No Fancy Name
Monday, May 24, 2004
i know there's a script, but....
I use the Post Office quite a bit. I usually have positive experiences at the post office, because I always have my items in the proper envelopes with the correct little forms all filled out and attached, and I've been going to the same ones for so long that all the workers know me. Now, if you've mailed anything at the post office in the last few years, you know that the employees are trained to ask if there's anything liquid, hazardous, fragile, perishable, etc in the package. You're also asked if you want any insurance, delivery confirmation, etc -- for every item. I usually walk up and put my neatly categorized and labeled items on the counter and say something like "these are all ready to go", at which time the worker says something like "great" and goes about their business of metering the items. Ninety-nine percent of the items I mail are in flat cardboard envelopes, or heavy parcels containing non-jiggly items (ie books).

Today was one of those instances...I had one flat-rate Priority Mail envelope, two cardboard photo mailer envelopes, and one padded envelope that clearly held a book and nothing else. So the woman takes my flat rate Priority Mail envelope and asks if there's anything liquid, hazardous, fragile, perishable, etc and of course I say no. I tried to make my "no" as annoyed/you're an idiot sounding as possible, without actually being rude, but I don't believe she caught on. As I was contemplating what could possible be liquid, hazardous, fragile and/or perishable and be the size of a comic book (as that's what was in the envelope), she asked how soon I'd like it to get there, and if I wanted it to go x, y, or z way. I mistakenly thought that she would realize that while she followed her little script, she could have followed that up with something like "priority, flat rate, ok" without me actually having to say anything. I looked at her, incredulously, then pointed at the clearly-marked "Flat Rate Priority Mail" envelope and said "Priority Mail". We then had to go through the whole "delivery confirmation? insurance? do you want them to sign for it?" thing ("no", "no" and "no") before moving on to the next to pieces, the photo mailers. "First class, please", I said. "Anything liquid, hazardous, fragile, perishable?" she says. Again with the looking at the thin cardboard envelope...."no," I say. "How would you like to mail it," she says. "First class," I say...again. Ok, last package...a book in a padded envelope. I said, "I'll have to see the price difference before I decide which way to send it", so she goes ahead and weighs it, shows me the difference between priority and parcel post and I say "ok, priority it is". Long silence, she's just staring at me. I say again, "Priority, then". Waiting...waiting....she looks at the item. "You want to mail this now?" "Uh, yes..." I said, again trying to sound really annoyed, yet not rude. She launches into "Anything liquid, hazardous, fragile, perishable?" Argh! "No...." "How soon would you like it to get there?" If I could have banged my head on the table without causing a scene, I would have. I swear, it was like a bad post office dream.


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