Going Postal

Well, I had to do it. It’s been a few years, but I had to go to the post office. The U.S. Post Office, that is. I try to avoid these kinds of endeavors but sometimes you just can’t avoid it. Like the DMV and the flu.

First off, my wife had the pleasure of going there last Saturday. See, we need our U.S. Passports for when we go on that trip around the world we’ve been planning…..actually, The Bahamas, which is only 60 miles from my house. Jeesh, Disney World is farther. Anyway, her experience left her waiting in line for 3 hours (can you say, Obamacare? It’s coming, get ready). I had to work Saturday or I would’ve been there, too; we figured let her get her stuff out-of-the-way and I’ll go today(Monday) after work. She got there a half-hour before it opened and there was still 50 people in line ahead of her and the line is curving around the building……and it’s a big building. Great way to spend your day off, at the mercy of the U.S. Government. She proceeded to tell me throughout her wait that one of the workers had quite an attitude. I told her, “Of course. You’re going to get that from anyplace having anything to do with the government. Just like the DMV, Social Security Office, and pretty soon, the doctors’ office.”

Anyway, my turn. I get there with all my documents in hand and although the parking lot is full, there is no one waiting outside. Good Sign. This is around 3pm; they close at 4:30. I go inside and see the line, not too bad, maybe 18 or 20 people. It was hard to tell with all the kids running around(out of school already, I guess) but I’m thinking this might go smooth. I have my little folder with my documents with me so I figure I’d double-check that I have everything (I’ve even got something Barack Obama doesnt’ have, a birth certificate)  and it’s going good and….although I’m the only “Regular American” in the line, people are behaving (even the kids) and chatting quietly among themselves.

Then……..there she stood. Hands on hips, eyes narrowed, lips pursed, carpal tunnel braces on both arms.  “WILL EVERYBODY PLEASE MOVE THE LINE AGAINST THE WALL!!!!” I mean LOUD, with that classic “Government Employee” attitude. The same one from the DMV, the same one from the SS office, the same one at the toll booth.

Woah. Ummmm, employee, I think you ought to remember who’s paying your salary here. YOU WORK FOR ME, DID YOU FORGET THAT ALREADY DUMMY!  I mean, who lit the string on your tampon? I got out of the Army 22 years ago, DRILL SERGEANT!!! Aren’t you the “civil servant?” Can you be a little more civil? All you have to do is ask politely, with a smile, “Can everyone move the line over by the wall so people can move through to their P.O. boxes?” That’s all.

That was ten minutes into my wait in line. Fast forward to 4:30, we’re down to ONE “civil” servant from two(Sergeant Slaughter went home). After the 18 or 20 people who were ahead of me finally made it through, I took care of what I had to do in less than 3 minutes. I gave them $136, and I walked out.

Needless to say, I’ve had it with government offices and their employees. Thank God, the passport is good for 10 years. Hopefully by then, private firms will handle the paperwork for renewal, and the same goes for the DMV and whatever other government entity that we have to deal with.


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