Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Post and the Agent

The dramatic rise in  online shopping of the last few years has turned our post offices, especially the smaller ones, into somewhat crowded and frustrating places. 

The Postal Authority has been trying to improve things  in terms  of increased speed of service,  but that doesn't always work as expected. The usual joke is that the mail symbol of a running deer (appears on our stamps since 1950) should be replaced with that of a crawling frog.

On our street there's a cute tiny post office agency which is very convenient for me geographically. We get our written mail in postboxes that cover the back outside walls. The packages and parcels are inside, in the appropriate back room .The agency is run by a hard working person who loves his job.  However, one person is not enough, far from it, and delivery is sometimes delayed.

The place, located at the intersection of two streets, vis-a-vis a tiny commercial center , a synagogue, and a bus stop, is also too small considering the large population it serves; it could and should be a bit expanded, especially as there is adequate space for that. There are days when people are waiting outside as there's no room for them to join the queue inside.

Somehow,over the last years, it has become clear to everyone, that the postal agent likes it that way; He had a helper during the quieter times - before the online flood of parcels -  and got him fired. Enlarging the place could mean more workers, and that might not be his wish.

The postal agent (father of eleven!) is also a town council member, so that's probably how he has his way. People are both fearful and respectful of him, so they will think twice before signing any formal complaint.

I remember telling him once about the need for an additional worker; he ignored my remark with a silent, irritable look. So, I never again repeated it. I'm sure, however, that he hears a similar remark from other customers. I suppose supervisors from the Postal Authority are also aware of the situation... and yet, they let it go on. 

Well, as some will say, there are worse things in life than that. I believe it will somehow get solved, or... not.


  1. You're right, or not.
    There are so many issues that could be simply solved in the world.
    Our big fears, here in Canada, are what Trump will do to the continent.
    Thank you for your kind words about my sketches! I find it relaxes me.

  2. At least you have a good attitude about it. The frog on the stamp would be funny. Or a turtle. If I didn't order packages now and then I wouldn't get any mail. I miss it.

  3. Jenn Jilks,

    Right. Many issues that may seem complicated could easily be solved with a bit of cooperation from the parties involved.

  4. Sharon Wagner,

    I'm just realistic. I live in the Middle East, and here there are people above law and order; they seem to do whatever they wish regardless of public interest.

  5. Well here in the US I know that due to people doing more of their shopping online the parcel companies and the post office can't keep up. Mom was telling me today at lunch that yesterday she waited in live for 30 minutes to mail 1 small package. All the people in line were there to apply for passports. I just don't understand why passports would be part of the postal service!

    Hopefully your post master will retire soon and you will get someone new with more progressive ideas.

  6. He is probably someone who does not want competition in his work place..... Our local post office has closed, which means that if we miss a parcel delivery we have to travel to the local town to pick it up. Last week we had to do just this, and it was obvious that the post office is understaffed and clueless about what to do with the extra parcels they now have coming in for them to sort out!

  7. Alicia,

    Passports shoud definitely not be dealt with at the postal service. Our Postal Company is constantly in deficit, so she spreads her hands to all kinds of unrelated subjects such as selling electronic items or arranging loans. I suppose that might be the case with your postal company too.

  8. Vera,

    You're right; he's afraid of competition.
    The postal service is such a vital one, and yet the company's hand is very easy when it comes to close a post office or downsize the staff. The people of your village should organize and do something about it.

  9. Here shopping online is getting very common as well. The post gets used less and less because of email. The lines are long as well however at the post shop. Love the idea of a crawling frog. We call it snail mail.
    We don't get daily mail delivered anymore only a few times a week.

  10. Marja,

    "snail mail" is probably the correct expression.
    Our regular mail is delivered to our post boxes (we've got the key) that cover the back walls of the post office. We enter the post office only when we found an announcement in the pob that there's a parcel or some registered mail (for which we have to sign) waiting for us in the post office.

  11. I like that, or not. Yes I like to shop online, it is has to be a lot of mail for them. He needs to hire but maybe after 11 kids he is brain dead lol

  12. Kim@stuff..

    With online shopping. the number of parcels has greatly increased and there has to be some new way of dealing with that. So far, it only gets worse. The postal agent is quite a shrewd person who does what he thinks is good for him, and let the rest suffer.

  13. I understand completely what you're saying Duta. Over here our postal agencies also take on many things such as banking for one. The lines can be long, however, in the smaller towns it's not so bad. Times are a'changing! Good luck and cheers :D)

  14. Sue,

    Banking is nr.2 on their agenda here. Some people prefer to open an account at the Post office; the only drawback is that you're not allowed to be in deficit.

  15. wow, that is the smallest postal service that I've seen. But it is charming, and I can understand why he doesn't want to expand the place, more complicated in many ways. And being a father of eleven, you must show respect. It sounds like he is a hard worker. I can understand your frustration when the mail is sometimes delayed, Duta. : )


  16. Red Rose Alley,

    Yeah, it is indeed small and charming. However, I believe public interest here is grossly violated.

  17. We have well-staffed small branches in every county in Midwest US, and still have long waits, because nobody behind the counter is in a hurry. They sell stamps at our ATMs.

    Life int he big city!

  18. Linda O'Connel,

    I wish we could buy stamps at our ATMs! Good idea! I have to check that out, maybe this possibility exists and I don't know about it.

  19. I think you have a very good attitude about it, Duta! What a small place! :)

  20. Linda,

    Thank you. As I've already written, I'm just realistic about the whole thing.

  21. Hi, Duta!
    I live in a very small town in Central Arizona, really laid back, pure country and a tiny post office next to the mercantile market. The clerks know each of us by name and the town has grown over the 27 years I've lived here. Yet, the post office is managed well and sometimes I have a wait. The rule, I believe is Ebay sellers take their many parcels to the post office in the afternoons freeing up the morning for the rest of us. It works well but compared to Chicago where I was raised, it is on the slow side. Still, I like the country and the slower pace these days!

    Have a nice week!

  22. Saleslady371,

    Hi Mary,

    I suppose the rule with the Ebay sellers does help quite a bit. Generally, I prefer the slower pace too, but not where there's need for a more normal rhytm as in mail delivery.

  23. Online shopping has taken over to the point so many stores that have been around here for years, have closed their doors. In the mall there's so many empty storefronts. Sign of the times. That little post office does seem cute. Happy day Duta.

  24. Nikki (Sarah),

    That's correct. Here too many stores have closed as a result of online shopping take over. As you say, "sign of the times"..

  25. The wait isn't too long when I've gone to the post office here in town, and our mail delivery is good for the most part, delivered at about the same time every day. Sounds like there are more things than mail going on at your post office and that he doesn't want competition in his neighborhood! Have a good day, Duta!

  26. Pam,

    I'm glad mail delivery at your post office is OK. You've guessed it right. At our post office, there are things going on because of our postal agent's attitude.

  27. Times are indeed changing with the advent of online ordering...some of the agencies are having a hard time adjusting

  28. Optimistic Existentialist,

    Change brings with it solutions to one problem and at the same time creates other problems.