The Wait at the Post Office
I must really be getting over my jet lag because I just published a post and as soon as I hit the “publish” button I remembered that I forgot to tell everyone about our experience at the local post office yesterday. We went to our little branch to mail birthday cards to both my sister and mother in Germany, whose big day is on August and 22 and 25, respectively.
As we drove onto the parking lot and saw how many cars were there, my wonderful, funny husband said that there was probably a run on stamps that day and in order to protect me from marauding stamp snatchers he was going to accompany me to the counter and take care of me….(and realistically keep me company in line).
I don’t know what you know about politics regarding the US Mail but it is bad. One political party (the one I don’t vote for at the moment) has decided that they would rather have private enterprise do all mail and package business in the United States and they are therefore slowly strangling the ability of the US Postal Service to do its job. Hence only one clerk was at the counter…a great clerk….an amazingly efficient clerk but even she could not keep up with the varied demands of the long line wanting service.
We waited. Then we waited some more. Randy said that if this were Tanzania it would be a normal Saturday morning. And Randy said it loud enough that the guy in front of us turned around, smiled and said that he spent some time in East Timor (look that up) in 2003 and it was just like this. Other people joined the conversation. Yes, sometimes patience is tough but humans can manage it despite their American upbringing and especially if they have spent any time in a non-western developing country.
Finally we managed to get to the front of the line and get served. The clerk was clearly harried but holding it together. She efficiently took my cards, told me the cost and gave prompt change. Randy complimented her on it, turned around and spoke to the crowd behind us about what a great worker she was. “We are all ok,” he said out loud. ” Right? This waiting is just how the rest of the world does it. We hope you are too. We can see you are doing a great job. It’s Saturday. It might be Africa. Thank you.”
Everybody smiled and nodded. East Timor or Africa just got under people’s skin at the post office in my little town. It’s about time.