Saturday, April 16, 2005

Day 97 - Post Office

Well, this morning I had to go to a different Post Office, I normally go to the one by my work - and I usually go on the Friday after Pay Day - because I go to Walmart and the Dollar Store on Pay Day and then I pack boxes up that night. Then I go the next day and mail the boxes off - based on my system, Al then receives those boxes on the mail run two weeks later. It's a great system. It works perfectly.

Well, until Tax Day. Stupid Tax Day messed everything up yesterday. I was sitting at the office yesterday printing off the ninety million labels that go on everything from the custom forms to the boxes themselves when it hit me that it was freaking Tax Day --- otherwise known as the day when all procrastinators everywhere like to stand in line to mail stuff. Ugh. So, Al's packages got mailed this morning instead.

But, the point of the story is that I have gone four separate Post Offices now to mail Al's care packages --- and let me tell you one thing - there had better not be one person in the world that tries to talk crap about the Post Office to me. Those people have a hard job. I have now mailed TWENTY FIVE packages (yes, I know it's only April - shhhh, I'm trying to tell a story here) and I have really gotten a taste of what working in the Post Office is like. It's a hard job. So far, I have watched them have to explain how the entire mail system works to an elderly lady - then I witnessed a customer go ballistic over a 37 cent stamp and why it was no longer valid because they taped over the top of it - whew - that was a close call that day. And me, with my four to five custom formed boxes each time - I know they probably want to duck under the counter when they see me coming.

But you know what? They don't. They always look at me with a knowing look in their eye, and they say - "Who do you know that's over there?" -- and I say (most of the time trying to smile and look happy and brave at the same time) "My fiancé." Then they usually reply with something like, "Oh, well, you must really love him with all these boxes!!" And I say, "Yes I sure do!" And the conversation goes on from there. They always ask when he's coming home - and WITHOUT fail - and I'm telling you - this is FOUR separate Post Offices in four separate parts of the city - they all ask me to bring him by when he comes home - just so they can meet him - and THANK him for his service.

Do you have any idea what that means? To be thanked? I know that I pay for that postage, but man, it is worth it. For me to be able to sit in my living room every other Thursday night and pack my boxes full of "stuff" - but really I'm stuffing them full of love -- and KNOW that in two weeks - in two short little weeks, that half way across the world, Al can crack them open and dump out - and get a huge smile on his face - you have no idea what that means to me. The Post Office gives that to me. They do all that - and then they still "thank" Al for what he's doing too. There are very few "service industries" that take their jobs seriously anymore - everything seems to have lost it's lustre in the modern millenium - there doesn't seem to be any pride in any uniform nowadays. But - Al still has pride when he puts on his - and the people that work at the Post Offices that I go to in Birmingham still have pride when they put on theirs.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Melinda, The guys/gals at the post offices that I go to tell and say the same thing to me. It sure makes you feel good about what we are doing for our soldiers. They always ask how Michael is doing, and sometimes ask the same question that they had ask the time before, and I answer them just like they have ask the question for the first time with a big smile on my face.