Friday, May 16, 2008

Ol' Blue Eyes is now on your letters.

I had to hit the post office the other day, mainly to mail a book off to someone from Paperback Swap. In honor of Kacey's blog post, I bought the new Frank Sinatra stamps. So cool. Like Kacey, I cant wait to stick these little suckers on my letters.

I have a rant about the post office employees, though. When did they turn into such A-holes? They don't smile. They don't look you in the eye. They don't say please or thank you. They're 'politely short' is the only way I can describe it. Now I don't expect everyone around me to be miss Mary Effing Sunshine but.... I left the post office wondering what happened to kind, polite people? I guess that's what you get when you live in a big city.
I'm certainly not saying I'm better than anyone else, because I've had my own bitchy moments. But in general, I try to smile, say please and thank you (and mean it), and make eye contact. You can get people to do just about anything if you treat them with respect- even if they're idiots and don't deserve it. I know a lot of idiots. My new motto has been "kindness is free", because it takes nothing to be kind. Why do so many people not agree with this? Why would anyone choose to be an asshole? It just makes me sad that we live in a place where you cant walk down the street and say hello to someone and smile without them thinking you're a complete psycho.....
Anyway, back to the post office employees. I was standing in line, watching the postal person be grumpy to the people in front of me. And amazingly, the people behind me also noticed it. I'm not crazy! Somehow, the whole group of us in line started chatting about how grouchy the postal person was. The woman behind me pulled aside the dumbstruck person- who had just been shunned by the employee- and gave him the guidance that the employee didn't. She told him he could go online- at this address- and he could get the info he needed. I stood there watching the interaction thinking how wonderful it was that regular, helpful people still exist. And I was standing right next to one.
So the man tells her "you're very kind" and then starts to wonder around the PO. It's quite obvious he was looking for a pen- and as I started to look in my purse to get one to offer to him, the nice woman beat me to it and offered her pen to him. He comes back over and again and smiles and thanks her and tells her how kind she is. This is all happening while we're in line to be helped by the grouchy PO employee!
I don't know what it was about that little conversation I was lucky enough to witness, but it really got to me. It made me feel good. It made me feel like it's still okay to want to be helpful to people. That it's still okay to put yourself out there. It's still okay to be kind, even when the people around you aren't.
Before I left the PO, I made sure to give that woman a big smile and tell her to "have a good day". And I meant it.


nope said...

seriously, totally agree! What is it with the PO? Same kinda thing happened to me - and I watched this poor old man looking around after a PO employee rudely just said do this! I was appauled. So of course, I couldn't stand there. I had to get off the line and help the old man find the area in the post office that he needed - show him what he needed etc. Like was it so hard? Really - 30 seconds of your precious time.

Keep smiling chicka! My nonni always says kill them with kindness!

The Mom Jen said...

I don't use the PO anymore, our local grocery store has a small one that does all I've ever needed. They are nice all the time.

My dad was a mailman for 30 years, they are very cheery! But they get to be outdoors, the indoor freaks are way disgruntled!

musingwoman said...

Bravo to the customers showing the employees how to do it!

And it's not just the post office, unfortunately. I know of a librarian who could use some kindness lessons (I personally can't imagine being grumpy around so many books, but she manages somehow).

Kacey said...

I dread going to the post office for that reason! Well, that, and the mile-long lines.

I think customer service is seriously lacking almost everywhere these days. So sad.

Oh - and thanks for the shout-out! :-)

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