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Tue May 11, 2021, 01:06 PM

On Being Prepared in Advance and Not Obstructing Others

I don't do a lot of mailing of things, but yesterday I had four USPS Express Mail envelopes and one small flat rate Priority Mail box to send. On a Monday. When I arrived at my local post office, there was a long line waiting to get to the counter, which had two workers handling the mailing process. I said, "Damn!" silently, but I had to get those things started on their journey, so I settled down in line.

With nothing better to do, I watched the activity at the mailing windows. I had all of my mailings ready to go. Express mail labels on the envelopes, certified mail certificates filled out and attached in the proper places. Not so much, the customers in front of me. I watched one guy approach the counter, for example. He had the same small Priority Mail box I used in one hand, and something else in the other. The box was flat. He hadn't even put his item in the box, nor folded it up, ready for mailing.

Now, that's a complicated little box to fold, but it's not genius-level difficult, really. The clerk at the counter folded it up for him, put the item in it, and then sealed it. Then, he handed the box to the customer, who filled out the From and To addresses, as indicated on the box, after fumbling around looking for the piece of paper he had written the address on. He hadn't done that, either. Finally, the 30-second actual mailing process could take place. Five minutes later.

Another person stepped up, with a slip of paper about a package that couldn't be delivered to her apartment building's mail center for some reason. The trouble was, though, that she hadn't read the slip of paper and had come to the wrong post office. Five minutes was used up trying to explain to her where she needed to go to pick up her package. That information was on the slip of paper already. She was not happy about having to go somewhere else, and complained at length to the postal worker. Waste of time.

The next person was shocked at the cost of mailing the large box she was trying to mail. It was heavy, too. She argued with the clerk about the cost, as if he could give he a discount or something, finally saying, "Well, that's more than what's in the box is worth!" She finally left, carrying the box, after wasting another five minutes of the clerk's time.

And so it went, with almost every person who stepped up to the counter taking more time than necessary. It was mildly entertaining, but also annoying. Little by little, I moved up in the line. Finally, I was the next person in line, so I walked up, plopped my four envelopes and little box on the counter. It took about a minute for everything to be done. I paid with my debit card, got my receipt, thanked the clerk, and left. I had done the prep work beforehand, and had my stuff ready to mail. I don't mail things very often, but it's not rocket science, really.

Before going to the Post Office, I had been to the bank to meet with a banker there, who prepared some cashier's checks for me and did a couple of other things I needed done. When i got there, I handed him a printout with the people's names and the amounts to be paid to those people, along with all of the information needed for a wire transfer of funds to someone else. I had done my homework before going to the appointment, so I wouldn't have to waste someone else's time while I fumbled around. So, the banker was all smiles as he took care of those things for me. Even better, he waived all of the fees the bank would have charged, saying, "You made it easy for me, so I'm waiving the fees." I said, "Thanks very much."

And I wasn't even a Boy Scout. Still, "Be Prepared" is always a good motto to follow.

11 replies, 515 views

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue May 11, 2021, 01:10 PM

1. Solid citizen! Well done

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Response to soothsayer (Reply #1)

Tue May 11, 2021, 01:11 PM

3. Just imagine everyone doing that...

Wouldn't that be wonderful?

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #3)

Tue May 11, 2021, 01:15 PM

6. It would be Japan-like

So yes...

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Response to soothsayer (Reply #6)

Tue May 11, 2021, 01:17 PM

8. Ah, yes.

I suppose I could learn Japanese...

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue May 11, 2021, 01:11 PM

2. I don't appreciate it though when people turn their turn signal on first thing in the morning.

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Response to 5X (Reply #2)

Tue May 11, 2021, 01:13 PM

4. In my area, most people don't appear to know where

their turn signal is located in the car. "Which way were you planning to go, sir?" I often find my self asking that.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue May 11, 2021, 01:13 PM

5. I skip the Post Office altogether. You can print labels for your shipments, pay postage and

arrange for the carrier to pick up your packages online. Use your own box or a flat rate box, the procedure is pretty much the same. You can even order your shipping containers online if you don't have them on hand and many of them are free of charge.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #5)

Tue May 11, 2021, 01:15 PM

7. Yes. I used to do that, when I was selling stuff online.

I don't do that any more, though, so trips to the post office are rare for me now.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue May 11, 2021, 02:42 PM

9. It's not easy, I have to work at it, but I try to cut people a little slack, not everyone is skilled

at organization, they're just trying to get by, one day at a time. Who knows what's going on in their life that has brought them to the point that their box isn't folded. Who knows when I might get my own comeuppance, and end up unintentionally obstructing a more well-organized person. How embarrassed I'd be to know what they were thinking about me.

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Response to chia (Reply #9)

Tue May 11, 2021, 03:36 PM

11. I never say anything to anyone, nor do I get visibly annoyed.

I just find it interesting. Serves me right for even going to the Post Office on a Monday.

However, I needed to get that stuff sent.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue May 11, 2021, 03:30 PM

10. Very telling. Well done.

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