The urban dictionary defines the word “postal” as:
“Gone crazy or insane; irrational. Came into use after a number of workplace shootings by disgruntled U.S. post office workers.”
It’s not fair to post office workers even though the slang or usage of the word came into popular culture after “a number of workplace shootings by disgruntled U.S. post office workers.”
By and large, most post office workers or postal workers are good and hard working people. I respect what they do and the services they provide.
This morning I had to go postal, as in mailing a package at the post office, so off I went. There was a short line; only 4 people in front of me. Must be my lucky day.
The first customer walked up to the counter with a bunch of packages (by the way, only one counter out of the four was opened.) As my luck would have it, this lady didn’t fill out any of the necessary forms required for her packages so she had to fill them out one at a time.
Normally the postal worker would have the person step aside, fill the forms out, while he/she helps the next customer. No, in this case, the postal worker, a lady behind the counter, just had her customer fill out all the forms on the spot while she went about her business of doing other things around the postal place.
The rest of us in line just waited, and the line behind me was building, building and building.
10 minutes later, this lady with all the packages and forms to fill out was done. It took a lot longer as she was taking her time and practicing her best penmanship on the spot but at least she was done.
The next person, another lady in her 40′s or so, walked up with her son. She had to mail a package. When told how much it was, she went into a long exchange of how much other methods were going to cost and how long it would take to get to the intended destination, and so on & so forth. That took another five minutes, at least, or so it seemed.
Then she settled on one mode of delivery for her package, then was told it’d be over $40 so she broke out a $100 bill. The postal worker said she didn’t have change so another long conversation ensued (hey, let’s get to know one another some more while everybody waits.)
Long story short, this time, the customer was asked to put the package aside and told to come back after getting change at the bank next door.
By now, 20 minutes later, I was getting to the point of running out of patience, well, almost. Had I known sending my package would take more than 20 minutes at the get-go, I would have said adios, see you later and come back at another time or better yet, send my wife to run this errand (save this great idea for next time.)
However, by this time, my mind-set was that I had already spent 20 minutes in line and if I leave now, I would have wasted those precious 20 minutes. Better stay put and wait rather than to leave. Yep, it’s gonna go fast from here.
Sure, if you say so.
The next lady (It’s harping-on-ladies-day today) walked up and she had to mail a priority box. No problems, right?
She asked about different ways to mail it (c’mon, shouldn’t putting your stuff in a USPS Priority Box to start with clue yourself in already) and the postal worker responded with a dissertation of the numerous modes of delivery.
The customer then decided on the cheapest. The problem was that one is not allowed to use the USPS Priority Box unless it’s intended to be sent USPS Priority.
So this lady said forget it and walked away after wasting yet another 10 minutes at the counter arguing with the postal worker. I think by now, the postal worker was running out of patience herself and perhaps about to go postal. Let’s hope not.
Well, actually the guy behind me was cussing and moaning out loud. He looked poised and ready to go postal himself. Anytime now.
By now, I was seriously thinking about walking out, not for my lack of patience but I was afraid somebody may go postal, that I would become a victim and get caught in the middle of a cross fire.
The last lady in front of me walked up (told you, it’s pounding-on-ladies-day today.) She only had a couple of envelopes to mail and they were already stamped. Great; finally, it’s gonna go quick.
Well, not exactly. Wrong script.
She handed the two envelopes to the worker behind the counter but oh no, that was not it. Not that easy.
At this point, Clint would say, “go ahead, make my day!” She did.
She proceeded to ask about some stamps that she wanted to purchase. Not just any good old stamps but she wanted this particular one, you know, the ones with the pretty pattern, the ones with flowers.
Unfortunately, all the ones she wanted weren’t available; out front anyway.
The postal lady had to go to the back to retrieve some but then she disappeared for almost 10 minutes just to find this customer her stamps; the ones with some stupid flowers on the stamps.
Finally, yes, finally, Hallelujah; she got her stamps, paid and went on her way.
45 minutes and a “short line” later, it was my turn. About bloody time.
I walked up to the counter very quickly fearing the lady who went to the bank for change may be back and beat me to the counter (if so and by now, a sure way for me to go postal myself.)
I put my package on the scale, asked for media mail (it was a book), swiped my credit card and got on my way. Total time: less than 1 minute.
On my way out, I looked behind me and thought I saw fumes coming out of the head of the guy in line behind me. He was obviously very upset that he had been waiting in line close to 45 minutes, well, 45 + 1 minute.
I wasted no time hurrying out the door fearing that this guy may just snap at any moment and seriously go postal, the urban dictionary variety.
That’d ruin my day. Even Clint wouldn’t like it.
After this morning at the postal place, I now have a much better understanding of the word “postal” and if nothing else, I have a much better appreciation of its meaning.
Next time I am definitely sending my wife.
Go postal, honey!