The Post Office and I

Trip Start Sep 09, 2009
Trip End Oct 07, 2009

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Friday, October 2, 2009

Today, broken toe and all, I hobbled to the nearest post office, several blocks away, dragging my roller bag full of guidebooks and other ephemera of tourism (tea towels, primarily, for my fantasy tea towel quilt).  By the time I got there, I was sweating.  Claudia said they have boxes of all sizes at the PO now, so I didn't need to bring one, but I didn't know where to begin.

 I was immediately intercepted by sdomeone I will call St. Lucille, who said, "Honey, what do you need?"  She was one of the new lobby-greeters the PO has now.  I explained the situation.  She had me open the suitcase, right there in front of God and everybody, and shook her head.  She thought outloud the best way to handle it--19 pounds of God knows what--produced a box, had me fill it, saw it was too small, produced a bigger one, taped it up, escorted me to a self-service counter, and weighed the damned thing.  Shook her head at $43 price tag and told me to take out all the tea towels--which she pointed out to me were a lot less heavy that guidebook.s  She ripped off the tape, I pulled out the teatowels, she produced yet another box, and had me fill it with just the printed matter.

A nearby clerk, watching me do this, called out, "What're you going to do with all that stuff when you get home?"  Ha!  Good question!  "File it," I said.  She shook her head and laughed.

 Lucille taped up the box and carried it to the counter.  I said, "I want to write a letter to your supervisor because you really helped me out today."  She wrote down the info and her full name: Lucille Porter.  Then another saint (possibly a sub-saint) named Theodora, a clerk, weighed and muttered, and offered me the opportunity to pay $77 to mail it to Berkeley in two days, or to pay $11.67, including insurance, to get it there in a week.  I thanked her. I had her write her name down.  The stress of it all triggered a hot flash and she turned on her own personal fan and directed it at me.

Got back to hotel and immediately wrote letter to their supervisor, commending their kindness and efficiency. And the practicality of having a fan.

This was the highlight of the day in a city with confusing angled avenues,muggy weather, and everyone but me wearing an important ID badge around their neck.
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cphenly on

I might be inclined to accuse you of delusions, if I didn't think the details were too convincing. Remember my last experience with Post Office (in Denton, TX, where the clerk didn't know how much post card stamps cost, couldn't figure out anywhere to look it up, and settled for 'we don't sell them' as a last resort), and you will understand my amazement. That's the best service I EVER heard of from a Post Office!!!

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