Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers and the U S Post Office and Me -

     Yesterday, Saturday, we went to our Bala Cynwyd post office to mail a letter.  The post office opens at 10:00 on Saturday and we did not know how much postage to put on this letter with about 8 pages in it.  The insurance company enclosed a self addressed envelope, but the envelope was not stamped.  So, we arrived at around 30 seconds before 10 and waited and sure enough, at a little after 10, the iron gate was raised.  But, the 3 employees who were standing behind the counter started, then, to get ready to take care of us, the customers.  They counted their money, sorted their stamps, straightened their things, and then said "next."  By that time, there were at least 10 people who were waiting in line.  In the olden days, a 10:00 opening meant that the workers were ready and prepared to take care of the customers.  But, it's worse in Hawaii.

     Anyway, I used the self help kiosk while I complained to a young woman who was standing at an island and stamping her envelopes and packages.  She offered me a stamp, but I told her that I had no idea  how much postage it required.  So, the first woman in line weighed her package, put the stamp on her package, took her receipt, and just about did a jig because she figured out how to use the automated system.  Then the man behind her, and in front of me, repeated the process.  Finally, it was my turn.  I put the envelope on the scale, answered the questions, entered the zip code, and found out that it required 66 cents postage.  Great.  Except, I couldn't buy one 66 cent stamp.  The minimum purchase was a dollar.  I complained out loud and the woman with the stamps said that she had a bunch of stamps, put two 34 cent stamps on the envelope.  I thanked her, reached into my wallet to pay her, and she "no.  Pay it forward."

     See, it's what I have said forever and ever.  On the whole, most people are wonderful and nice and polite and generous.  There are just one or two bad guys who ruin it for everyone.

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