Monday, April 5, 2010

Another Reason Why the U.S. Postal Service Is Lame (Il Servizio Postale è Male)

Today, I found myself needing to mail a letter at the big post office downtown in Dallas. I was ordering some glass pieces for more mosaic work, but needed to send some light samples in the envelope for color matching purposes.

With stamped letter in hand, I walked across the street to the large neoclassical building. The building itself is very impressive, and the classical influences are everywhere. From the thick marble slab covered walls (cippolino green and white I think), to the frescoed ceilings, it's how I would build a post office. Notice how even the grate in the photo below has the window pattern of the Curia Julia (ancient Roman senate house)?

Even the lamp post footings outside are inspired by furniture thousands of years old.

Instead of just dropping the letter in the slot for mailing, I wanted to get a weighing to make sure there was enough postage. Since I didn't have an extra stamp just to stick on there, I decided to wait in the short line since there are no more stamp machines. Things were moving along as the postal worker would say 'next please' after each quickly served customer. But at few people before my turn, a customer with a big shipping request delayed the guy at the window.

People behind me seemed like they were in a hurry, so I walked up to the window before the worker called out 'next please'. I think this filled the guy with an irrational rage, the likes of which in lies the phrase 'going postal'. He started counting money and doing other clerical work behind the counter as the line of customers continued to grow. Waiting patiently, I thought 'Ok, I will play your little game.' So out comes my phone, annnnd I'm browsing.

Well at this point some of the other people in line are getting very agitated, so they open a second window. Of course, by this point, I don't want to just walk over in front of the person behind me who has also been waiting for a long time.

Unbelievably, the guy continues to do other tasks without looking up, I can tell he's teaching me a lesson. He was also teaching everyone else in line what government bureaucracy is all about, and how things will be worse with more of it. The manager even walked over to the guy behind the counter and asked if he was ok!

Fifteen minutes later, he takes a personal phone call and walks away from the window... I had just finished reading one of Gwen's blog posts, so the next lady in line for the one functional postal employee offers to let me go first. He blinked first, I won! I think.

I hope that with government healthcare, I never have to wait at the window for an MRI or surgery or something. If I do, I'll wait for the guy at the window to fully say 'Next Please'.

Also, the irony is not lost on me that by the standards of some other countries I would like to live in, this is not a terrible bureaucracy (think utility companies in Italy). But, if we are becoming as bureaucratic as those nations, I would rather live and work around ancient history and beautiful scenery...


  1. What a moron. I´m sure his wife/girlfriend beats him.
    Fancy post office, btw.
    Next please!

  2. I agree with Dutch Donut girl. Lack of control in his personal life. I'd say small penis too, but I've met some pretty big pricks with well...the same.

  3. That's the sort of thing that enrages me and inspires a strongly worded blog post about it.

    Wait, that's kinda what you just did.

    That's the fanciest post office I've ever seen. You high falutin' folks in Dallas must have streets paved with concrete.

  4. Hey the lamp-posts outside my library have those exact same feet!

    Ah government employees. Salt of the earth.
    ; )

  5. I got in trouble for taking pictures in my local post office, which wasn't nearly as attractive as your post office.

  6. "He was also teaching everyone else in line what government bureaucracy is all about"

    My life's work is done.

    Now I can go to Italy and take it to the next level.

  7. Lovely post office, shame about the people working there. That is unbelievable!

  8. OOOOH, I HATE it when service people refuse to make eye contact or otherwise acknowledge my existence.

    On behalf of the company, I apologize. (I do that a lot.)

  9. The Dallas post office is awesome. I wonder why I had never been there before. Maybe when we take our vacation I can get hubby to take me there.

    Antagonizing the postal workers could be deadly! LOL!

  10. dude, seriously what the hell is up with post office-ical type-a people? every single one is on a power trip. ugh.

  11. And to think we just have a regular ol' run of the mill post office, I feel a bit cheated! Maybe next year I'll visit your fancy post office just for the fun of it.. btw (the big CP exhibition is headed to your neck of the woods in 2011.. be prepared, and run for cover!) But you got your package all stamped and mailed..

    It seems you left me a note on my blog the other day but for the life of me.. it's either written in invisible code or has gone missing because I can't find it?

  12. Dutch Donut Girl,
    Is it like this in the Netherlands?

    He probably drives a Hummer to compensate for something?
    Note to self: next car must be tiny to send the *right* message.

    Hah, we also have running water and sewers!

    Maybe the buildings are related?

    Were your pictures of the fashionable variety with your glamorous possie?
    Oh God, did I spell that right??? Possie! I said poss-ie.

    Aha, I thought treachery was afoot.

    Yes, the building was built in 1932, but the style is older than that.

    'The company'? Is that a euphemism for the CIA? Are you a spy?

    Yes, I know better than to tick off a postal worker on federal property.
    They probably have all kinds of obscure infractions that they could ship
    you off to a prison camp for.

    Yes, power trips suck. Unless you are talking about GFCI, which is good
    that the power trips (or someone might get elecro-cuted).

    Toni James,
    The SAMA mosaic conference is in Austin next year, and now the CP exhibit is in Dallas?
    Someone made Texas the art capital of 2011...
    On blogger, yes, it's been acting up for me. Sometimes it acts like it doesn't take, and
    then later there are either two messages or none...

  13. At least you have a pretty post office...ours looks like a dump. BUT, our service is with smile so I guess its never a win win. LOL.

    I tried to email you yesterday and recd an error message that your email isnt working..what gives? :)

  14. You just stood there and didn't say a word? I would have shown my ass. (Not literally, you know what I mean.) I will not put up with shit like that.

  15. and to think, if you had STAYED in the line and waited for him to call you up, the people behind you would have been, like "go, go, there is an open window," and he would have looked at you with exasperation as he sneered, NEXT?, with a questioning sneer in his voice, as if you were a moron and didn't SEE that the person before you was through.....sheeesh!

  16. JennyMac,
    I'd rather have the service, I think.

    Well, I was responding in kind. Plus, it was a federal building, and I didn't want to commit any federal crimes.

    There is just no pleasing some people who don't like thier jobs. He should be happy that he has one. How have you been?