Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Post Office: Doin' Business Like it's 1989

J and I are throwing a new years eve soiree and I have been mailing invites along with Christmas and Chanukah cards. Ergo, I need stamps. Lots of stamps. Today I went to the post office to mail my niece's Christmas gift and pick up more stamps. I figured (diabolical foreshadowing...) that it wouldn't be long cause I'd just do the self-weigh and use the stamp machines at the front of the post office.

'Twas not to be. I ended up walking out because the lines were so long. Why was I contending with the lines, you ask? Well, are you aware that the stamp machines take Cash Only? I'm not kidding! They sell $42 rolls of stamps--for CASH ONLY! Like I'm walking in there with 42 bucks in cash and feeding it into a machine dollar by dollar? Are we at all incredulous that the p.o. is losing money?! What is the last machine you have seen in a place of business that takes cash only, with the exception of a coke machine? Especially when an item for purchase costs $42!!? Hell, I use plastic to buy a cup of coffee for $2, and I can't use it to buy stamps for $42??!! What is up with a business as we approach 2005 not taking plastic?

So, like my usual militant midget self, I decide I'm going to write a cheeky letter to the Postmaster General and respectfully request that the post office join us in the 21st century. That means credit cards at vending machines, online zip code lookup at the post office, automated label printing like fedex does, and an express lane that does not have little old ladies (bless their hearts) taking forever to give someone a sheet of stamps as they do that gross-but-commonly-practiced "finger lick" thing to separate the sheets.

I clicked on the website, ready to send him a cheeky letter. Then I saw his name, started laughing, and thought "well, no wonder they are having techno troubles!" The US Postmaster General is named John Potter.

No comments: