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Going Postal

At the post office one should be able to POST things, right?


There is a postal sub-station about a half-mile from my house. I don’t do business there because the folks are surly, and if I have a question — or need them to weigh a package and determine proper postage — they snarl about it. So, I choose to drive further for better service.
I can drive two miles to a post office open only from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., or I can drive 4 miles to one open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. During school I really didn’t have a choice. I had to go to the one four miles away because the other was closed by the time I got off work. That’s okay. The clerks at that station are fantastic. However, yesterday I had 11 eBay packages to ship and I wanted to get them out of my house and out of my way early, before I inadvertantly put them in with my storage stuff. Early meant the post office only two miles away.

Except — I arrive at the post office, struggle in with my 11 packages — stand in line where everyone can clearly see me — and finally get to the window. The clerk says, “How may I help you?”

I say, “I’d like to mail these.”

The clerk says, “We don’t accept mail here.”

I look pointedly at the red, white and blue US MAIL sign. The clerk blushes. “I query, “These is a post office, yes?”

The clerk nods. “Yes, ma’am, but only for outgoing mail. We are a general delivery post office.”

“Don’t you think you should have a sign or two to that effect?”

The clerk shrugged and shook his head. “Everybody just knows.”

“Apparently not everybody,” I say as I walk away.

The woman behind me stepped forward. “I’d like to buy a book of “Forever” stamps.”

The clerk responded, “I’m sorry, we don’t sell stamps here.”

A fellow further back in line said, “Can I get a change of address form?”

Nope. All you can do is pick up any mail you had put on hold or sent care of general delivery.  Period.  But you have to stand in line for 35 minutes to discover that little gem.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Where is Cliff Claven when you need a really really good postal clerk? He, at least, knew how to quaff a beer properly. The new crowd doesn’t even know how to do that.

  2. There ya go! MORE of our tax dollars at work! …. never heard of a bloomin’ post office that didn’t accept mail…. pft!

  3. Dr. John — yeah, weird, that’s the word.

    Dr. John — Saurkraut — hey, maybe I should have taken the packages to the corner barr — if nothing else I might have gotten a cold drink for standing in line (as opposed to a cold shoulder).

    Melli — I don’t think it has a right to the name …

  4. We have one of these offices at Northpointe – I went there TWICE before I got it through my head that they’d never be able to help me! It’s just not right. But then, no one asked me.

  5. Quilly

    Lets hear if to Government Service. Are these real Post Offices run by the Federal Government or Postal Kiosks run by private enterprise.

    Here in Canada “Canada Post” has their own Post Office here in Calgary but lots of Postal Outlets that are privately run. I can remember up until recently when a parcel the “Postal Carrier” (we are not allowed to say mailman anymore) cannot carry, it is sent to a Postal Outlet to be picked up. For a long time when this happened to me I’d have to drive about 3 miles to a Postal Outlet when there was one just a half mile down the road.

    I sometimes wonder if the Inmates are running the Asylum when it comes to the Government.

  6. wow, that must be a happening place around there, with lots to do than actually send mail.

    This just seem ridiculous to me:)

    I´d expect a post office, to post stuff, too. You are not alone!

  7. Crazy inefficiency! Aren’t you glad you’re getting out of that nutty place? I’m sure all post offices in Hawaii actually post things.

  8. Now that is an interesting job situation. I want a part time job for my retirement where I can be paid and of no service to anyone!!! Seriously, don’t they pick the boxes up at your home address? Hugs

  9. LOL! Sounds like my small town post office, except they weren’t surly about it. You could mail things from there, as long as it didn’t require any forms. If it did, I’d go to the other small town post office. They didn’t know how to send the packages with forms, but at least they had the forms and they’d try. I never liked to bother with the big small town post office because they were rude.

    One of these days I’ll tell you about my crazy little post office. It’s good for a laugh.

  10. Ooops. That last comment was for THIS post.

    Gawpo hates the wordpress comment arrangement. This isn’t the fist time I’ve left comments for the wrong post. Sheesh!

  11. Jackie — you mean there are other post offices like that in the world. Why?

    Bill — now I know where all the people went when they emptied the mental health asylums! They’ve all got government jobs!

    Minka — they claim to be a mail warehouse. Hello? So That’s why it takes so long for a letter to cross town.

    Kat — read JAckie’s comment … they’re everywhere!

    Pauline — sure they’ll pick them up at my home — sometime betwen noon and five — and I have to be here. Also, if I need to have something weighed for postage, I have to go in.

    Brig — I really like the team in the grocery store US Postal Express station. They crack me up.

    Polona — no bad omens please.

    Gawpo — the comment button is under the TITLE of the post you’re commenting on.

    Nessa — indeed.

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