Needs An Express Delivery Of Compassion

, , , , , | Right | June 25, 2017

I was injured on my postal job, and have a broken foot. I’m on crutches, an important point. Since I can’t do my regular job, the postmaster puts me on the customer service window where people pick up their hold mail and things like that.

It’s late, things are slow, like they usually are at that time, and a guy hands me two slips to pick up certified mail. Our station covers six ZIP codes, so we have a LOT of mail. And I mean a LOT.

I take the slips and go look for them. He has one letter that came in the previous day, and another that came in a couple of days before that. We have one area where the previous day’s mail (usually) goes, and then another place where we keep the older mail. They’re in a rough order, by a number in the street address. I find the first one quickly. The other, I have to go through over 400 letters to find, and then I have to go through them again, because his letter has a forwarded mail sticker that got stuck to the letter ahead of it while leaving the old address exposed. I finally see the sticker and realized what had happened.

I go to the window, and the guy sneers, “You took four minutes to get my mail. That’s unacceptable. I want to talk to your postmaster.”

I don’t get mad. I don’t even drop my jaw at a guy getting upset about someone ON CRUTCHES being a little slow. I smile. Because I STILL HAVE HIS MAIL IN MY HAND. I tell him I’ll be glad to get the postmaster, shut the dutch door, and hobble away. Our station is pretty big, as a station with six zip codes would be. It takes me a while to find the postmaster.

I find him on the dock, and he says, almost in one breath, you look tired, what’s up, are you okay, you shouldn’t have come back to work the day after an injury like that, and I know you’re dying for a cigarette (this was back when I smoked), so have one and tell me what’s up.

So I tell him while I smoke the cigarette. Then we go back.

The postmaster opens the dutch door while I handle scanning the mail and getting the signature, off to the side, not saying anything. The guy is FUMING by this point. The postmaster lets him have it for timing someone who had broken her foot only the day before — I could have taken time off, but I am there, serving petty jerks like him, while I am in pain.

And then the guy makes the fatal mistake. He tells the postmaster that he has a bad attitude for a taxpayer paying his salary.

Hint to all of you Americans out there: NEVER — EVER — throw the scum taxpayer argument in a postal worker’s face. Don’t even hint at it, because your tax dollars DO NOT PAY for one fricking cent of a postal worker’s salary. That stamp or postage on the front pays our salaries. NOTHING ELSE. Bring it up, and you deserve to get your head torn off.

When that jerk resorted to the taxpayer argument, that’s when the postmaster went after the guy with both guns, informing him that he was all wrong, why, and finally that he had his mail. He could leave now.

The guy couldn’t believe the postmaster wasn’t firing me on the spot. “You’re not doing anything about how slow she is?”

“Why would I? I’m proud of her for needing so little time to find your mail, when she has a broken foot.” Then my boss turned to me with a grin, and said, “He’s all yours.”

This is his code: You can get your dig in; just don’t swear at him. I am kinda notorious for not taking crap off customers, and he wants to see what I’ll say. That’s probably why he stands in a place where the customers can’t see him. The window clerks take a few seconds from doing their end of day wrapping up to listen in, too.

I finally hand the guy his mail, smile, and say, “Isn’t it great that we live in America where we’re civilized and expect all workers to be treated with dignity and respect? Have a nice day!”

And I shut the door.

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