Diary
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Because Evidently You Can’t Beat the Hours

I think I finally know what I’m going to be when I grow up.  Well, what I’m going to do, anyway.  I’m going to go to work for the government.  The postal service, to be exact.

I mean, for what other institution can you work from 9:00 to 4:30 and get two hours for lunch?

Let me just tell you a bit about my Tuesday.  I’ve been hocking stuff on ebay.  It feels so good to purge my closets!!  I highly recommend it.  So anyway.  When I sell my merchandise, I like to get it in the mail as soon as I receive payment.  Cause nothing’s gonna come between me and my 100% positive feedback, baby!

So on Tuesday, I had on the front seat of my car approximately five priority mail bags containing children’s shoes in assorted sizes.  That’s about $45 worth of ebay sales.  Or a new fall sweater for moi!

After running various and sundry errands and watching my daughter’s Halloween parade at school, I loaded both girls into the minivan and headed over to the post office to send my shoes off to their respective new homes. 

I parked, released both girls from their car seats, finagled five slippery bags of shoes out of the front seat, threw my handbag over my shoulder, and started towards the post office.  A couple of dropped bags and a skinned knee later (my daughter’s, not mine), I entered the post office only to find the door to the service desk closed and locked.  Upon further investigation, I noticed that the lights were off and everything was quiet. 

So I glanced at the posted hours of operation and noted that the post office is closed from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM.  That’s two hours, people.  What business in any industrialized country in the free world shuts down for two hours in the middle of the day?  Well, the U.S. government, evidently.

With a sigh of frustration, and perhaps a few muttered expletives, but I’m not admitting to that, I hauled everyone and my bags back to the car, and we made our way home.  As I drove, I heard my four-year-old daughter in the backseat muttering "unbelievable" under her breath.  At least that’s the worst that she took from the experience.

Fast forward to later in the afternoon.  Baby R woke up from her nap and my son was at a friend’s house, so I loaded R and C into the car and headed back to the post office.  This time I went to a different post office, a bigger one, in hopes that it had more reasonable hours.  I arrived at precisely 4:37 PM. 

After I managed to open the front door with the five slippery postal bags in my arms and my two little girls in tow, I was relieved to see the lights on and the door unlocked.  Just as I pushed inside the door, the lights flipped off and a postal worker poked her head out of the back office.

"I’m sorry.  We closed at 4:30.  I was just a little late locking up."

You’ve GOT to be kidding me. I think I actually said that.

So there I stood, my arms laden down with packages to mail and two little girls at my side.  Do you think she might have taken pity on me and offered to take my mail?  Ha!  Of course not.

Now I ask you this.  If that was a retail establishment, and it was seven minutes past closing, and I had my arms full of merchandise to purchase, do you think they would have turned me away?  Well, for one thing, they wouldn’t be closing for the day at 4:30.

So yeah.  Seems to me the post office workers have it made.  I wonder if they’re hiring.

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21 thoughts on “Because Evidently You Can’t Beat the Hours

  1. That’s just plain ridicules! I could see that in a small town, but you live in suburb, right? I don’t think our post offices have those hours. They are opened here from 9-5 and no 2 hour lunch. There would be mass hysteria if that happened here!

    I hope you get your packages mailed this week and you keep your perfect ratings on ebay!

  2. Speaking of eBay. Last week, we had our account fraudulently taken over. It’s been a weeklong ordeal…. but it LOOKS like it’s getting back in order.

    We are hoping to recapture our good 100% positive feedback, but so far, it hasn’t been done. The guy actually had the nerve to take our sweet little account and turn it in to something with xxx in the name. 🙁

    Hopefully we’ll get it all back. Anyway, all that to say. I, too, am having an ebay-focused week.

    Sigh.
    ~Jess

  3. What a horror story! Perfect timing for Halloween, don’t you think? We do ebay too. After I dropped a package I was balancing on top of the stroller on the baby’s head, we started ordering pickup from home. The process is really easy–you just schedule a pickup at USPS.com. You have to use Priority Mail (sounds like this is your method already)–but if you have extra packages that are First Class or Media Mail the carrier will take them too. Good luck with funding your Fall wardrobe 🙂

  4. Oh I’ve been there too with the “gotta keep the 100% feedback…we’re spending the night at the post office tonight kids. Sorry!”

    Reminds me of Seinfeld. NEWMAN!!!

  5. Our post office doesn’t close for lunch. Is yours a smaller one? It does close promptly though at 4 or 4:30, I can’t remember which.

  6. Our mail lady drives around in her own car–a Ford Explorer– and I think it would be fun to drive around and listen to the radio all day! If they are hiring, put in the good word for me too!

  7. Huh. Our post office doesn’t close fro lunch, and is open at least 9-5, I think the main branch is even open until seven at lest one day a week. How odd.

  8. I feel your pain! I have had this very same experience… well mine was with 5 little girls (had my niece with me) and only two heavy packages, but otherwise identical!!! I was pretty disgusted too. I am also happy to say that my kids did not learn to cuss that day! They very well could have! *guilty*

    (just to clarify, I mostly cuss in euphemisms… haha)

  9. don’t even get me started about the post office, which not only is never open but also only has 2 employees for the entire county. both of whom are understandibly grumpy.

    usps.com, mailperson will pick up at your door, no dragging kids anywhere.

  10. Reason #52 the Post Office is the best place for a job: if a customer moves and never gets their mail forwarded, even though they requested it 4 times and they called the post office 7 times, you don’t have to call them back! And you don’t even have to fix their problem!

  11. Fancythis: Exactly! And THAT is the problem. No competition.

    And those were posted hours, they are ALWAYS closed from 12-2. NUTS!! I’m sure they’re working, but still, it’s ridiculous, imho. That’s a small town for ya.

    I’m surprised you are the only one who wrote in to defend the mail carriers. I was afraid I’d really offend someone. And yeah, my comments were totally written in jest. I know our postal workers work hard.

  12. And to add insult to injury, they keep raising our postage. Because they need the money to keep giving us such great mail service.

    Give me a break. I’m so frustrated with the postal service, and have been for a long time, I could scream. Dealing with them is always, always frustrating.

    And I’m the daughter of a retired mail carrier. But let me tell you, back in the 60’s, these people still knew the definition of “service.”

    Arrgghhhhh!

    How I dread getting my Christmas packages mailed out this year. Sigh.

  13. Just because my dad is a mail carrier I feel as though I should defend his kind…..

    While you’re right that a retail establishment would probably stay open to enable your purchase, it probably has more to do with the fact that you may end up not going back if you were purchasing on a whim.
    However, with the post office, they don’t have to stay open and can pretty much count on the fact that you’re coming back tomorrow, since you certainly aren’t going to drive/walk to timbuktu to deliver your packages. You need them, not the other way around.

    Also, and I know you were more joking than anything, they DO NOT get a 2 hour lunch. Usually things like that happen because they have to go to seminars and things like that.

    But my dad is just a mail carrier, what do I know 😉

  14. DONT. EVEN. GET. ME. STARTED.

    That is the biggest racket ever. It is all I can do not to launch myself over the counter at the asshats that work in my post office.

    In a word, STAB.

  15. OH MY.

    Just the dragging the packages and the girls and wrastlin’ the carseat straps and the purse … that in itself made me tired and frustrated just reading. And is why every single thing I ever send that I have to take to the post office to mail is always late… because that which I dread, I procrastinate about for a waaaaaay long time.

  16. Oh yes, plenty – PLENTY – of small town post office horror stories swirling in my head, too.

    Having said that, I adore our postal carrier. He’s such a nice man and goes out of his way to be friendly and helpful. I have started doing the usps pick-up at home thingie (super easy with paypal!!) and it has made my life so much easier. You might need to get a postal scale though . . .

  17. that is just not right… Bless your heart. I am not impressed with the postal service… And they continue to raise rates which infuriates me more… GRRR…
    We have the rudest mail lady come to our house. If I wasn’t so excited to get the packages she brings to my door, I would consider throwing them at her…

  18. I have to say, we have a delightful mail carrier, and the people that work the window at my regular post office (the one that closes at 4:30 — but now I found out opens at 8am, so I know when to go!!) are wonderful. They help me figure out the cheapest way to package my stuff, and when someone didn’t receive a package, they tried to locate it, although it was never found, but that’s another story altogether. All that to say, the workers are delightful. The hours? Notsomuch. LOL.

  19. That doesn’t happen here in our town at the post office. But just make sure if you work at the post office, you get an inside job – none of that snow, sleet, rain and hail stuff!

  20. 2 hours???? what in the world?

    I would use USPS.com all day long.

    I stopped going to the post office because,
    I have a toddler who enjoys running up and down the halls of the post office screaming–i’m spider man, watch out, I have spidy webs! *sigh*

  21. I can’t stand having to go to the post office–for anything! If something has to be shipped or returned it will probably sit in my car for a month before I actually stop at the post office.

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