If That’s What You Want, Soviet

, , , , | Working | March 30, 2020

(In the 1980s, there was an effort to assist Jews in the USSR who wanted to emigrate but were denied. Really, all a US citizen could do was write to them and tell them we were working for their release. It also served to annoy the Soviets. My mother joined the campaign and was given a family to write to. Part of the instructions were to mail the letter with a “return receipt postcard” attached. This was to be mailed back by the recipients so that she would know that they received her original letter. I’m not sure who paid for this return postage. One time, after a suitable waiting period, the return postcard did not arrive. My mother went to the local post office to register a complaint. This was not a complaint against the US Postal Service but a way of letting the Soviets know we were watching.)

Mom: “I wish to register a complaint that a letter I sent to the USSR was not received. I know this because I never received the return receipt postcard.”

Clerk: “We would need a letter from them telling us they didn’t receive your letter.”

Mom: “Wait, what? You want them to send me a letter telling me they didn’t get the letter I sent them?”

Clerk: “Yes.”

(Mom stares at the clerk and asks for a manager, please. A manager comes over.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Clerk: “I was just telling her I can’t open a complaint form until she receives a letter telling her they didn’t receive her letter.”

(The manager stared at the clerk and told them to go work on [something]. The manager then filled out the complaint form for my mother.)

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Unfiltered Story #189047

, , , | Unfiltered | March 11, 2020

(I manage a shipping store and we get these calls pretty often)

Me: “Thanks for calling (store), can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I need to see how much it would be to ship something.”

Me: “Okay, no problem, do you have the zip code it’s going to, along with the package weight and dimensions?”

Customer: “… Um, no. I just need a quote for shipping!”

Me: “Well, unfortunately without any information to go off of, I won’t be able to give you a shipping quote.”

Customer: “I don’t know, it’s a small/medium size box, maybe weighs about 10 lbs, and say it’s going to San Diego or something.”

Me: “Okay, I can give you a rough estimate, but without knowing the exact dimensions or weight, I can’t tell you exactly what it would cost to ship.”

(Tells him it’s $__.__)

Customer: “Okay, that’s fine, I’ll be down in a minute.”

(Customer comes in with bigger box than was described over the phone)
Customer: “Hey, I think I just talked to you on the phone!”

Me: “Okay, let me see…”
(It measures way bigger and weighs about 35 lbs)
Me: “So, this is a bit bigger than what we talked about on the phone, so the shipping cost went up a little.”
(Tells him it’s actually $__.__)

Customer: “That’s ridiculous, how can it change that much?”

Me: “Well, you told me a totally different size over the phone, the actual size and weight is different, so the cost goes up…”

Customer: “Whatever.”
(He ends up just shipping the box, but he’s still angry about it)

Unfiltered Story #186980

, , | Unfiltered | February 22, 2020

My dad shared this story with me. He works for the Post Office Field Maintenance. Much of what he does involves trucking through about five counties repairing PO boxes, towing broken down delivery trucks, painting those big blue drop boxes and other miscellaneous stuff.

During one of the very rare times he was inside the home base building, a woman stormed up to him. He could see her coming, and could actually feel the tension coming off of her like she was about to explode.

Angry woman in a snippy tone: “Do you work here?”

Dad (in the derpiest, aw-shucks accent he can dredge up): “Yes ma’am! I’m the Janitor!”

The lady came to a full stop. She blinked. Looked confused. Her inner wheels spun uselessly for about ten seconds.

Angry woman: “…Oh…”

She spun on her heel, wind out of her sails, and went looking for someone else, a lot more hesitantly.

Field Maintenence would be useless to anyone with a complaint, and it’s not his job to assist anyone anyway. The rigid structure of the Post Office requires work orders.

Even if it was for a repair job, she would have to report it to the front desk, who would generate a report, who would send it to the office higher up, who would approve the repair, and then someone would have been assigned to go fix it. Bureaucracy at it’s most inefficient.

Bad Behavior, A Clever Gamble, And Karma All In One Package

, , , , , , | Right | February 7, 2020

(I am dropping off a package at the post office. I am pretty busy but I don’t have anywhere to be so I wait my turn patiently. Unfortunately, as soon as the clerk is free, my phone begins to ring.)

Me: “Oh, shoot. I gotta take this.” *to the person behind me* “You can go ahead.”

Woman #1: “Thank you!”

(I step off to the side to take my call as the woman goes on ahead. It turns out it’s nothing big and I am able to hang up quickly and go back to waiting behind [Woman #1]. However, when [Woman #1] is done and walking away…)

Woman #2: “MOVE!”

(This second lady shoulders me out of the way and slams her package onto the counter as though we were in some sort of race.)

Clerk: “Actually, ma’am, she was next in–“

Woman #2: “No, she wasn’t. She stepped out of line to answer her phone, so she gave up her spot. She can go to the back of the line, or leave!”

(Then, in perfect timing that only this chaotic universe can provide, HER phone ends up ringing. I don’t know where it’s coming from until she looks at her purse then looks back up, making eye contact with me. Whether it is because she catches the hint of smugness and amusement on my face, has decided to double-down on her own assertion, or would’ve done the same if this situation hadn’t happened, she turns back to the clerk, digs out her phone from her purse, and ANSWERS IT RIGHT THERE.)

Woman #2: “Oh, hi, [Friend]. How’ve you been?”

Clerk: “Uh, ma’am?”

Woman #2: *shoving her package towards the clerk’s general direction* “Yeah, I’m just at the post office getting my son’s gift weighed and priced.” *pointedly looking at clerk* “I would’ve already been out of here if there weren’t idiots holding up the line.”

(I have had it with this woman and am about to start ripping into her. Truth be told, I don’t know what I could say to her that wouldn’t cause more of a delay for everyone, but I luckily never get to. Unbeknownst to anyone, [Woman #1] has stayed back and watched the whole thing unfold.)

Woman #1: “[Woman #2]?”

Woman #2: *freezes, then looks at [Woman #1], confused*

Woman #1: “[Woman #2]? [Woman #2], is that you? What are you doing?”

Woman #2: “I… I’m sorry, I don’t—”

Woman #1: “You’ve never acted like this, never. I honestly can’t believe my eyes. Is this how you are to others?”

Woman #2: *beet red* “I… I’ve got to go!!”

(With that, she practically snatches up her package from the clerk’s hands and bolts out of the place. A collective sigh of relief is had for everyone present and I finally make it to the counter. [Woman #1] stands by to check in on me as the clerk is doing her thing.)

Woman #1: “Are you all right?”

Me: “I’m fine, thank you. But, um… I’m sorry about your friend. Maybe she was…”

Woman #1: *laughing* “Oh, I have no idea who the h*** she is, thank God. I just took a peek at what names were on her package and made a gamble.”

(I’m so thankful for that woman. She unknowingly saved me from blowing a gasket with her quick thinking. Since the local post office is super close to me, I hope to run into her again and trade contact info, at least to send her a holiday card for the future!)

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Christmas Must Be A Nightmare For The Smiths

, , | Working | February 5, 2020

(My neighbor and I happen to share the same last name — a common Spanish surname. The postman has been getting our mail mixed up since I moved in. I finally catch him in the act one day.)

Me: “I’m actually [My Name]. [Neighbor] is my neighbor.”

Postman: “Aren’t you related?”

Me: “No, it’s a common last name. He’s been living here ten years longer than I have.”

Postman: *scoffs* “But you have the same last name. That must mean you’re related.”

Me: “What’s your last name?”

Postman: [Common English Name].”

Me: “Do you know all of the [Common English Name]s?”

(He paused, turned bright red, and then put the mail in the correct box. He hasn’t screwed up since.)

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