Fun at the USPS

Who knew government work could be so exciting?
Monday, November 07, 2005

What a fun adventure going to the post office can be. I had to go to a counter agent, since the self-service machine doesn’t sell international stamps, so I got in line and watched as the fun began.

There was a guy two people in front of me who had a dog with him. When he was approached by a postal worker who told him dogs weren’t allowed, he barked about how he had had this problem before, that the dog was a service dog and he had the service tag on it. Now, this was not a seeing-eye dog, and the man was not blind. On a close inspection I was able to make out a silver dollar-sized medallion on the dog’s leash that must have been the service tag. Other than that, there is no way anyone would know this was a service dog, especially since the man had no discernible handicap, other than a bad attitude. After the postal worker went away, the man turned to the man in line behind him to tell him a joke: “You know how they slowed down the speed of light? They shot the beam through a post office.” Argh, great joke, man. Finally the guy was called up to the counter and was reminded by that postal worker that the dog was not allowed in the post office. He remarked that it is, because it is a service dog. The woman behind me snickered, having heard the previous banter about the dog. “Service for bad jokes, as far as I can tell,” I said.

And then it was my turn to step up to the counter. I had three things to mail: two small packages and a letter to Canada. The postal worker who helped me was incredibly pushy about upselling me on delivery confirmation, express mail and whatnot. He even tried to sell me some pre-paid phone and stamp card that I had never seen before and wouldn’t even know what to do with. All I wanted to do was mail three things, but it was like dealing with a used car salesman. Maybe I should have told him the guy’s joke about the light beam.