the line at the post office, it's because the post office workers don't appear to care that there are several people waiting in line and pace themselves accordingly (i.e., with no sense of urgency whatsoever).

The 24-hour mailing machine thingy rocks the postal world.

Whitemist said...

Was one a paint ball gun? I could sure use it walking here in Stamford!

mistersquid said...

Very nice post, especially the dream follow up. Thanks, K.

Mama Ball said...

I had a similar kind of experience waiting to pick up photos at Costco -- a lady and her teenage daughter elbowed their way in front of me in line, announced they were in a rush and they had to get theirs NOW! They were both loud and irate when the clerk gestured toward me and calmly said, "I'm sorry, that lady was here first." I looked back at the clerk just as the tirade was going up a few decibels, and said with a smile "You know, life's too short to be a bitch about stuff like this. It's just not worth it. Those people can go first." The clerk smiled at all of us and went as slow as molasses in January. It was a thing of beauty. Afterward, the clerk said "You know, if that's the hardest thing that woman ever has to go through, then she got a nice life -- some people just don't appreciate bad times in your life and how they make you look different at things." I agree -- you can make an effort to make the world a better place a few words and kindnesses at a time, or you can be a wretched jackass.

babymagic said...

Hmmm...
Your dream is interesting. I think the two different guns symbolize choice. Basically, you have a choice of how you vent your frustrations. You chose to vent in a Yin manner as opposed to a Yang manner (i.e., this could mean you choose reason over violence). Did you have it the night of your UPS visit?
Shira

Carley said...

I loved this post!! Please do more of these commentary posts.

Julie said...

Have I mentioned lately how much I respect your chutzpah? I do. Very much.