This amazing photo is actually from the 23rd St. Post Office. This is the kind of magical place it is. Photo courtesy of Karoline Collins.
Between shipping out books, shirts and bags, I spend WAY too much time in this particular post office. Considering I started doing zines in 2004, I’ve been coming here roughly once a week or so for about five years. And all I’ve gotten for my trouble is a lowered general moral and a lot of time standing in line. I’ve given this place some of my best years. What follows is the 3 reasons why I hate this place so much.
1. There is ALWAYS a line.
Because I generally work from home during the day my hours are pretty flexible. This means that long lines are generally a rarity in my world. Whether its the bank, the doctor’s office, Walgreens or fucking Tartine, I rarely have to wait for more than a few minutes before I’m served….Look fucker don’t give me that mock “woe is me” crap, this is the lifestyle I’ve chosen. You’ve chosen a job with health benefits and 401k, I’ve chosen the one with no lines at Walgreens, alright?
Anyways, for some reason no matter what time of day it is, even if it’s like Tuesday at 1pm there is always a line. Out of the hundreds of times I’ve set foot in there, I can probably count on my hands how many times the wait has been less than 20 minutes. What the fuck?? Who the hell else doesn’t have shit to do at 1pm on Tuesday? they can’t all be underemployed writers who sit around in the boxers working from home all day can they?
2. You can’t pick up your packages here
The USPS generally only attempts to deliver your package once and it always seems to be during times when nobody is home. So then you come home, find the slip letting you know there is a package for you and you head over to the nearest post office. It’s reasonable to think that the place within a few blocks of your house where you send packages and buy stamps and shit is also the place where you would retrieve your parcel, right? Nope. Not so fast buddy. You have to go all the way down to 16th and Bryant to another post office just to pick up your goddam present from your weird senile uncle who always thinks your birthday is in July when it’s really in February. Let’s just hope Uncle Thorazine remembered to poke breathing holes into the box this time.
3. They got rid of the stamp machine
At one point there used to be a stamp vending machine in the lobby of this post office. If you needed some stamps, you’d come in, look at the line, cross yourself and than Jesus for making you not have to wait in it, and then purchase your stamps. The entire thing took about 4 minutes. But I guess that just made WAY too much sense for this place. I mean how fucking hard was it to maintain that shit? Even the fucking Greyhound Station has working vending machine and people sleep in their own defecation in that place! Sure, they’re not vending stamps, but really, don’t you think a machine selling ice cold Coca-Colas is far more difficult to maintain than one vending stamps? No? Then look at this, this and this!!! Come onnnnn!!!!!
Look, I know that you can also buy stamps at grocery stores and banks, but this is the fucking POST OFFICE for fuck’s sake! This is the place where you’re supposed to buy stamps.
Damn…I’m glad I got that off my chest. Now is your turn. Do you have any good post office stories you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below.