Take a Bow, USPS
As you know, Bob, we moved to a new house a few months ago. As a consequence of that move (and increased distance from my post office of 24 years), I decided to close out my post office box. Conveniently, the box had just come up for renewal.
I finally got around to completing that task last Thursday. I drove over to the old post office, waited in line for an unusually long period of time (a man in front of me was mailing 24 – 2′ x 2′ x 3′ boxes to a US soldier), and finally stepped up to the counter.
There, I learned that the software for closing out the boxes was down and I would have to come back the next day. Exasperated, I asked P–, the desk clerk, if I could phone ahead to make sure the computers were working before I came back over.
P– solved the problem, then and there.
He took the keys to my box and my renewal paperwork. He said, “I’ll take care of this tomorrow. There’s no need for you to come back.”
P– has helped me for the last five years or so. He’s scouted out lowest rates for strange packages. He’s processed countless “Media Mail” mailings. He’s always been efficient and courteous and patient–all the while speaking with the thickest Irish brogue I’ve ever heard in my life.
I handed over my keys without thinking. I knew P– would take care of the job.
Monday morning, I was sitting at my desk, delaying jumping into Chapter 8 (as you do), when my phone rang. Caller ID said it was “US Govt Postal.” With a sudden turn of dread, I answered the phone. What if the keys had been lost? What if something else had gone awry.
But there was P– on the other end of the line. “Good mornin'” he drawled. “I just wanted to confirm I shut down your box for you.”
He didn’t need to phone. He didn’t need to confirm he’d done the job he’d said he’d so. But I’m really glad he did.
I’ll miss P–. Maybe he’ll get transferred to my new post office. A writer can hope!