So many years ago, that phrase took on a whole new meaning when people who had been employees of a US Post Office had a mental break and ended up going into a Post Office and shooting a bunch of people. It happened more than once. There’ve been all kinds of articles I’ve seen over the years about the stress and strain under which this particular group of civil servants operates. Over time the phrase became something of a catch all for categorically losing one’s sh*t in frustrating situations.
As far as the postal workers go, though, it can’t be easy. I mean the whole “…neither rain, nor sleet nor dark of night…” mandate that the mail must always get through can’t be an easy spot to start. Add to that if you’re a postal carrier out on a route you’re facing any number of threats — from crazy people to mean dogs and the like. For those who work in a postal office I can’t imagine it’s too much easier. I mean, have you been in a Post Office lately? Have you seen the energy and temperament of those who are waiting in line?
All this said, when I have occasion to go to a Post Office — which I do fairly often to mail packages and things to friends, buy stamps and all — I do so giving myself plenty of time (at least an hour) and breathing while in line.
Today, that patience got shredded after being there nearly two hours.
Yes. You read that right. Nearly two f*cking hours. At holiday time? Maybe. A random effing Wednesday right after Labor Day? That’s all kind of horse pucky.
Now, granted, I had a stack of mailers to send out, one of which is going overseas. I had a package that had been returned for an address error so I had to get that resent. I also wanted to buy stamps. BUT I showed up at the counter with everything filled out, everything ready to go. All the guy had to do was count up the mailer envelopes I’d purchased, weigh and put postage on each, print a new label, sell me stamps. That’s it.
My wait time in line was about 30 minutes. The line was long. It was lunch time, so while it was onerous I didn’t think much of it. Then the next nearly 90 minutes was spent with someone who seemed a perfectly nice fellow but utterly unskilled, uninformed and uneducated about the basic tasks I noted above, and there was absolutely no manager, supervisor or even more senior colleague anywhere in sight to help him. He may have been new. If so, throwing him into the mosh pit at the busiest time of day in a Post Office? Stupid. That not a single colleague, supervisor or manager was anywhere nearby to help him? Talk about a certain path to someone who was definitely sinking NOT swimming.
I could feel my blood boiling as time after time he started a transaction and then had to cancel it and start over, he charged me for the wrong things and had to cancel and start over, he couldn’t find the stamps … and the list went on.
The good news — I kept my cool, retained polite composure (with densely gritted teeth, mind you) and managed to get everything done, accurately and get out of their without … going postal.
That’s a win in my book.
Today’s Gracious Gratitude. I am grateful for:
- Hearty breakfast before a good work out
- A good workout
- Maintaining composure in a scenario I’d not historically have done so
- Getting another persnickety to do item done
- The randomness of Reading about someone in a magazine and three hours later they called me.
- Progress not perfection
- My dogs
- Continuing to think about resilience
- Grocery shopping and having the resources to do so
- Having a clean, safe and peaceful place to live
- Looking at the calendar and realizing how many awesome things are on it in the next month