I just got back from the post office, where I had a notice in my PO Box that I have a package for pickup. I took the notice and got into the looooonnnnggggg line winding through the lobby. At a time when the institution we call the U.S. mail is sinking faster than one can say "Titanic," I can't help but see the obvious reasons why, especially during the busiest time of their year. First, there was the usual "one" employee working behind the counter, helping us each one by one. I don't blame her. It's not her fault by any means. She can only do what she can do. She isn't in charge of scheduling. But when I worked for UPS, we prepared for the overload of business during this time of year by hiring seasonal employees who helped take up the slack so the operation could continue to run smoothly. Apparently the USPS wants to cultivate a public loathing for having to deal with them the last two weeks before Christmas. They certainly know how to do that well. I have to wonder how many people just give up and go down the street to the nearest FedEx or UPS store and conduct their business without the long hassle?
After about 5 minutes in line, long enough to make me realize I was looking at a wait of 30 minutes, minimum, I went back to my PO box, opened the door and was about to put the notice back so I could try again tomorrow. I heard the sounds of someone working back there. At least that's what I like to think he was doing. I waved the notice around, tapped on the side of my PO box, and caught the guy's attention. "Hello. Can you possibly get this package for me?" I figured all he had to do was retrieve it, hand it to me at the door next to the counter, and I could be on my merry way. The voice on the other side of the wall said, "No. You have to get in line." I wasn't buying postage or mailing anything off, I just wanted to retrieve my package. A true concern for "customer service" would have an expedited method of package pickup without having to stand in line with all the customers mailing their packages and cards. Customer service? What's that?
I guess I'm at the point where I can't wait for the USPS to go belly up. The sooner it does, the sooner it can be remodeled to run efficiently and with an emphasis on "service," instead of "tuff shit."
A word to the employee who refused to retrieve my package, you'll know what "get in line" really means when you're out of work and dealing with unemployment, like the rest of us. Hasta la vista, doofus.