Even though this is my first day back from my trip to Massachusetts, I’m going to save my, “I’m back!” post for tomorrow because I’m pissed off right now. Earlier today I went to the Oakhurst Post Office in Monmouth County, New Jersey and the service that I received showed why the United States Postal Service is a failing enterprise.
First, the post office was packed. I don’t know why, but every time I go into the Oakhurst Post Office it’s jam-packed with people. On any other day, I would suggest that they are jam-packed because most of their employees are slow as slugs, but since I was in there today around lunch time I’m going to assume that a bunch of working professionals were in there getting their mailing done while they were on lunch break.
Right off the bat, if my assumption is correct, then it makes sense for the post office to have extra people working during this particular time of the day. Don’t tell me something stupid like, “Well, the people that work at the post office have to eat lunch, too.” Yeah, they do. But the post office is a service organization which means that when people need to be served, they need to be there to get the job done. In other words, eat your lunch before 11:30am or after 1:30pm.
Second, the post office had two tellers working. One was a woman who has helped me in the past and the other one was this mean, ornery old man who gives every person that works for the post office a bad name. I stood in line (with about 6 people in front of me) and eventually made my way up to the counter to be “served” by this old buffoon.
I had some packages to pick up, so he went and got them for me. I had a letter to send with a stamp already on it, so he put it in the “outbox” for the branch. I had two money orders to purchase and he helped me with getting those taken care of quickly. Then came the problems.
The money orders were for my landlord. I send them to him each month via certified mail with a return receipt. I always fill out the certified mail slip, return receipt form, and the envelope before I go into the post office and this time was no different. In fact, I usually get the money orders at Wal-Mart before I go to the post office because they’re cheaper there, but I wasn’t able to do that today.
The guy gave me the first money order and I began filling it out. As he handed me the first money order, the young woman working behind the counter left to go to lunch. I repeat – during the lunch hour when working professionals are trying to utilize the post office before they have to be back in the office, one of the two folks working the registers went to lunch. Amazing. And yes, the line kept growing and was now about 15 people deep.
Anyway, I’m filling out the first money order (oh, I only fill out my landlord’s name and the month of rent that the check represents – very quick and easy) at the desk and I complete it and put it in the envelope. The second money order comes along and I write the first letter of my landlord’s name and the nasty bastard behind the counter guys, “Can you do that over there?!” as he motioned toward the space in the back of the now-overcrowded office where folks usually prepared their items before stepping up to the counter. I said, “Well, I’ll be just ten seconds here – almost done.”
And the filthy prick responded, “Can you go over there? People are waiting!” And the idiot was right – there were more than a dozen folks waiting to get up to this counter including the guy behind me – a gentleman with about ten different large envelopes, each being sent certified and each with a return receipt (in other words, he was going to be there for a while). So I looked at the guy behind the counter and said, “Okay. I’ll be back in about ten seconds, though.”
Well, I was incorrect. I took out my cellphone and timed how long it would take me to finish writing my landlord’s name, the month and year, and stuff the envelope. It wasn’t ten seconds – it took me fifteen seconds. I guess I’m a little slow or something. After I was done with that I walked right back to the front of the line and waited for the guy with the large envelopes to finish his transaction.
And I waited.
And I waited.
About twelve minutes after I walked back up to the side of the front register, the man with the large envelopes left and I handed my prepared letter and forms to the bumbling fool behind the counter. He snatched it from my hand (and I mean snatched it; he didn’t take it from me, he grabbed it like he was pissed off). Now I was getting confused. What did I do wrong besides want the United States post office to value MY time?! In fact, I didn’t even want them to value a lot of my time. Not an hour, not a half an hour, not even a minute! No. I wanted them to honor less than a minute of my time – some 15 seconds of my time. This poor dunce behind the counter couldn’t manage that and I guess that made him mad. Hey, that’s what it’s like dealing with a dummy, right? They’re irrational.
He processed my letter and I paid before he literally threw the change at me and handed me the receipt. Then he stood there. I looked at him and said, “You’re welcome.” He looked at me and called out in a loud voice, “Next!”
And I was shocked.
If this was a few years ago and I still had some fire left in me for publicly humiliating idiots, I would have stood there and read him the riot act in front of that crowded room. Instead, though, I sort of shook my head in disgust at him and left. Again, in my younger days I would have come on this blog and said that I wanted to kick his ass or beat the shit out of him or something. I don’t want to do any of that for a few reasons. First, I’m older now and I don’t kick asses as well as I used to (though, as Toby Keith would say, I’m as good once as I ever was). Second, the man is clearly miserable. He’s got to be in his late 50’s or early 60’s and he works on his feet all day in a post office the size of my bedroom. If that was my accomplishment in life, I’d probably go postal, too (sorry, I had to do it). And third, I wouldn’t want to see this old d-bag encounter any physical harm. No. Instead, the worst thing that could possibly happen to him is, I think, for him to continue living with himself. And for good measure, I hope that he spends the rest of this month encountering people that are as miserable and discontented with life as he is – one good turn deserves another just as one miserable son of a bitch deserves another.
For the sake of that post office branch, I hope that creep retires and that someone from the regional or national arms of the post office reviews why the Oakhurst branch is so inefficient.