But yeah, I actually love getting mail. Kind of psychotically. I watch Blue's Clues like 500 times a day now, and I'm not lying when I say that I can really relate to the mail song that the main
I don't even really care if I get any, I just like checking it, because something about opening the mailbox holds such promise. (This could also be related to the fact that I currently rely on freelance checks, which arrive totally unpredictably. Fun for my mail fetish, sad for my checking account balance! Sad trombone noise, which I hope makes TD Bank feel sorry for me and refund those overdraft fees.) I legit get depressed if I get excited to check the mail and it turns out to be a federal holiday, so this no-mail-on-Saturdays business is bumming me out.
Not that I don't understand, of course. Because regardless of their Santa-like job, the USPS kind of sucks. And anyone who has waited in line at a New York City post office can attest to this.
Some of you small-town folk might have wonderful, Andy Griffith-style post offices with cheery staff and short lines (I have actually witnessed this, in Block Island, Rhode Island, and I kept looking around for Rod Serling, that's how freaky it was), but here in New York it is bleak.
First of all, there is always a line at least 12 people deep. And there are always at least four people visibly working behind the bullet-proof glass. BUT HERE'S WHERE IT GETS CRAZY: Without fail, two of them are not servicing customers.
Now, in my opinion, the bullet-proof glass wouldn't be necessary if anyone not actually working at a service window, oh, I don't know, worked somewhere other than right in the fucking window. But I'm no expert.
Which leads me to the next fundamental problem with the post office:
At any given moment, 99% of the people in front of you in line... have never used a post office before. In fact, I'd wager that at least 50% of them have no idea what it's even for.
I know this because every single person who waits in line at the post office takes at least 25 minutes at the window. I like to imagine that the conversations go something like this:
Patron: Excuse me, where am I?During this exchange, I think bad thoughts and work on my telekinetic powers, which I will someday use to remove the "closed" but still right in fucking front of us window workers from their seats, ejector-style.
Postal Worker: [Shrugs]
Patron: Is this a store?
Postal Worker: Kind of.
Patron: What do you sell?
PW: We box up your stuff and send it somewhere else. Also we sell money orders.
Patron: What is a money order?
PW: I have no idea. It involves a lot of paperwork and me disappearing at least four times.
Patron: Well, I definitely want one of those then. Now tell me more about the other stuff.
PW: Do you want to mail a package?
Patron: Maybe. What can I mail?
PW: Anything except explosives and booze.
Patron: Can I mail my left shoe? That's all I really have.
Patron: OK, what do I need?
PW: A box, for starters.
Patron: I'll take it!
PW: What size?
Patron: Whichever one is least appropriate for the dimensions of the contents.
PW: Great. Do you want packing tape, too?
Patron: Oh, no, I'm going to go over in the corner and stick it together with gum and affix a few Delivery Confirmation forms for good measure, which I'll fill out incorrectly.
PW: Super. OK, your total is $8.75, just sign here and--
Patron: Where? You'll have to guide my hand, I'm legally blind.
PW: No problemo. Now you go box up your package and when you're done come right back here and elbow whoever is at my window out of the way. Then we're going to repeat this entire scene.
This is why I like to stay home and eagerly wait for the mailman. Actually visiting a post office completely kills the romance.
[Jeff: "Like Billy Joel."]
[Me: "NOT like Billy Joel. Like Steve from Blue's Clues. He's wears pleat-front khakis."]