This last week has been quite the challenge when dealing with the USPS in Ishpeming, MI. Let me preface this semi-bitter rant with a few points to consider. First, I have worked in the happy-go-lucky customer service industry for my entire adult life, I understand the rules and challenges of dealing with the public, I also know how to appropriately treat disgruntled customers. Treating rude people with a smile is how I pay my bills, and for that I make it a point to be respectful and decent when dealing with other people in similar positions. I GET IT, and I happen to be friggin' great at dealing with people. Secondly, when I set up this arrangement, which I will explain below, it was at the recommendation of the postal worker.
Okay, I get mail delivered to my house, like everybody else. Unlike everybody else, I have a very aggressive rottweiler and a man-friend who works 12 hour midnight shifts. For this reason, when packages are coming to my house that require signing, I have my mail held and I pick it up at the Office, per their suggestion. This way the mail man doesn't get eaten alive, and my dear hard working man pal can get a decent day's rest without the hullaballoo of a visitor, which is rather dramatic at our house.
This past week I was expecting a package to come in the mail. I ordered it early in the week and began tracking it daily. For some reason this package, traveling to MI from PA, decided to get held up in WI. It sat there for about 36 hours. I was okay with this, and because I never trust USPS's tracking anyhow, I headed down to the post office to check out the situation on Friday.
When I got there the lady behind the counter, who knows me because I do this on occasion, went to check for any mail. I told her I was expecting a package, that seemed to be held up in WI. I don't know why but she got defensive and snarky pretty quickly. Perhaps because the Postmaster had come out and started adding his two cents, which was rather helpful, as opposed to her. It went a little something like this...
Me: "So I thought I would come down here and see if the package had made it anyway"
Mean Postal Worker: "No, its not here, but even if it were it would be out on the truck with Tony, so it wouldn't get back here until after five anyway."
Me: "Okay....well, I put my mail on hold so I could stop by and get it, not wake the hubby, etc. But you're telling me I can't pick it up"
Mean Lady: "Well, I mean, it is way too busy here to do that in the morning, he just loads the truck and goes."
Postmaster: (butting in) "Where do you live? What's the situation here?"
Me: (Turning to him, he is much friendlier) "I live on Vine St., I have to sign for a package. I guess if it shows up tomorrow I can't pick it up because it will be out on the truck? How am I supposed to get my package?"
Postmaster: "Oh, just call here around 9 a.m. and we will make sure he doesn't take it."
OK- let me break here and just say this....I put my mail on hold, the mail man takes my mail out in the truck with him anyway, and if I want to get my package I have to call the Post Office and remind them to do their job. Really? And...not to mention at this point, as the Postmaster is offering advice to me, which the woman refused to do, she is defiantly holding up a binder to the side of her face, effectively blocking him from her view, at which point she says, "get away from me, I'm going to swat you." Nice. But I digress...
Me: "Ok, so I will call here around 9am and see where we are at with the package, then I will swing by and pick it up."
Mean Lady: "Well....it is really busy here in the morning, and sometimes we don't answer the phone."
Me: (staring in awe at her) "Okay....so you aren't going to pick up the phone, so I can't call and remind you to hold my package, and it is definitely going out on the truck with the mail man...
Mean Lady: "definitely...yeah there isn't a lot we can do."
Me: "Okay, who is working tomorrow...I mean there is nothing you can do, this is ridiculous. Okay, awesome."
I just stormed out, I couldn't believe what an impossible and insolent snot that woman was being. When I have a customer that is making a difficult request I find a way to make them at least feel like I am doing something to help them out, even if there is nothing I can really do. I mean, give me a break, throw a dog a bone already.
Cut to Saturday Morning. On my way to work I stop at the Post Office again. The mean lady is gone, thank heavens. There is a fella who looks around for my package for a few minutes, but can't find it. He offers his phone number to see if we can track it. Disappointed, again, I slink out of the post office and head to work. I call the fella from work with a tracking number, turns out it missed it's ride to the office by about eight minutes. At this point I ask the worker to keep my mail on hold for Monday, and I will finally come and get my package. He says okay, and in addition, I apologize to him for being any sort of an a*s, and let him know that I had an absolutely appalling experience at the office yesterday so I am a bit disgruntled.
One would think that this nightmarish farce of a situation is over, but alas, it continues. After my mail sat in WI for 36 hours, and I was treated like a common garden slug by the counter woman at the Post Office, I show up on Monday, waving a white flag, surrendering to the trials and tribulations of the revered postal worker, ready to have a pleasant and rewarding exchange with these people that I have no choice but to interact with. The Mean Lady instantly recognizes me and proceeds to tell me that my mail was taken off of hold. I tell her that indeed it was not, I spoke with a man on Saturday and told him to hold it for one more day, it's original scheduled hold time.
She again tells me that, NO, my mail is not on hold and any package I have is out on the truck right now, then saunters off to the back. She comes back up and is giggling, she is laughing, the repugnant cow. She starts prattling on about how it is on the truck now, and you can't approach a mail man to get mail from the truck, and the package is just never ever going to get to me and there is not a gosh darned thing that anybody can do about it, the mail man is going to hold my package hostage for the rest of my life....
At this point I am simply fuming, I can feel my heart beating in my biceps and in my throat, my teeth are gritting, and I can feel "crazy eyes" starting to give her their signature stare. This has truly gone too far at this point, I am utterly disgusted with the situation. These people have been dicking me around for three days, and this woman seems hell bent on making me miserable, and for what?
Me: "Okay, I have been getting screwed with for three days now, what are you people going to do to make this right?"
Mean Lady immediately walks back to the Postmaster's office and points to him. She then begins to help other customers, and when I ask her a question she shushes me.
The postmaster comes out and when I explain the situation, and also tell him that his employee has done absolutely nothing to help me for the past week, he runs back and sees to it that the mail man returns from his route to bring the package to me.
I have to leave for a half hour, and when I return there is the fella from Saturday behind the counter. He immediately apologizes about sending the mail out, says it was his fault. I told him no problem, it is straightened out now, and also that I really appreciate him being nice about all this, and I'm sorry to be a total jack a** but I'm having a hard time getting help from certain employees.
So...postmaster walks out with my mail, Hallelujah, and hands it to Mean Lady. She slaps it down and lo and behold, my package is ripped wide open. And guess what, it got ripped open at their office. It had one of their stickers on it, dated 1/23. She says very nonchalantly to me "Oh yeah, you're package arrived torn open." I am by no means a paranoid conspiracy theorist or anything, but wow, I feel like these people have been gas lighting me for four days. How weird, how uncomfortable. And let me elaborate on why....
I am a single, college educated with multiple degrees, employed young woman, and an active member of my community. I do not have health insurance, nor do I have a primary care doctor. I live in a piss poor economic area, I work for a non profit organization, I have enormous student loan bills and I live paycheck to paycheck. Because of this I am forced to look elsewhere for medical treatments, and when I require any kind of medications I get them for ridiculously high prices from sketchy online pharmacies. Hooray for me, but hey, we do what we have to do to get by right?
So, as I am sure one can surmise, this particular delivery was indeed a prescription. I guess I just feel particularly uncomfortable knowing that the entire trustworthy, friendly and helpful staff at my local small-town post office are now privy to my medications. I feel violated and betrayed by a governmental organization that is required by law to not tamper with my s**t, to uphold laws and treat citizens with respect and good will. Don't they take some kind of oath not to mess with people and their stuff? I don't know if there is anything that I can do to right this situation, but I know it is going to be a long time before I set foot in that god forsaken awful place again.