Monday, May 9, 2011

Going Postal...Again

So I'm headed into the post office today, preparing to mail a couple of packages, a group break payment and the May contest prize. What do I see when I walk in the PO? Fourteen people in line and one, yes one, postal employee working the counter.

I don't have all day to wait because I have to pick up the kiddos from school, but I really want to get these in the mail so thought I would give it a few minutes to see if anyone else came to assist the lone clerk. In the 5 minutes I was there, TWO different people came out from the back, stared at the line, and returned to the back room. They didn't pick up or drop off anything, they just saw the long line and retreated to the safety of the back room.

I walked out, disgusted, packages in hand, with three other people.

Don't get me wrong. I don't know why the two guys didn't help the one lady who was doing her best to get through the line. She was working pretty hard. I just wish there was a blogger or reader out there who could explain why those two people wouldn't jump in to help speed up the process for everyone.

I miss my old post office because it had one of those automated postal machines that you could weigh small packages on and pay and print your labels without waiting in line. It was a trader's dream.

Has anyone out there worked for the USPS? I need to know why a customer service oriented business doesn't care about customer service. At least in my limited experience.


  1. Union labor force. My bro in law works for USPS and says there is very little incentive to provide any level of customer service, they get paid whether they help anyone or not. If they get caught stealing the get "fired", then can wait a year and get re-hired with full backpay. Its a joke.i

  2. They don't care because they don't have to. You don't like it, don't go there... how you gonna mail your stuff now?!? If enough people quit, they just raise the postal rate to make up the difference. I just count on spending a minimum 30 minutes in line, anything less is a bonus. Sad part, my post office takes a minimum 15 minutes, whether there are 5 people in front of me or just 1!!! I started taking my IPOD touch, with the NOOK app and just reading while I'm in line once I've decided to stay.

  3. Huh, sounds like you go to the exact same PO as me. Or are they all just horribly the same?

  4. Automated Postal Kiosk FTW!!

    You really need to write your postmaster and request one to be added. The PO nearest to me has two of them, and I don't bother with lines anymore.

  5. I have one of those post offices. It's extra insane because I live next to a military base and people are forever sending stuff overseas. The line is out the door constantly. So I've stopped going there.

    Instead, I go to a secret, out-of-the-way post office that non-locals, like military folks, don't know about. I'm in and out with no more than 1 person in front of me. It's wonderful.

  6. We have two of a regional chain of grocery stores here that also have USPS places up at the service desk, so I just go there. They are pretty quick & efficient and there usually seems to be multiple people working when it's busy. Plus one of the stores seems to be a little cheaper than the other and the post office itself. Quick & painless, and one of the things it sounds like I'll be missing when I'm finally able to skip town for good.

  7. My closest local PO lacks an automated kiosk, so I only go there if I'm sending one or two things. I stay away from that one whenever possible. It's in the ghetto and the last time I was there an angry customer called the postal woman a "bitch."

    On the other hand, there is a different PO near me that has a 24/7 automated kiosk. I sincerely would not host group breaks if this didn't exist.

    Thirdly, I do have to stick up for most postal workers. The problem is that the only ones you see are the ones with the easiest jobs and the most seniority. My buddy works more behind-the-scenes and he truly busts his ass. Carriers, too. I still look at the entire system as a HUGE bargain. A couple of bucks to send some cards to CA, NY, FL...? Still the best deal out there.