28 April 2008

a great idea (from an unexpected source)

maison21 finally made it to the post office this last week to mail the pretty coral stone box won by studio annetta- sorry it took so long, suzy! his tardiness in mailing was based upon the fact that he dreads visiting the post office- going there is akin to going to the dmv (department of motor vehicles for those in far off-lands). long lines, rude employees and typically inept bureaucratic procedures. my recent visit went something like this:
you need to fill out the GREEN customs form, not the white.

but the sign says tracking is only available with the white customs form, and i'd like tracking on this package.

if you need tracking then you need to send it global express mail, not global priority mail. we don't offer tracking with global priority mail- not with the green form OR the white form.

ok, let's send it global express, then.

i can't do that sir, it's in a global priority box.

ok, then let's put it in a global express box.

we don't have any global express boxes that will fit your global priority box. you would have to repack your item in order to send it global express mail.

so i'd have go home, repack the damn thing and come back to wait in line for another half hour?

i'm afraid so, sir, if you want to send it global express mail.

but i don't want to send it global express mail! i just want tracking! the sign says "if you wish your package to be tracked, please fill out the white customs form" it says NOTHING about express or priority or whatever!

regardless of what the sign says, we only offer tracking with global express, sir.

fine- just mail it as is! no tracking!

then i'll need you to step out of line while you fill out the green form. next customer in line, please!
maison21's head was about to explode after that exchange, and that's why he was so shocked to discover on the same visit this nifty FREE recycling program for small electronics, offered by the united states postal service! how can a bureaucracy be that inept, yet come up with such a good idea? little plastic postage-paid envelopes for you to mail back your old broken or outdated cellphones, ipods and other small electronics for recycling. completely easy and completely free- what a great solution to those old cellphones squirreled away because you didn't know what the heck to do with them! maison21 can't be the only one with a junk drawer full of outdated technology, can he? currently the program is offered only in l.a., washington d.c., chicago and san diego, but will hopefully soon be expanded nationwide.

a great idea from an expected source- who knew?

ps- while he might dread encounters with the employees at the post office, maison21 LOVES his mail carrier, and several of the employees at his post office go out of their way to be friendly and helpful, so certainly not all (or even most) usps employees suck. just some of them...


Pigtown-Design said...

I am so with you on this one... i dread going to the post office in my hood. they're notorious for being incredibly nasty. i think they have bullet-proof glass so the patrons won't kill them in their fury!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

I have a thank you gift that's a month overdue staring at me... just because it involves going to the post office -- which is within walking distance. mea culpa. I understand completely.

maison21 said...

meg and easy- glad i'm not the only one with this problem! there is one clerk at my loal post office that i will not go to their window under pain of death- it's ALWAYS frustrating and time consuming!

katiedid said...

It seems that every time I go, out of the three people at the window, two go on break as soon as I step into the building. Do they just see me coming?!

My suggestion is to go to a Mailboxes They are sometimes cheaper and always track. AND NO LINES!

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

You are not alone. I too dread the PO.

maison21 said...

katie, that break thing is MADDENING. i remember years ago when i worked at big box grocery store, we couldn't take breaks until the lines died down, and if the lines stayed long, a supervisor would give us breaks so we didn't shut down a register. couldn't the p.o. do the same?

and mail boxes etc is a good idea for mailing- i've already switched to dhl for domestic packages.

hobac- i am dismayed to learn the post office problem is international...

Suzy said...

Thank you so much! And I'm sorry the trip to the PO was so traumatic...I had no idea they were that bad! Try going to a post office in Japan if you think that's bad ;)

maison21 said...

suzy- the post office trip wasn't that bad- just irritating (i might have exaggerated a wee bit for the post).

and thank you, no- i won't be visiting a japanese post office anytime soon. i can only bear to be treated rudely in my native tongue...

Suzy said...

It's here already!!! I can't beleive I read this post yesterday and the PO note was in my mailbox that they might be irritating, but they are also fast! Thanks again, it's gorgeous.

maison21 said...

wow- that WAS fast! glad you like it, suzy!

{this is glamorous} said...

How fun to watch the transport of Suzy's gift arrive so quickly! Love that you turned the PO trip into something positive with their recycling program.