VIRGINIA LUCAS HART

NYC Post Offices

NYC, storyVirginia HartComment

I know that I tend to struggle with routine tasks more than the average person. I am a klutz, I am awkward, inanimate objects have teamed up and conspired against me, I have accidentally super glued a pink high-heel to my hand, managed to get my pant leg stuck inside the vacuum cleaner, I continue to smack my head on everything in my nearby surroundings (all questions answered!), and I discover great difficulty in completing tasks that seem so easy-breezy-sheezy for others.

I'd like to talk about my hopeless struggle with the scary land of NYC post offices. It's important to note that NYC post offices are vastly different (at least for me) from what I grew up knowing.

How so?

I used to know post offices as a calm and happy operation. I could stroll in at a granny's pace and ask for advice while the smiley postal worker remained eager to help and show me the cute new Dalmatian stamps.

Here? It's like entering a freakin' war zone. Don't let them fool you, no one is on your side.

Walking into a NYC post office is like walking into a NYC Starbucks. You best know what you want.

This city is designed to appreciate the person that marches in and announces, "I need 2 drinks: one Grande coffee in a Venti cup with 2 pumps hazelnut, 2 pumps vanilla, 1 pump caramel, 2 Equals and 4 Sweet & Lows, filled to the top with cream with extra cream on the side, double cupped with no sleeve. Second is an iced Venti, 2 regular shots, one decaf, 3 pumps white mocha, 4 pumps gingerbread, half soy, half nonfat, 2 Splenda, easy on the ice, with caramel and chocolate drizzle on top, the ratio of caramel to chocolate 3 to 1. THANKS."

Me? "Um, let me see.........................ok, I'll have...........a small coffee. TALL, yes that's what I meant."

Just like you have to enter Starbucks knowing your specific coffee order, you must be also be prepared and equipped the second you set foot in a post office here, knowing exactly how you would like to send that parcel of yours.

What? You need to purchase a box?

Sometimes they have those. But good luck putting them together. I'm like a damn chimpanzee in the corner trying to perform origami tricks.

You need a pen? Well there might be one attached to a metal-ball-string, but it no longer works.

You need tape? You're going to have to ask the drill sergeant "helper" that stands by the line. He or she will hate you for actually needing something. If you get to use one of their ghetto and extra-sharp tape rolls, well muahaha, have fun.

If you survive long enough to make it to a window, you will need everything set and ready to go. You're sending a liquid? You need a delivery confirmation? You want...insurance?

Wait, you're not sure about the correct responses to any of the aforementioned questions?

(Is lipgloss a liquid? Idunno! Idunno!)

What's that? You haven't addressed it yet?!

Alright, loser, you're going to have to step aside. Be prepared to anger someone (most likely the same lovely gem-of-a-person who placed that absurd Starbucks order) as you attempt to butt back in line to give your package to the postal worker who only pretended to care about your niece's birthday present. And don't even get me started on what these establishments are like around the holidays or Tax Day.

Long story short, I always leave the post office severely disheveled and in desperate need of a Jack & Diet. I wonder, do others feel the same way? Or am I alone in this? Does everyone else find their p.o. encounters easy-breezy-sheezy?

Le sigh...

until next time,

g