Friday, January 8, 2010

Going Postal

Yesterday I braved the elements to make a trip to the post office to mail out a number of packages to my fellow bloggers/traders. I live in a fairly small suburb of Dallas and our post office is also small. It has four "stations" that, theoretically, could have postal employees assisting customers. As I have come to discover at this post office as well as others I've lived near, at least half of the stations are NEVER, EVER open. Not even just before Christmas when the lines were out the door. I don't know if that is standard procedure at your post office, but it seems to be the case in Texas.

I usually time my post office visits for "off-peak" hours, but unfortunately, that memo didn't get sent out to the rest of the residents of our fair city. When I arrived, there were about 10-12 people in line ahead of me. Everyone that I could see had at least one package they were mailing out. At first glance it appeared that two of the stations were open so I decided to wait even though I had to pick my kids up from school in 20 minutes. Apparently, only ONE station was open. The other one, which had a lady standing in front of it, was not open, but rather had a postal employee checking to see if anyone was "picking up only". When no one produced one of those little slips they leave if they can't deliver a package or letter, he disappeared back into the back as if the dozen of us standing there were invisible. That happens at every single post office I've been too. Why is that? I understand they may have things going on in the back, but how about helping the people who are waiting in front? How about a little customer service?

I think what bothers me the most is they don't even acknowledge there are so many people waiting. I can understand if you have two or three people in line that it might not be necessary to call someone from the back to help out, but it's as if they don't even notice the line is to the door. I don't know if that comes from training or years of being beaten down as an employee of the USPS. Back when I was selling on EBAY and going to the post office two or three times a week, I thought it was just an issue at that branch, but now that I've moved and use a couple of different branches, it appears to be a standard operating procedure.

Well, I walked out without mailing my packages. I didn't have time to wait so I'll try again today. That should make a few people happy on or around Monday.


  1. This is the reason I use paypal for postage and just put the envelopes in the mailbox. It may cost a little more, but you can't put a price on your sanity.

  2. I know what you mean. I tried to mail out packages a few weeks ago. A bunch of people in line and even the automated machine wasn't working. I think it's standard operating procedure to not ask another worker to help out. I don't know why, but it's always that way at the post office.

  3. The post office is the best and worst place in the world for me... I love it when I check my box and its full-then I don't really mind spending my entire day waiting in line because I can rip into my packages while I wait... Other times, like every time lately, it is pure hell and I know the sadists behind the counter eat it up...Great post!

  4. I always try to go right before they close. They seem to move people through pretty fast that way.


    I don't know why but Missouri doesn't allow any stamp machines in Post Offices. So to even get one stamp a person has to wait in the lines. Plus those one stamp people make the lines that much longer.

  5. In my city, there's a secret little post office that not many people know about. I go there all the time with great success.

    The only bad time to go there is Christmas when the line is very long, which I can't figure out, because if they know the post office is there at Christmas, don't they know it's there the rest of the year? Maybe they think it opens only on Christmas because so many people are sending packages at that time of year.

    I guess I should just shut up and let them think that. Because the rest of the year it's great.

  6. I live in a small town (post office only has one counter) and there are rarely lines. HOWEVER...a small post office means only one-three employees are on hand to man the counter, stuff boxes, and do whatever it is postal workers do. When I was an undergrad, in a very small city with two colleges, shipping was hell there, even in a four-counter office.

  7. Yeah, my post office sucks too, and the line is out the door most of the time. I typically make a beeline for the automated machine, just to avoid dealing with the crowd.

    Oh and the reason why there's always an employee or two standing around is because they are federal employees. Everyone employed by our government gets paid to stand around. A prime example is when they are doing roadwork on the interstate. There may be a few people working, but most of them are standing around and scratching ass.

  8. I've begun to expect a long wait and now take my iphone/nook app and read while I'm in line...