Postal Stupidity

Waiting in line at my post office is a little like playing Russian roulette. I’ll either be assisted by:

– the kindly, sympathetic and somewhat gangly younger gent behind the counter;

– the cantankerous manifestation of a female who appears to have lost both her sanity and smile eons ago; or

– the small, wizened, elf-like, elder postal worker who perpetually stands like the ground beneath him is trembling. He, in particular, seems to have a wide open space between his ears.

The window belonging to the womanly (I do use that term loosely) worker is littered with large Post-its detailing warnings: “No mailing letters or envelopes containing weapons.” “Baton Rouge is not in France.” “Have proper change ready.” On this last one, I’m afraid I approached her once with one dollar when my stamps cost ninety-two cents. I did not receive my change.

I once overheard a young man ask her about the cost of a forty-one cent stamp. She agreed to assist him only if she could place a piece of metallic duct tape over his mouth. He had to write down his requests on a Post-it, and she ripped up any she deemed unfitting or irrelevant. I believe I saw the barest ghost of a grin on her face that time.

As I stood in prayer for assistance from the younger gent, the elder’s window opened first. On this particular day, he seemed to suffer from spasms in addition to his tremors. A bowl of Jell-O on wheels could not have shaken more.

I explained to him that I’d been away for a few days and my post office box was empty. I expected some mail from the bar association. Had he received any letters addressed to Keli Garson?

“Hmmmm no,” he replied. “But we did git some for Keli Garson Esquire. You Miss Esquire?”

I sighed deeply, but with great patience and informed him that I was. His good eye regarded me suspiciously, but he went to get my mail. He took so long I became concerned that the tremulous ground beneath him had opened and swallowed him whole, and that he was now in the very midst of sliding down to China. Just as I was about to call for help, he returned with my letters.


A week later at home, I persistently received mail belonging to my next door neighbor and none of my own. After three days of this, I guessed that my usually efficient mail carrier, Mary, was on vacation. I lay in wait for her replacement.

To my surprise, not only did my mail arrive after five p.m., but also, the carrier was none other than the elder from the Post Office. I live in a small town where many hats are sometimes worn by the same hollow head. I explained to him about my mail.

“I think there’s been an address mix-up in this neighborhood.”

He nodded and smiled crookedly. “Well, sounds like a good way to git to know yer neighbors, don’t it?”

After he finished wheezing from the solitary fit of laughter brought on by what he regarded as a timeless joke, he proceeded to collect the mail and redeliver it. It finally arrived at about eight p.m.

It’s too easy to stress about stupers (short again for intolerably stupid persons) and their moronic ways. Do not allow a stuper to act as a trigger of annoyance or frustration. The best way to deal with random acts of stupidity is to find the amusement in them. View life as a sitcom with you as the star. Your reward comes when you maintain your sanity.

Just think!


8 Responses to “Postal Stupidity”

  1. Sarah says:

    Oh brother! Mail carriers! I had one named Big Al who refused to deliver my mail if any one dared park remotely near the mail box. It seemed he didn’t want to make any effort. If he couldn’t just stick his arm out, he wouldn’t bother delivering. Talk about a stuper!

  2. Mary says:

    We have a guy at the window who needs anger management classes one day and the next he’s as jolly as Santa Claus. It’s a love/hate relationship. When he’s having a snarky day, I am extra nice and polite, just to be bothersome.

  3. Elaine says:

    LOL loved the bit about Esq…my daughter is MD and son-in-law Esq, and he hates how mail is addressed to them. I guess I am lucky, the employees at my post office are pretty efficient, course I try not to go there too often 😉

  4. Keli says:

    Whatever happened to “through rain and sleet and snow?”
    It’s always smart to be extra nice and courteous to these people.
    I also don’t like being addressed as esquire. Especially since I’m not even practicing! It sure confused the little postal worker.

  5. Debra says:

    You don’t live in Charlotte, NC do you? My mailman decides every so often I must have moved and I was not smart enough to fill out a change of address form. So he stops delivering my mail. I pick up my mail every day and he can’t even see my townhouse from the street, so why does he decide I have moved? My complaints fall on deaf ears at the post office. When I complain my mail is being returned, they tell it is because I didn’t fill out a change of address form. I haven’t moved! It has happenned 3 times in the past year, and all I get is he thought you moved.

  6. Damien says:

    We once had a similar experience at a Post Office. When we finally got to the counter, my wife and I noticed the lady that took so long was named “soon.”

  7. Julianne says:

    Great visual. I pictured the postal carrier as Homer Simpson’s Dad 🙂

  8. Hilarious! It is amazing how many stupers are around us at all times. I have to disagree with Julianne, I think he looks more like the grandpa on Rugrats. I agree with you about the gum by the way.

    Contest going on until Friday at !:)

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