Saturday, January 2, 2010

Post Office BMS

I went to the post office the other day to put the rent check in my landlord's P.O. box. When I got up to the counter, I asked the postal guy to put the letter in the box number indicated on the envelope. He replied, "I can do that for $17.50."

I stared at him. "Are you kidding?"

"No, that's the price for 'Express Mail.'"

I stared at him in disbelief. My mouth may have been hanging open. He grudgingly relented at my shock. "I'll do it, but I'm supposed to charge you," he grumbled, moving toward the back. I managed to say "thank you" with as minimal sarcasm as I could, fervently hoping he didn't toss the envelope in the trash. Of course, if he did he'd be fired and probably arrested, forced to spend New Year's in jail dodging the advances of a no-necked, tattooed guy named Big Leroy.

Now, I know Postal Services hasn't exactly been raking in the bucks in the last few years. Still, to actually charge someone seventeen dollars for walking a few yards and dropping an envelope into a box seems excessive. And calling it "Express Mail??" Express Mail is when you send something to somewhere that isn't in the same 10-feet radius you're standing in, and it goes through a somewhat elaborate process involving several parties to get to its destination the next day because you zoned out on your twin sister's birthday.

I couldn't help but wonder if this wasn't in fact a new regulation, but merely the brainchild of the asshole behind the counter, perhaps hoping to make some bucks. Maybe postal workers now work on commission. Or maybe this type of behavior is a symptom of Bureaucratic Maladjustment Syndrome, or BMS for short. At least it's better than bursting in the door brandishing an Uzi.

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