I went back to the Greenwood Post Office yesterday, where I’m such a beloved patron to start with. This time, I was dragging a box of paperwork from Globus to send to a client, along with a gift I’d wrapped to thank them for their business.
Now let me just say that if I’d had a box big enough for all of this, I would have arrived with my stuff already in that box. The fact I was holding it in two hands was the first clue I was about to be a pain in their side again.
But it is NOT my fault the clerk at the counter took the measurements, and then told me to select a Priority Mail box 17 x 17 x 17 from the little store and bring it over to her. Only the box read 17 x 17 x 16 on the side, so I drug the next size up back to the counter as well. Because everyone knows that a missing inch can make a difference down the road.
It only took a few seconds to realize this gal’s name wasn’t Everyone, because she insisted on working up the first size box. Whatever. I was already stuck shipping priority class instead of something cheaper because unless you bring your own packing tape gun and assemble it yourself there in the middle of the lobby, that’s the default. They wait and tell you that when you're standing there empty-handed and helpless. Silly me, not thinking to carry packing tape along with the umbrella, first aid kit, spare tire, and bag of salt riding around in the trunk of my Miata.
Eventually, she had something that resembled a box ready for my shipment, and you already know it was too short on one side to hold the gift. I offered her the bigger box, but instead Ms. MacGyver started pounding it down in there until the side of the box bowed out and now there’s a 2.5-inch gap between the top flaps. Again, I offered to hand her the bigger box, but no! She can handle this! And out comes the mighty tape gun.
She ran it over that gap about 25 times, then started plastering both sides of it as well. She flipped the box over and started slapping tape on the bottom. She circled the box about five times with the Priority Mail messaging, like she was tinseling a Christmas tree. Oh, that gap in the corner? Whap! More tape.
Finally, we had a misshapen thing that couldn’t sit flat on the counter — you couldn’t really tell it was a box and not an exhibit in the World’s Biggest Wads Of Priority Mail Tape Museum. I would have taken a picture of it, but I didn’t have a camera in my emergency stash, either.
Final step: We needed to weigh it to determine my cost. Sigh. I knew it would be in the $30 range, so that didn’t shock me. Still, I couldn’t help getting the last word:
“And should I attribute $27 of that to the tape art?”
Uh, I might be banned from the post office by now. I don't intend to go back any time soon to find out.