03 July 2013

About Yesterday's Post

Yesterday, after I posted my three little stories about the post office, I was flooded with e-mails, text messages, Twitter messages, and comments asking me, "Why don't you just cut the metal clasps off the envelopes and tape them shut?"

This is, of course, the obvious answer to the "problem" with the metal-clasped envelopes, and I absolutely appreciate the feedback. I go through long periods of time thinking that no one ever reads my blog, because I get almost no feedback. So the idea that someone read that post and thought about it - a lot of people, actually - makes me happy. On the other hand, it appears that a lot of those people think I am a ranting idiot, and that does sadden me a little bit.

It did occur to me to surgically remove the clasps from the envelopes, though I admit I have never done it, because I want my work to arrive at its destination looking professional, not like a third-grader's art project. And sometimes I pay for things I don't really need to pay for, because it's easier not to argue. I admit I came close to just paying the $12 to ship the rain jacket, because I wasn't really in the mood to argue with the postal clerk or repackage the jacket, but an extra $6 (as opposed to the extra $1 to ship the metal-bedecked envelope) was, I guess, above my tipping point. And not caving in gave me the opportunity to go home and rant about my experience.

(My husband's tipping point, I might add, is far lower than my own. He would have fixed the envelope before he would have paid another cent to ship it. My high tipping point is probably one of the many things about me that make him crazy. If I make you crazy, too, I apologize. Look at it this way: he's stuck with me. You, dear reader, on the other hand, have a choice.)

The thing about ranting blog posts is that they are hit-or-miss. Either you identify with them, and say, "Oh yeah, that's hysterical - it happens to me all the time!" or you say, "That woman is an idiot. This is a problem that is completely within her power to fix. Why doesn't she just fix it and move on?"

The post, as I suspect most of you understand, wasn't really about my inability or unwillingness to fix the envelope problem. It was about the fact that every time I go to the post office, I get frustrated because their rules are arcane, ever-fluctuating, and inconsistently enforced.

But no one said, "I totally get it. That happens to me all the time." So I'll chalk my post office post up to a miss and leave it at that. With any luck, I'll have something more intelligent to say next time. But please keep reading, and by all means let me know whether I'm hitting the mark or just sounding moronic.


Justine Levine said...

I don't understand the post office, either. And honestly, sometimes I think that not even the postal workers understand the rules they enforce. The same goes, though, for many government agencies. I think that the bottom line is that the rules are made by people who would never need to deal with them, and enforced by disenfranchised people who don't make them. It makes for unhappy workers and unhappy customers, and a system headed for bankruptcy.

Mikal Mast said...

I haven't used a post office in the US for a while - but I've had some crazy experiences in French and British ones - so it's not just the American ones that are frustrating! I'm rather sad to hear the metal clip envelopes are more expensive to send. It might mean they will stop manufacturing them, and another nice institution will be gone.

Christy Garrett said...

I think most of the postal workers are rude. On occasion, you will get one of the nice ones. I took an Iphone in its original packaging to the post office so that I could mail it. I grabbed the small box, one of those if it fits it ships. She was determined that this box wasn't going to work, of course, she didn't know that I was in there a few days ago and mailed the same exact package in the same box. So after I handed it to her all packaged up, she had a funny look on her face because it fit.

It seems as if some of those postal workers hate their job.