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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Snail Mail

I am thankful we no longer rely on the Pony Express (hey remember that snack shop at Millcreek Jr. High?!) to deliver our mail across the country. And I am thankful that I can send mail internationally to my friends who have served LDS missions over the years. But, I still HATE the Post Office.

I used to frequent the PO in Ogden. It was conveniently located down the street from the Residence Halls I lived in for four years before getting married. Being without a car for most of that time, it was so easy to walk a few hundred yards to the PO to mail letters, buy stamps, send packages, etc.

Unfortunately, those blissful trips are but a distant memory. I think it all started the day I went in with what I thought was correct change to buy one stamp. Alas, the price had been hiked up again. So I had to return to my car, dig around for pennies and go back in.

I went straight to the machine that sells singles/booklets and found that it did not like one of the quarters I had. Great. No more quarters in the car, but gee, I had lots of nickels. Back to the car for nickels. Back to the machine. Eventually had a successful purchase of one freakin stamp. Jesh better appreciate his letters.

Another time I arrived at the PO with a whole, crisp dollar bill. I wanted to be prepared for another postage increase. Triumphant with myself for planning ahead, I waltzed into the lobby ready to feed my dollar into the machine. But wait!! Where has the machine gone? And why are there 18 hundred people in line for the ONLY open window?! What is going on here?! *sigh*

I wait in line with my now crumpled dollar bill. I have one stupid letter to mail to Mexico. And the woman in front appears to be sending 26 packages to a small school somewhere in America. She seems to be writing down the contents of each box very methodically: 8 zillion #2 pencils. Oh wait little daughter of mine can you double check? 65 spiral-bound notebooks. Candy candy candy (kids can't learn without a sugar high). And so it continued.

By the time I got to the counter, I thrust my bill and my letter onto the counter and suggested the PO lady keep the change. I walked away before she could protest.

On yet another occasion, I waited in line for hours. I finally reached the most unpleasant postal worker known to mankind. I used my debit card to pay for the transaction. When my receipt printed, the PO man answered his cell phone and started to walk away. Before leaving the counter entirely, he mumbled over my shoulder that my receipt was printing and I could reach over and get it myself if I wanted it. I'm sorry, what? But before I could ask if he was for real, he was gone. So I had to lean over the counter and find my receipt amongst those that had printed before me. Great service. Is it only the employees who can go postal, or could I try it too?

You may wonder why I don't just buy a booklet of stamps. Well, I only write my brother a real letter once a month or so, and fill in the gaps with email. I can't justify spending $8.20 for a stamp book when I probably won't send 20 letters before he gets back in the spring. And knowing my luck, the day I buy a booklet of 41 cent stamps will be the day the price goes up again. Then I'll have to buy those stupid 2 or 5 cent stamps!!

As of today, I have a letter AND a package I need to mail to my brother in Mexico. But I just can't bring myself to step foot in that wretched Post Office.

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