Saturday, December 18, 2010

You've Got (To) Mail

Did you know that I am super organized and awesome?  I know this because I have been to the post office three times in the last four days, and that takes a serious amount of planning and skill.  You start with an idea in October, good intentions in November, the right addresses in December and before you know it you’re standing in line behind Michael Jackson’s funeral procession.  Three times. 

The other thing I’m super awesome at is knowing JUST the right time to beat the crowds.  Unfortunately I didn’t pick any of those times which means whoever said “Knowledge Is Power” is smoking crack.  I say power is showing up at 11am when no one is in line and they are handing out free hot chocolate.  Do you know of any places like that?  Me neither.  What I do know is that the guy working register 2 at my mall should stick with his day job and forego singing along to “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” while readying his cargo with more packing tape.

I also know that I don’t miss having to take small children to the post office.  The lady behind me walked in with two small boys.  “Come here honey, which envelope should we use to mail your binkys to the new babies in the hospital?”  I turned around and inquired in a low voice, “Is this some new strategy I haven’t read about?”  She answered back in hushed tones, “He’s 3 years old.  It’s time.  We’re actually mailing them to my parents but I told him they’re going to some new babies in a hospital to make him feel better.  Let’s just say tonight is probably going to be a bad night.”  I acted supportive and wished her good luck but what I was really thinking was, This couldn’t wait until AFTER Santa comes and the lines at the post office don't exceed the city block?  Whatever, I’m sure she had her reasons.  And I’m sure her kid had his reasons for overturning the sale rack of greeting cards that sent envelopes and well wishes across the floor.

What I’m saying is there are advantages to making multiple trips to the post office.  If not for my three visits I wouldn’t have met the lady behind me who held a stack of cards and berated procrastinators for waiting until the last minute to mail their packages as I stood there like the Cat In The Hat holding a teetering stack of
“a cup
and a cake
these two books
and a rake
a toy ship 
a toy man
and look!  A red fan!”

I never would have had the opportunity to watch a lady in front of me who was wearing enough make up to paint a Renoir, a faux leopard coat and heels that could hold up the Golden Gate Bridge pack and address all of her boxes AT THE COUNTER while we all waited patiently in line and sang Silent Night.  (not)  I wouldn’t have had the chance to watch the scores of individuals rush up to open the store door only to witness their obstacle, roll their eyes and turn around to leave.  I wouldn't have learned that it costs $25 to mail ten homemade caramels to a 19-year-old boy spreading the gospel in Brazil (but he's so worth it).  And last but not least, I never would have heard the aforementioned cashier sing along to the Footloose soundtrack that played overhead which was critical, because Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without that.

17 comments:

Karen E. said...

Hilarious--I love your writing. Thought I'd come out of lurkville (lurktown?) to tell you that.

Stefani said...

Oh my gosh I DO love your writing too! This is a very good commentary on the Post Office at Christmas. And I can't believe there was really a woman giving people a hard time for procrastinating. What the...?

Meg said...

If you sent stuff to Shane, you are the better aunt than I. If it was for another nephew, than I'm in the clear. I have been to the mall 5 times this week, which could have all been done in three.

KJS said...

That;s why I email everything. Voila. Done in pajamas.

Vanessa said...

Nice:)

Heather said...

That is awesome! I went 3 times, my largest bill was $120... Let us all pray hubbie doesn't look at the bank statement this month! I didn't spend much shopping, just shipping:)

mormonhermitmom said...

LOL (having a seizure, ribs hurt!) GASP!

just call me jo said...

I never saw such "colorful" people at our post office. Lots of snow birds shouting at each other because they can't hear each other. A few young mothers with kids in tow but no binkie disasters. You definitely make it sound interesting (and funny.)

Vern said...

Meg: I am a better aunt than you. Duh. :)

Lisa Loo said...

Two words: pos-tal

ganelle said...

I'm with lisa-loo; there is a reason they call it "going postal". Merry Christmas!

Patty Ann said...

Hmm, I debated whether to comment or not. I am a Postmaster after all. I know that some places are bad, but I moved to a small town and a long line here is 10 minutes and that is only if you get behind several people mailing international. To me, going postal really means, listening to people gripping, complaining and bickering, trying to talk to a customer who insists on finishing his cell phone conversation before he speaks with you and who holds up the line, helping an old widow pack and mail her packages to her children and grandchildren, helping an old man address his letters because he can't see to write the address anymore, helping someone save a little money be repacking their box into a flat rate box because I know they are on a fixed income and can't afford it, hearing the same "joke" at least 30 or 40 times each day, "Is is cold enough for you yet?" this is always asked when it is about 8 degrees outside. Going Postal means serving people who want to ask me where the UPS drop is, or when Fed-ex will arrive at their house, it means having people yell at me because their box isn't in my office yet and it was sent a week ago, it means having people come in and talk to me because they are lonely, hurting or sad, it means donating my time on a Saturday to open the window so that people can have an extra day to mail. It means going into the office in the evening because one of my older customers needs their medication that is sitting at the post office, or going in on a Sunday because one of the Churches needs a box for the children for their Christmas program. Going Postal means working long hours and doing my best every day. I am extremely proud to "Go Postal".

Vennesa said...

You won't find me at the post office in December ever. (until I have my own missionaries out of course!)
And I wish Patty Ann worked at my post office!!

Vern said...

Patty Ann: Do you sing along to Footloose? Because if so, you're hired!

rocslinger said...

Vern, Perhaps you could clue me in. Did I sense a small amount of sarcasm, I'm not sure?

Lorie said...

There's never a line in Menan.

Vern said...

Lorie: Menan has a post office?!