Going Postal

Ye olde Post Office, an American tradition

A visit to the Post Office used to be as American as white bread. As hospitable as the Red Cross. A ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. I could always count on friendly, helpful folks who might even know my first name, mailing preferences and when I needed a new book of stamps.

A typical conversation with the smiling faces behind the postal counter a couple of decades ago might go like this:

Cheerful and Upbeat Postal Employee: “Hi there, Kerry! Isn’t the weather beautiful today! I am so happy to serve you! What’ll it be?”

Me: Overwhelmed with bonhomie (look it up) and flushed with pleasure to be welcomed with such bright and chirpy enthusiasm, (to those of you that really hate enthusiasm, you may not want to finish reading this article because enthusiasm is a secondary theme here…); I respond, “Hi, ummm, Mr. Postal Person! I am glad to see you too! And yes, the weather is amazing today. I have here a package to mail (I sweetly extend the package for his perusal) and also, I need a book of stamps!

Ye olde upbeat and cheerful Postal Employee!

Cheerful and Upbeat Postal Employee: Retrieving the package, he turns it over carefully to see if everything is in order. “Hey, I see you missed a spot right here! Uh, anything breakable in here?” I nod that no, there is not. “Okay, just a sec, (he grabs handy tape dispenser) and I will tape up that spot for ya! Heeeere you are, now will you be needin’ first class or parcel post?” Then, when he is absolutely sure my package is spiffed up and ready to hit the mailroom, he slaps postage on, whips out a book of stamps, and efficiently completes the transaction.

Me: “Wow! You are so upbeat and cheerful! It is such a pleasure walking into the Post Office!”

Cheerful and Upbeat Postal Employee: “I know! We are taught to be that way because you, the customer, are our pride and joy. Don’t ever forget that!” He beams at me and waves as I exit. I cannot wait for the next visit to the U.S. Post Office.

Over the past few years, I have noticed my joyful treks to the Post Office have been somewhat diminished by the demeanor behind the counter. The same postal scenario today might go like this: Continue reading