Author Topic: Going Postal  (Read 5857 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Going Postal
« on: March 30, 2011, 12:58:24 PM »
(This isn't, exactly, "classic" - it was posted on the main site yesterday.  But, I did think it'd be an interesting discussion thread.  So, I thought I'd post it here to get everyone's take on it.)

~~~~~~~~

Down the street from my office there is a small postal store. On most days at most times there is only one person manning the counter there, and there is usually a line. Sometimes this goes quickly and other times not depending on the nature of the customer transactions. Most everyone who uses this little store knows this already and comes prepared to wait patiently. I have seen people come in with a book or magazine to read while in line while others entertain themselves with cell phone games, texting, or emails until it is their turn. The main post office is about a mile (or less) walk from here, and if you’re in a hurry your best bet is to go there or come back later.

Today I went in to mail something to a friend. It was lunch time and I expected the line to be long. I was not disappointed. I grab my packing materials and pack up and address my stuff as I wait. The two patrons in front of me that will figure into this story were a girl with a box and carrying a shopping bag with tissue paper…which tells me she just wrapped whatever she put into the box — and a man who was looking to send something overnight. As the line starts behind me, the Banshee gets into line directly behind me. I know her name, as she was dumb enough to answer her phone with it later, but see no reason to give it here. Banshee will suffice. We aren’t in line more than a few minutes before she starts up.  Loud, heavy sighs about every 30 seconds. This turns into sighs combined with mumbling under her breath about how “this is ridiculous,” “jesus!” and varying other combinations of swear words. I keep my face forward, smirking, but that doesn’t last long as her whining is starting to become an annoyance. No one ever goes to the post office expecting to be in and out unless you’re just dropping something in the collection box. In the meantime, the poor, lone worker is doing her best to churn through this line.

At this point, the girl with the box, let’s call her BG for short, has her turn. Her box is not taped, her paperwork not filled out. The worker tells her to step to the side, tape up her box, fill out her paperwork, and then come back to the front of the line. As the worker tries to find the tape for BG, Banshee is getting irritated. As BG works on her stuff, the guy with the overnight stuff (OG) steps up to the counter. Due to a misunderstanding of how it works, OG grabbed the wrong envelope and is also shuffled off to the side to fix it. By now, BG is ready and returns to the window. She tells the postal worker that she wants to charge this package to a corporate account, and as the worker starts to do whatever it is she needs to do BG asks if she can tape more. This causes a ripple through the waiting line, mostly people silently rolling their eyes. But not the Banshee. No, the Banshee loudly exclaims, “How stupid are you?!” BG doesn’t turn around and works on making her box able to withstand a nuclear bomb via tape protection alone. She then realizes that her meter is running out and dashes off to top it up while the worker continues to get the mailing slips ready. I’m not sure why this process is taking this long but I’m assuming it has to do with the charging to a corporate account.

When BG returns, Banshee is furious. Her sighs and mutterings have not been acknowledged and this seems to irritate her. This is when things start to get really bad. Banshee whips out her cell phone and calls a friend.

“Can you believe I’m still at the post office? There’s only one f*****g person working the counter and this stupid Female Dog is holding up the line taping up her box and doing who the hell knows what. If this were Rockefeller Center they’d kick her out!”

All of this is loud enough for both the postal worker and BG to hear. BG handles this with grace, never turning around, but the rest of us are appalled. I am secretly hoping the postal worker will tell Banshee to leave immediately, but it doesn’t happen. Banshee hangs up smugly, as if her mission to publicly humiliate BG was complete and calling a friend was the perfect cover she needed to loudly express her feelings. BG decides she also needs stamps, and when her transaction is finally to the stage where you pay…she decides to write a check. Banshee explodes!

“She’s writing a f*****g check?! SERIOUSLY?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”

Another silent plea for the worker to boot her…nothing. dingdangity it. BG finishes and leaves, never looking back. Now OG finishes his transaction and she is displeased with how long it takes him even though he was only there less than 5 minutes finishing up. She is still Female Dog under her breath. My turn finally and I take less than 5 minutes from start to finish. As I leave I hear her stomp up to the counter and ask how much it was to send something via the different services, much to the irritation of those behind her as she was now holding THEM up. But of course it was okay that she was doing it. Don’t we all know how important she is?! I wanted to turn around and say something to her — such as congratulating her on her horrifying lack of manners and inability to behave properly in public and my condolences for being raised by wolves as she was insulting the noble bearing of a wolf — but I know that etiquette dictates that to be rude to someone who has been rude is just as bad as the original act. So I held my tongue because, unlike Banshee, I was raised with manners.  0328-11


iradney

  • DoSWMBO
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 555
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 01:25:22 PM »
Wow....just...
I'll be honest, I would have been sorely tempted to turn around, smile sweetly and point out that there is another post office just up the road, she might have better luck there...
“It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance.”
-Thomas Huxley

Punky B.

  • I prefer not to.
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 810
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 02:33:35 PM »
I have been in lines where the impatient customers start to berate the postal employees- snide comments, stomping, starting to yell.  At one point I spoke up and said, "They are doing the best they can, and your behavior isn't making this any easier on those of us that are waiting patiently."

After I spoke up, there was a chorus of other patient patrons defending the postal employees as well.   Sometimes you have to wait your turn.  You should learn that in your formative years.

(All yous general, of course!  :))

ancient drum

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 115
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 05:54:35 PM »
Hoo boy! But good for everyone in the store (especially BG) for completely ignoring her.  ;D

barefoot_girl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 396
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 04:51:47 AM »
I thought it was the workers who were supposed to flip out, not the patrons!

magician5

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3468
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2011, 05:49:10 AM »
When I hear stories like this, I think "does being in public disable people's sense of decent behavior?"

When I have to go to the post office, it seems inevitable that on days when I'm tired or rushed, there will be a long line of people, and every one of them will seem to never have mailed a package before in their lives! And half of them will want multiple money orders to send back to Bolivia or wherever, and the other half will want some complicated transaction involving return receipts and insurance. I'm stressed to the max, but how can anyone be in such a line without a little red warning light in their brain that means "danger of overload ... cool it!"???
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

Germane Jackson

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1043
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 01:47:34 PM »
The post office in my area is like that too, always busy and understaffed. I've seen a whole lotta rudeness too, people trying to cut in front or interrupt somebody elses transaction to ask the clerk a question, so forth. There's always somebody like Banshee in there huffing and putting and letting everybody know they are displeased but of course when it comes to their turn it doesn't matter to them how long they take for their transaction. I just ignore them and go about my business, it's just like the OP..if you live in this area you should just know that nothing is going to be an in-and-out job during lunch hour.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21426
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 07:52:42 AM »
OT - the term "going postal" is kinda upsetting to me and really upsetting to some people.  I know somebody who worked at the Royal Oak post office after the shooting there and have a relative who is a letter carrier and it somehow seems to both make light of the situation and cast aspersions on postal workers as a group.  I know other people feel the same way and had to get it off my chest.


DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2011, 12:38:33 AM »
OT - the term "going postal" is kinda upsetting to me and really upsetting to some people.  I know somebody who worked at the Royal Oak post office after the shooting there and have a relative who is a letter carrier and it somehow seems to both make light of the situation and cast aspersions on postal workers as a group.  I know other people feel the same way and had to get it off my chest.



I can understand the fact that the phrase is upsetting. I did want to note, though, that I just copied over the title from the main site where the story was. I thought it might be easier for people to find the additional comments from non- EHellions if I left the same title on it.  Do you want me to change it?


Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21426
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2011, 09:05:01 AM »
OT - the term "going postal" is kinda upsetting to me and really upsetting to some people.  I know somebody who worked at the Royal Oak post office after the shooting there and have a relative who is a letter carrier and it somehow seems to both make light of the situation and cast aspersions on postal workers as a group.  I know other people feel the same way and had to get it off my chest.



I can understand the fact that the phrase is upsetting. I did want to note, though, that I just copied over the title from the main site where the story was. I thought it might be easier for people to find the additional comments from non- EHellions if I left the same title on it.  Do you want me to change it?



No it is just one that is commonly used and I don't think people in general realize that it could be upsetting or insulting.  Thanks for being so willing to make that offer though.

FoxPaws

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5387
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2011, 10:17:49 AM »
Cynical little ol' me wonders if there was even anyone on the phone with her, or if she was just using it as a prop so she could vent out loud about how everyone else in the world was out to inconvenience her.

As to the banshee's own transaction...I would have loved to hear the postal worker tell her that she could have found all that information online.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

djinnidjream

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 941
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2011, 03:16:29 PM »
I think Banshee was way out of line, but so was BG for not having everything ready to go when she was in line.  From what I read, everyone knows there is a line, so why would anyone think its ok to stand in line when your items are not even remotely prepared yet?
Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

WhiteTigerCub

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2423
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2011, 03:24:13 PM »
I think Banshee was way out of line, but so was BG for not having everything ready to go when she was in line.  From what I read, everyone knows there is a line, so why would anyone think its ok to stand in line when your items are not even remotely prepared yet?

BG may not have known the right way to package it all up but I would give her a pass since she didn't seem to have issue with stepping to the side while the worker helped the next guy in line.

Arizona

MadMadge43

  • MadMadge43
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5561
  • Etiquette is making others feel special
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2011, 03:27:18 PM »
While Banshee was out of line- BG would have drove me to drink.


Sissy

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Going Postal
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2011, 01:38:16 PM »
Full disclosure-  I am a postal worker.

I only wish Banshee could know how it feels to be the lone worker in an understaffed office and have someone behave in this way.  I work in a small town office and sometimes there's a line and sometimes not.  Our budget only allows for one person to work the window at a time.  I can't help it if you're the fifth person in line. :(   

I get this soooo much and I have asked a swearing customer to leave if they couldn't stop swearing only to be treated to more swearing.  I have had to call the police to have threatening and cursing customers escorted out.  I had a customer stand out in front of the door to the PO telling people how much of a female dog I was and how I gave bad customer service for not listening to his cursing.  A very nice man come in and warned me what he was doing and he had to be escorted off the property by police because he would. not. leave.

This behavior is NOT the norm and the incidents have been over the course of my 8 year postal career (and there have been many more).  But I can't engage in and correct an adults bad behavior without usually making it worse, so unless there are actual threats I stay out of it.   ::)