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3:53 p.m. - January 12, 2006
The Post Office - Where Mo-Rons Accumulate By the Dozens
Every time I think I’m running out of essay material, I just need to keep my eyes and ears open around here in the Heartland.

I swear to God that all of the mo-rons in the world collect at the Post Office around noon.

I finally get a package together of CDs that I’m selling back. It’s not light, but it’s not impossibly heavy either. Rather, it’s 18.4 pounds, so its OK weight wise. It is, however, a bit bulky. I can manage it pretty easily even with my short wingspan, but I don’t want to be traipsing around hell and half of BFE land with it in my hands.

So I park in front of the post office in their free parking spots, and I walk into the door with the package, doing the ‘chin-tuck’ move so I could get one hand free.

I’m about eighth in line, with all three windows open.

“Why, oh, why, is it so busy today?”

Then I realized that the USPS changed the price o’ stamps.

But certainly that can’t account for the long line.

Then I realized the line isn’t long because of that – it’s because there are Stimpy-certified eeeediots in front of me, who cannot perform a simple postal transaction without it being overtly complicated.

In one window, someone was sending boxes of stuff to Japan. Unfortunately, the clerk at the line wasn’t too well versed in how to do all of the paperwork, how much postage to charge, whether with six you get egg roll, ANYTHING about it.

For a while, he’d punch some things on his little scale / computer, look puzzled, ask the guy some questions, re-punch some things, and then stare off a bit in a look of askance. Rinse. Repeat.

The middle window was some lady who wanted to get some new stamps, I assume. But she had a variety of things to mail, and wanted to check to see if each one needed just one stamp. At least that’s what I assume, because just buying 100 new stamps wouldn’t have taken five minutes.

It also didn’t help that the middle window clerk had to help the clerk with the Japanese package issue about three times.

The clerk in the other window again had to get new stamps for another lady, but then she asked some questions about sending this, that or the other priority vs. regular, and then there was the whole certified vs. registered mail questions and answer session.

Finally, some movement, as the middle aisle lady finally left with her stamp booty, and went off to peel and stick those new stamps to her heart’s desire.

The clerk with the Japanese issue was still futzing around, and I noticed that there was yet ANOTHER box that needed to go to Japan. I heard something about it costing up to $150 for shipping.

Holy freakin’ cow! It costs that much to ship it and you are MAILING it? You aren’t entrusting it to Fed-Ex, UPS, DHL, or another service? Hell, if that cost that much to ship it, I’d fly to Japan myself and deliver it by hand.

People started to wander in needing postal service. A couple came in, and let me tell you there were left inside their trailer too long. I’m no beauty, and I don’t really think you should hang everything on how someone looks, but this couple was definitely flogged with an ugly stick about 25 times, each.

The man weighed about 90 pounds as well, and looked 65 years old with beady eyes and hair that went every which way. The lady had a buzz cut, glasses circa 1975, and a few too many moles and pockmarks. Oh, and she was dentally challenged as well. I didn’t turn to stone, but I may have become immune to Gorgon attacks at some point.

They wanted to know where the cable company office was.

The CABLE COMPANY OFFICE? What, you just go the post office if you can’t find something and ask random people?

I don’t have cable, I have satellite, but I do know that the cable company office moved to the strip mall next to the Kroger. But it took three minutes of talking to Jethro and Jethrette to tell them where that was. Never mind I was holding a bulky box with both hands and trying not to kill myself out of boredom and stupefaction.

The other clerk got rid of his certifiable, er, registered, customer and then someone else wanted to buy stamps.

By this time, the line had grown to about 10 people behind me. My arms were getting a bit tired and my right wrist, which has been a bit sore, was starting to get strained a wee bit.

The dude completed his stamp purchasing quest, then saw the sign that said “Temporary Workers Wanted”. Uh oh.

He asked if he could have an application for his wife. However, there was no application forthcoming, as the clerk said that he would just need to take her name and address and they’d call her about it.

So, a call came out for a pen and a pad of paper, and so the dude started writing out the address. I think he must have used calligraphy because it took a while. Finally, he left, and the clerk at that station left for a while to do something and drop off that ladies name and address, even though there were 15 in line by now.

Meanwhile, the clerk with the Japanese shipment was making some progress, as a customs form was procured and being filled out.

Finally, the clerk returns and I’m next in line.

The next transactions seem easy enough, and I get my chance.

Since I know what the heck I want, I was at the window less than a minute.

“How much will this cost priority vs. parcel post?”

“In that case, just send it priority, then?”

“No, I don’t need any stamps, thanks!”

“Credit”

“Thanks!”

Isn’t that always the way, though? Your waiting time is at least 10 times as long as your actual transaction time. Sometimes it can be 20 to 25 times as long, especially in the doctor’s office.

The line was now 18 deep, but I had escaped.

Meanwhile, the second box to Japan had just made its way onto the counter. By my watch, that only took 20 minutes.

He could have WALKED them to Japan by now. I hope it was worth it.

 

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