Post Office Hell

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Scene: Local Post Office.

I pull up in a hurry in order to ship my Operation Baking Gals package.

I rush in at 5:03 p.m., and knowing that they technically close at 5:00, I'm relieved to see that there are still a couple of customers being helped, and nothing appears to be locked up yet. I hesitate at the door for a moment, and suddenly, a cheerful fellow customer (CFC) looks at me.

CFC: (smiles) "Go ahead!" She waves me into the door. "They're not closed up yet! They'll help you."

I smile and heave a big sigh, as I had wanted to get this package out yesterday. Unfortunately, I realized too late that the post office was closed due to the Columbus Day holiday.

As I step foot over the threshold, I am greeted abruptly by a post office worker (POW).

POW: "We close at 5:00."

Me: "I know, but I just have this package--"

POW: "Are you paying by credit card? Or cash?"

Me: "I have both. I'll use whatever is easiest for you. I just need to get this out to--"

POW: "You'll have to use the automated machine. We're closed."

I eye the two other customers being helped at the counter.

Me: "But I can't use the machine, because this package requires a customs form."

POW: "Do you have it filled out?"

Me: "No, but I've done them before, it'll only take me a few seconds. I'm trying to send a package for soldiers in Afghanistan. Can I please just--"

POW grabs a handful of customs forms, shoves them at me, and basically pushes me back out the door.

POW: "You'll have to come back tomorrow. Fill out your customs form before you get here."

Me: "But I-- Really? I just want to send this to--"

POW: "We close at 5:00."

Me: (at this point, visibly disappointed) "Well, um... OK. Is the office down the street open later?"

POW: "Nope. Everybody closes at 5:00."

I'm forced out of the doorway and he closes the gate in my face. I turn around, dejected, and Cheerful Fellow Customer (CFC) is still standing in the atrium. Her mouth drops open.

CFC: (loudly, so POW can hear) "REALLY?! Oh my God. Are you-- REALLY?!" She looks at me. "I am SO sorry. I can't even believe him. I'm just SO SORRY."

Me too, my friend. ME TOO.

End scene.

Seriously. It would've taken this guy three minutes to help me. I used to work in customer service, in a pharmacy. I know how badly it sucks when people show up right when you are trying to close and trying to go home. But you know what? We ALWAYS helped every last customer. ALWAYS. If there was a line snaking out the door at 9:00 (closing time), we stayed however long it took to help all of them, even if it meant staying until 9:20, even 9:30 sometimes. It's called good customer service.

I f-ing hate USPS. HATE. This isn't the first time I've been treated rudely, and I'm sure it won't be the last. If I truly had another choice that didn't cost a fortune (i.e. FedEx and UPS), I would use someone else.

*shakes fist* Damn you, USPS. I was trying to do a good deed. It would've been nice if you had done one, too.


Erin,  October 14, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

UPS ain't that much more domestically and so worth it.

Go to the USPS's website and complain. I couldn't find a link for that but found one to leave a compliment...well it sure wasn't a compliment but someone responded very quickly.

Jen October 14, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

That stinks! Especially since you were trying to do a good deed.

nc October 14, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

That definitely stinks. Unfortunately, I think many post office employees are just passing on the treatment they get. My dad is employed by USPS and I hate seeing how he's treated. He is still helpful and nice and goes above and beyond to help his customers, so its no excuse. But... unfortunately it starts at the top. If the government and the USPS treated their employees better they wouldn't be losing so many customers to UPS and FedEx.

Jenna October 14, 2009 at 8:01 PM  

Well that sure can put a damper on your day! And you would think after explaining that it was for a good cause he would have a little heart and help you!

Amy October 15, 2009 at 8:16 AM  

POW's are so rude when it comes to closing time. I know our post office locks the door at 4:30 (closes earlier than y'all) and if you are there at 4:20 (heaven forbid), he will keep making rude comments under his breath. Ridiculous...

Samantha October 15, 2009 at 9:35 AM  

Yeah dude, I understand how you feel. It is things like this that make me stress out so hard about going to the post office. I just HATE it.

Anonymous,  October 15, 2009 at 2:05 PM  

Hey Heather.
ANYTIME you have a complaint about any particular business, go to the Better Business Bureau's website. You can file a formal complaint, and 98% of the time, there is a quick resolution. I've had to rely on BBB twice and both times I'm glad I took the time to fill out the online form. Not sure if it'll make a difference since USPS is Federal, but it never hurts to voice your complaint to someone who'll listen.

I also had the WORST time at the local USPS this past Saturday. 15 people in guy at the counter. I stood there 30 mins before I gave up. When I left, there were still about 13 people in line :( Between him answering the phone, trying to print money orders, and trying to help a non-english speaking customer with trying to apply for a passport, I probably would've stood there for 3 hours before he got to me. Sometimes, it's just not worth the wait... It would be awesome if those automated machines worked at least 50% of the time.

:::Lyzz::: October 16, 2009 at 12:49 PM  

I'm always disappointed when I hear these stories, because really what is so damn important that you cannot stay for an extra five minutes, especially for someone who's trying to do a good deed. I hate seeing disgruntle employees who doesn't have any passion in what they do. It's frustrating.

Anonymous,  October 20, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

The same thing happened to me two weeks ago at USPS. The office I went to actually used to be open a half hour later, so I thought I still had plenty of time. The employee intercepted me just as I walked in the door and basically forced me out into the lobby, as he explained with a smile on his face that he could show me how to use the automated machine. I told him I'm not an idiot and can use the automated machine but that I really thought they were open later and I just needed to buy one stamp. It was so frustrating!

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