Wednesday, December 08, 2010

hymn for the postal service

I stood in line at the post office for about 20 minutes yesterday, while in front of me people were making strange time-consuming transactions like buying money orders and renting post office boxes. My favourite was the elderly gentleman who pulled a list out of his pocket, straightened out the wrinkles in the slip of paper, cleared his throat, and proceeded to place his order in a ringing tones: 17 - 1 cent stamps, 8 - 2 cent stamps, 9 - 5 cent stamps, 7 - 10 cent stamps, and, my favourite, 16 - 43 cent stamps.

I didn't even know they made 43 cent stamps any more, but the post office lady (who is a paragon of efficiency) darted into the back room and a couple of minutes later emerged with a sheet of 43 centers.

I was impressed, and only slightly impatient.

Hopefully the exam survival package now winging its way to the OFKAR brings her a little touch of down-home Christmas and makes her extra smart.

Stood in any good queues lately?

9 comments:

John Mutford said...

No good queue stories, but interesting post office story. A couple weeks back I sent books to a person in Ontario and to South Korea. Exact same day, exact same time, both sent the cheapest way possible. The South Korean gt her book last week, the Ontarian got hers yesterday.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I believe every word of your story, John, because I have had an almost identical experience. Yeah it's a big country, but c'mon!

Toccata said...

My parents sent a graduation card from LA to the son of a family friend back in Moose Jaw. The card arrived several months later after it made a pit stop in Malaysia. Moose Jaw, Malaysia that would be pretty easy to mix up.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That graduation card is better travelled than I am, Toccata! Malaysia must have identical postal codes to Moose Jaw; isn't that how everything is delivered anymore?

L said...

So far I've only been to the post office twice this season, and have only wanted to slap someone once. I didn't, so... success!

leazwell said...

The P.O. lines have been long here since Thanksgiving!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You get some sort of trophy for that level of restraint, Lesley.

Your Thanksgiving is really the unofficial start of the Christmas season, isn't it, Leazwell?

Wandering Coyote said...

LOL! That guy must have some seriously old stamps kicking around he wants to use up!

Haven't stood in any queues yet, but I'm sure my time is coming very soon.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

This was going to be the year I used up all my ancient stamps too, WC, so I grabbed an assortment of small ones as well (when there was no lineup), but I miscounted what I need, so now I have an even bigger assortment!