I was in the post office yesterday, a place that always seems to get my blood pressure rising. When I merely walk in the door of one of these federal buildings, I brace myself for the (pick one):
-Lack of employees
-Employees not moving fast enough despite seeing that there is a looooong line of people
-Customers who take too long picking out a sheet of stamps. Honestly, you aren’t mailing the Declaration of Independence. It’s a bill for the sweater you paid too much for.
-The insane stream of questions we are now asked when mailing a package. No, I’m not mailing batteries, fluids or hazardous materials. It’s a container of cookies and since I do believe that I am a good baker, it cannot be classified as “hazardous”.
-And no, I do not need it insured, tracked, delivered by carrier pigeon or tracked some more
-It costs what?!?!
See? I know you feel my pain. Standing in line, along with the souls who all have the same blank/bored/irritated look on their faces, I know we are all thinking the same thing: “Get me out of here.”
Yesterday morning, I was standing in that line yet again. It is only in those moments when I thank the heavens above for my iPhone, because there is precisely nothing of interest to look at in a post office. There were maybe 5 people in front of me and, of course, we all had to be somewhere 5 minutes ago. Well, the bloke at the counter (the customer) was taking his sweet time. “What are those stamps?….oooo, could I see those? What if I insure this? How much does that cost?” And on. And on. And on.
*130/90 and rising*
I noticed that the folks in line ahead of me were starting to get twitchy, as restless souls will do. They bob from foot-to-foot, look at their watches, scan their phones for the zillionth time (hoping for a new email…Puh-lease throw me a bone!) and look around as if Spider Man was going to swoop in and open windows 2, 3 and 4 if they wished hard enough.
Oh, and did I mention that only one little ol’ mail window was open?
So, slowpoke-bloke was still taking his time and finally, man #3 in line had had enough. He shuffles over to the window where slowpoke is, pokes his head near him and asks the mailperson if another window will be opening soon. He had our support for asking, thank goodness someone did.
Mailperson said he was the only one here at the moment (of course) but slowpoke-bloke apparently did not dig having his supposed personal space violated at 9am in the morning. He whips around and starts laying into man #3. “Excuuuuuuse me! Do NOT stand so close to me again. Do NOT do that.”.
Man #3 just stares. What?
Slowpoke-bloke keeps going…”Why are you giving me that death stare? Are you some kind of tough guy? What? Are you trying to pick a fight with me?? Huh? Huh? Huh?”
*Hello, Smartphone and Facebook. This is April. All I want to do is mail 4 stinkin’ things and somehow, I’ve become trapped in the wild, wild West. Please, please, please open windows 2, 3 and 4 and GET. ME. OUT. OF. HERE*
So, this highly intelligent discourse continued for what was far-too-long, with everyone in the line, myself included, hoping and praying that he wasn’t going to go…pardon the pun…postal…and come unglued more than he already was. It was ridiculous. Like some bad reality tv show set up shop in our post office.
When all slowpoke-bloke had to do was to politely say…”Excuse me, could you move over a little bit?”
What is up with the extremism these days and the absolute lack of manners? Man #3 did not violate his space in any horrible way, we all saw that, and this guy just flew off the handle and took it to the nth and most-personal degree. The best part was when he was looking around at all of us line-standers and tried to get us to agree with him…”You saw him, right? What’s wroooonnng with that guy??”.
Good lord. I just want a stamp.
Hello, manners and politeness…here’s hoping you can find a seat at the table one of these days. The crazies are edging you out.