Friday, April 1, 2011

I don't get out much these days

Yesterday I went to the post office. Seems normal enough, but for me it was a small triumph. I'd been meaning to go for the last three days, but somehow I could never muster the energy to get all four of us out the door. So yesterday when we were already out to drop Marielle off at joy school, I seized the moment. I stopped by our apartment to grab the package and dashed in and out while Jenna and Rex stayed in the car. There was no time to hunt for packing tape.

I arrived at the post office with a double stroller, unsealed box, and the wrong zip code, but I was there. I approached the counter with visions of a kind postal worker who would whip out a tape gun, zip, zip, zip, seal my package and send it packing (with a smile too). Instead I got a look of annoyance and curt response of "Your package is not prepared. You can buy tape or send it Priority Mail and use our tape." I wanted to cry out, "But I just had a baby and even arriving at the post office is monumental -- let's not fret about packing tape!" Instead I politely asked him to give me the rates for priority mail and regular post. That's when we discovered I had the wrong zip code neatly written on my package. Another look of annoyance and sigh from Mr. Sour Face. The difference was three dollars which was according to Sour Face, "Hardly any difference at all." Sadly, I'm such a tight wad that $3 is consequential, and in my pre-3-kid life I would have gone home, found my packing tape and come back later. But, given my circumstances, the priority mail packing tape racket won out. So I get shuffled aside and the Sour Face hands me the tape gun and tells me sternly to find the correct zip code.

As I'm struggling to tape up my box and figure out how to work the tape gun, I hear the very next customer also get a lecture about not having his package prepared. (Umm, I guess this happens a lot?) Now I'm struggling with the tape. The tape tears off to a skinny sliver and I can't find the end. Once I find the end I have to reload it, but I can't for the life of me figure this tape gun out. I give up and just try to finish but I can't reach the tape to the metal edge. So I resort to cutting the tape with my keys because I'm scared to ask for help from the postal worker. Meanwhile Jenna has gotten bored and decided to amuse herself with Rex, who had been asleep, but is now crying. He's escalating and I'm still having no success cutting the tape with my keys. Enter Patti. I know her name is Patti because it is embroidered on her shirt. I also know that she works at a nail salon due to her informative clothing. It seems Patti is friends with postal worker who we can now call Ken because they are quite chatty as I continue to mangle the tape gun. She notices me struggling and asks Ken for some scissors, which he happily produces. He decides to show compassion since his friend is now watching and surprisingly whips out another tape gun and says, "This one should work much better for you."

And it does, I have no trouble at all! One more swoop of the tape and I finish. Phew! I pay the cash, mail the box, and head out. I'm not sure what the moral of the story is, but I'm sure glad that Ken has a sweet spot for Patti.


michelle m said...

I wish Patti was there the last time I had to deal with Ken. :)

Hang in there!

E.S. said...

Is this an april fool's joke? i was expecting something better :)

Katie said...

Eek! I had the same experience! Same post office! And it might have been the same guy? Where were Patti and her magic fingernails when I needed her?

Patti said...

Had to comment- because my name is also Patti, spelled the same way. I am going to try to live up to my name from now on, so that wherever I go, I can be someone's Patti, helping them in their moment of need. What a great story.