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Friday, March 19, 2004

The line at the post office was short when I got there. That's good, because there was only one clerk working at the windows. By the time I left, the line was not just out into the lobby, but it was heading toward the street. They had three clerks working by then, but two of them were helping the same customer who had been at the window when I walked in, ever so long ago.

Apparently there was some confusion about how to work the computer. The clerk had wanted to open the cash drawer, but the only way he could do it was to close out the transaction, even though the customer wasn't through with her endless pile of packages. He assumed that he could collect that twenty dollars when he opened the drawer again.

The monkey wrench in the works here was that the customer wanted to pay with a check card, and there was no way to charge her the original twenty dollars plus the rest of what she owed. They just couldn't figure out how to run the card through the computer and have it show both transactions.

They were still puzzling over this problem when I left. Now that it was no longer my problem, too, I commiserated with the folks in line, even the woman in the wheel chair who didn't realize that the only way I could leave would be if she got out of the doorway. When she woke up, I thanked her and apologized at the same time.

Some of those people at the end of the line might still be waiting, but I doubt it. Maybe one of them was an expert who could help with the computer. Or maybe somebody volunteered to pay the twenty bucks, just to get out of there. They probably solved the problem in time so that none of them had to wait any longer than I did, even the ones waiting out on the sidewalk. The difference is that I started second in line and still gave up half my morning to my postal adventure.

18 March 2004

The pussywillow comes back to life.

Even after the ordeal, I was in a good mood leaving the post office ("leaving" being the key). I moved on to my other morning errands, ending up in the supermarket produce department stocking up on fruits and vegetables for the weekend. (Actually I bought oranges, lemons, tomatoes and bananas, so you have to define "vegetable" pretty loosely to give me any credit in that department.)

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Here's the kicker: When I went out to the little green mailbox at the end of my driveway this afternoon, I found one of those peach-colored notices in it. A package would be waiting for me at the post office, and I could pick it up any time after 9:00 Monday morning. So I get to stand in line again, and this time on the busiest day of the week, all because the carrier (probably a substitute) couldn't be bothered to come to my door and knock. I guess the driveway that I walk on was too long for him to drive on. Jerk.

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One year ago: Counter Measures
"He was the only one who understood them, but maybe that's why he clung to them like an old stuffed rat from his childhood (assuming he had either a childhood or a stuffed rat)."

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The cellar door was open,
I could never stay away