The Great Brain Shutdown of 2013

, , , | Right | September 21, 2020

Just as I am leaving the post office on October 1st, 2013, a man comes in.

Man: “Why are you guys still open? The government is shut down. You’re supposed to be closed!”

Teller #1: “We’re not owned by the government.”

Man: “Yes, you are. The government owns the United States Postal Service.”

Teller #2: “We’re actually an independent establishment; we’re not owned by the federal government. So we’re still open.”

Man: “You ladies don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Teller #2: “Whatever you say, sir.”

Teller #1: “Yeah, the customer is always right.”

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Someone’s About To Go Postal

, , , , , , , | Working | September 15, 2020

During the lockdown, I’ve been making fabric face coverings and offering them to friends and family. Today, I had two parcels of them that I needed to send to people, and I walked up to the post office and got in line. There was only one window open, attended by a woman, and she was helping a male customer when I arrived, so I expected I wouldn’t be there long.

After a couple of minutes of mental woolgathering, I noticed that the assistant had taken the items that the customer was posting and they were just chatting, which annoyed me a bit, but I thought maybe she didn’t consider only one other person in line enough reason to rush. Almost as soon as I thought this, an elderly couple got in line behind me. The assistant showed no sign of noticing, so I decided to ease the rules of good manners and spend my waiting time listening in on their conversation.

The assistant was telling the man that she and her family all got the spreading illness — she described it as sore throat and sneezing — last year, but they took down and washed all the curtains and shampooed the carpets and were fine after that.


Another customer joined the queue. By this point, the assistant was telling the customer that she was the only person who had been working at the post office during lockdown because all of her colleagues had been too scared to come in, and she’d been doing seventy-hour weeks. I’d been to this post office several times during lockdown and had never seen her before; plus, it’s only open forty-five hours a week.

Another two customers joined the queue. The customer at the counter, having clearly spotted a sucker, started giving the assistant the sales pitch for some natural remedies, telling her that taking a spoonful of hemp oil three times a day would protect her from getting the illness. She was clearly buying this nonsense and started telling him about her experiences using some homemade concoction to treat a rash. The man clearly decided he had to call it a day at this point and said goodbye and left. 

Finally, I got up to the counter. I was wearing one of my fabric masks, but it’s one I kept because I made a mistake in sewing it, so the outfacing piece of fabric was the wrong way round, and you could only vaguely see the pattern on it. I told the lady how I wanted to send the parcels and placed the first one on the scale. She didn’t touch her computer — I could see from the reflection in her glasses that she had a social media site open in a small window on her screen next to the window telling her what it says on the scale — but immediately started telling me about how long she’d been at work and how she’d only had one break all day. 

I’m not normally rude, but I’d been standing in line for about ten minutes and my back hurt, so I didn’t respond and just asked her how much the parcel would cost. She didn’t answer; instead, she just told me to put the other one on the scale, and then to pass them both through the slot to her. I did so, and she asked me what was in them. I pointed to my own mask and said, “Some of these masks.”

Her eyes lit up and she started telling me about somebody she saw selling masks in a shop but he coughed so she didn’t buy any. Then, she asked me why the print on the fabric on mine was so pale, and I told her I’d made a mistake and it was inside out. She gave me a coy smile and started telling me that that was my inner self making artistic choices for me, and that actually it was my own form of self-expression. It took a couple of minutes of this before I got a chance to break in and say, “What is that going to cost?”

Again, I’m not normally rude, but I would have been there all d*** day if I hadn’t interrupted.

“I haven’t done that bit yet,” she said, obviously cross. She glared at me silently for about twenty seconds, then pressed a key on her computer and said, “£1.45. £2.76.”

One of the parcels was bigger than the other, so I assumed she’d told me the two prices individually. “What’s the total?” I asked.

“I just told you,” she replied.

“So, £2.76 for both?”

“No. Yes.”

“So… what is the total?”


It took me four more times asking to get her to tell me — somehow it was £3.11 — and I paid and got out of there. I looked around as I left and there were now eleven people in the queue. Heaven help them all.

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Has ID, Still No Idea, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | September 11, 2020

I’m a student worker at my university’s mailroom. Our policy is that a physical ID must be shown before students receive their mail. No exceptions. This is posted, by the way.

Me: *To a student* “May I see your ID?”

Student: “I don’t have it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t give you your mail without ID.”

I move on to help someone else, and when I turn around my male coworker is handing her her package and she’s looking smug. She leaves.

Me: “Did she show you her ID?”

Coworker: “Yeah.”

Me: “She wouldn’t show it to me.”

Coworker: *Visibly shocked* “What? Why?”

Methinks she just wanted to get her package from the cute foreign guy rather than the dorky girl in Crocs. Whatever, kid.

Has ID, Still No Idea

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The Currency Of Malicious Compliance

, , , , , , | Right | September 3, 2020

This happens in the late 1980s when the price of a stamp is about 25 cents. I am a customer behind the rude customer.

Rude Customer: “I’d like one stamp, please.”

Postman: “Certainly, that will be 25 cents.”

The rude customer puts a $100 bill on the counter.

Postman: “Do you have anything smaller?”

Rude Customer: “This is legal tender; you have to take it.”

Postman: “Yes, sir!”

The postman goes in the back, and then comes out and puts ninety-nine Susan B. Anthony dollar coins on the counter.

Rude Customer: “I don’t want all of these!”

Postman: “You have to take them; they’re legal tender.”

The rude customer then had to shove all the coins in his pockets, and he left with his pants falling down.

Share your experience today!

Did this customer’s demands backfiring on them put a smile on your face? If you’ve got a similar story then submit your story to the NAR community; we’d love to read it!

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Junk Mail: Universally Hated

, , , , , , | Working | August 17, 2020

I don’t like junk mail — I never have — but when I moved into a flat, the number of pieces in my mailbox started to skyrocket. What bothered me most was the constant realtor ads in an area that was mostly renters like me and with rent that was starting to skyrocket.

After a year — and a saga where the mailbox got stolen — I printed out two signs, laminated them, and stuck them on either end of the box so that people had no excuses for not seeing them. The signs not only asked for no junk mail but specified realtor ads and political fliers.

It stemmed the tide, but still, people thought that their political fliers or realtor ad were worth ignoring the sign. One political group even had the gall to tell me, “It’s a campaigning year; we’re allowed to ignore those.” No, you are not. Slowly, the numbers dropped to nothing. Bliss!

The turning point came when the box was stuffed with about five different pieces from multiple companies, and more the next! I contacted them all! Each one, in turn, told me that they didn’t hire their own people but a third-party company. I went to that company and complained politely that my box had a very clear “no junk mail” sign, and if they did this again, I would take stronger action.

Their response?

“You didn’t have a clear sign up!” They also sent a picture of my neighbour’s mailbox, which also had a sign on it, though the “J” was partially covered by the house number. “We’re allowed to put it in when there’s not a clear sign.”

I thought for a long moment and then sent them a shoddy old camera phone photo, which could be read even at the terrible resolution.

“This is the box it was in. And even if it wasn’t, that other box clearly is telling you not to put junk in it, either.”

They very meekly informed me that they would be having a word with their delivery person. I returned to not having junk mail.

The neighbour might have slipped it into my box, but mine was the furthest away from theirs and the only other one that said no junk, so I suspect the company was telling their poor delivery person to ignore the note every so often and tried to pretend I was at fault when called on it.

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