December 15th, 2011

  • aphrael

USPS rage

I hate going to the post office. This is because every single time I've been in there, bar once, I've had a horrible experience. Last time, I got served by a woman named Phyllis. I had done my research before I went to the post office, so I knew I wanted to send my mail First Class International - i.e., the cheapest option. I was sending two parcels to Australia, and I had already filled out both customs forms. In one of the parcels was a bag of ground coffee. I had specifically put "ground roasted coffee" on the customs forms, as you can't send raw or green coffee to Australia and the form tells you to be as specific as possible. However, because there isn't much room on the customs form, only "roasted ground" fit on one line, so "coffee" was on the next line, with the quantity and cost next to it. Phyllis insisted this would confuse whoever handled the mail, and made me fix it. Fine. Next up, she started to read out the list of postage options. Oh, I said, I'd like First Class International, please. She fixed me with a death glare, and told me she *had* to read out all the options to me. So I waited while she read them out s-l-o-w-l-y. For both parcels. The whole process took ages, and there was a huge queue behind me. Now I know why there's always such a long wait at this post office.

So anyway, Phyllis was not my best friend that day. Today, I go in again, with a parcel to Australia, and one to Ohio. I use the automatic postage machine for my Ohio parcel (I love that machine, I just wish it could handle international parcels), print out my label, stick it on...and the box next to it for depositing parcels in is full. Or broken. Not sure which, but it wouldn't open. Since I have to line up anyway for the Aussie parcel, I figure I'll just hand it over the counter. Note here: the parcel to Ohio was a return, and I'd just stuck the pre-printed address from the company on the box. I did not put my return address, as my address was inside the parcel several times. Before anyone says anything, I *know* if it gets lost, it can't be returned to me. I was well aware, and was willing to take that risk.

So I line up, and Phyllis and I meet again. I hand her the Ohio parcel and say, politely, that the box was full so I needed to give it to her. She points out the lack of return address. I acknowledge this. She then refuses to take it without a return address. I point out I could just put it in the box without a return address. She said "Well ma'am, you're welcome to put it in the box." Yeah. Except IT'S FULL. As I already told you. She refused to back down on this, and since the post office doesn't have any pens for the public to use and I didn't bring one, my parcel didn't get sent. So I gave her my Aussie parcel. Instead of getting to work on it, she starts bitching and moaning at my "attitude" and how it isn't her fault, she doesn't make the rules, blah blah. I don't care, I just want my parcels done and to get out of there. She finally starts, and insists, again, on reading out every single option for postage. Slowly. Then at the end, she asks if I want anything else. I say no. She then proceeds to list stuff I might want - stamps, whatever. Still no, Phyllis. Finally she let me pay and I could go.

I looked up the rules on return addresses on parcels when I got home, and I do NOT have to put one on there unless it's one of a list of special parcels, which mine was not. I think I might just refuse to be served by her next time, because I'm afraid I might throw something at her. I realise some people might think I'm overreacting, but this woman is clearly, deliberately being obstructive in her dealings with customers. Or maybe just me, I don't know. Her tone is always patronising, and she speaks and does everything so slowly it's a complete joke.