Going Postal

3 Jan

Dead on accuracy

Shhh.  Listen carefully.  Can you hear that?  It’s the slow sucking sound of the U.S. Postal Service removing itself from the national vernacular.   There is a reason why the U.S. Postal Service is in a heap of trouble.  Allow me to go all drinking gin out of a jelly-jar reminiscent here.  When I was a wee one, I remember my mom whistling through her teeth that stamp prices were getting raised to a dime.  A dime is that small, thin silver-colored coin.  Postage now?  Add a quarter, a dime, a nickel and four pennies together…for now.  That there was the era of when you knew your Postman; when you paid your bills, they went into your very own mailbox where you raised the little red metal announcement flag on the side.  “Hey look at me!  I correspond with people, I pay bills.  I rule!”

Postal alert flags are, like, so last century

We built a new mailbox several years ago.  There is no flag on the side since the need for alert has been removed.  In olden days a visit from the postal delivery truck didn’t happen every day.  You needed to be expecting a real letter or sending one out…hence the red flag.  In our present time, at some irregular point everyday, a random, chain-smoking postman is going to slow down to shove 3 pounds of crappy circulars and solicitations in our box without fail.  A stop is guaranteed.  But forget that.  I would never just leave a check in the mailbox for some hood to lift anyway.  Our mailbox may as well have that green arrow circle on it, ’cause it’s really just middle management for the recycling bin.

Newman would be a sight for sore eyes

But what happens at our mail box is nothing compared to the assault that greets you when you actually go to visit a post-office.  Cue up the gin jelly-jar sloshing again, ‘cause mama’s got another brain picture.  When I was a girl, going to the post-office was an event.  While you were waiting you could look at the posters of the most wanted and dangerous criminals in the land, then usually someone (not a molester) would give you stickers, a coloring book and a pat on the head.  It was, dare I say, something to look forward to on Mom’s errand list.  Nowadays, my kids piss and moan if they have to go inside that place.  It beyond sucks.  For them and for me.  Nobody wins at the post-office anymore.  If it weren’t for Christmas cards, sending taxes certified and passports, the post office would have been dead to me long ago.  But as it is…

This will cost you days of your life

Hot Damn has been both blessed and cursed with a wanderlust that gets fed with some regularity.  We like to get our international travel on and that usually means taking the kids with us.  Children’s passports have to be completely re-applied for every 5 years. They can not be renewed.  Why?  Because of all the divorced jack-wagons that like to steal their kids and take them “home” to places like Iran.  Now both parents and their little darlings must be present at the post-office to process this application.  Thanks, assholes, for ruining it for the rest of us.  So, getting closer to the point…with a fabulous trip looming, the tots out of school and Greg home from the office during the holidays we seized the perfect opportunity to knock this chore out last week.

The first post-office we unloaded at had a sign that the passport office would be closed due to the holidays.  The next one had a little glass enclosed office with lettering on the door that said the passport office hours were Mon.-Fri. 10-  .  Ten until when, exactly?  The Wookiee working at the regular desk was noticeably peeved by my sheer audacity at ask about the hours.  “’Til 1pm”.  It was 2:15, so we were s.o.l.  Okay.  No biggie.  There’s always tomorrow, right?  Except that when we went back, the same post-woman, still irritated that I was at her job asking questions about her job, let me know with an exaggerated eye-roll that I was out of my mind for even thinking that the passport office would be open today…and “ ‘sides, you need an appointment fo’ THAT”.  Same woman, same post office, same question, just a different weekday.  Couldn’t we have covered this at yesterday’s previous visit?

We'll be flying those friendly skies again soon

Don’t cry for me yet, Argentina.  My brain recovered from the bureaucracy beat-down and I remembered that the Buckhead Post-office is a happy postal land if you can find a place to park.   Long story short is that the clouds parted, birds sang and glitter spewed forth.  After handing over what amounted to a month’s rent on my college apartment, the new passports should be here in the next 6 weeks or so.  But I’ll be kvetching about this again in another 4 ½ years for certain.  However, by then I fully expect that all of the post office buildings will have have been converted into loft apartments and organic grocery co-ops.  Maybe I’ll be able to reapply through Facebook.  So long, post-office.

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2 Responses to “Going Postal”

  1. Lisa January 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Passports are my ONLY reason for stepping foot inside a USPS office. Everything else I make my husband do! And I swear I met the same lady you did that last time we were there. Except I think I cussed her out for not telling me that an appointment was needed when she told me the times the day before! We have one child’s coming up for renewal this year. I’m not sure I have it in me to go through it . . . UUUUUGGGGGHHHH. . . .

  2. slickme2 May 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Passports… just to put it simply, “UGH!!!”

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