Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Going Postal

Whenever it comes up in the news, I defend the U.S. Postal Service.  This defense is based on my notion that they provide a valuable service to the nation.  I like and respect my friendly and capable local mail carrier.  But nearly every time I go to to an actual post office, I walk away pretty confident that critics have a point.  There is this story of securing JT's passport

I've long ago given up visits to my town's post office because of the Kafka-esque nature of communicating with the postal workers there.  But, in need of stamps a few weeks ago, I rolled into another post office to secure some stamps.  As I waited in line, I spotted a poster with pictures of the stamp books available, including this set of stamps that feature old-fashioned seed packets.  That's right up my alley and when my turn at the desk came, I asked for a set of the seed packet-illustrated stamps.  The clerk's response?  "What?"  And so I repeated my request.  Again with the "what?"  I directed the clerk's attention to the poster and asked a third time for the seed package stamps.  This time, she slid another stamp package across the counter at me and announced, "I don't know what you are talking about."

Neither confrontation nor explanation seemed likely to succeed.  And so I left with my stamps and a deep appreciation for those who wish to eliminate the postal service.

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