Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Three Dangers of the Post Office

(My second City Press column)

As innocuous as the post office might look, don’t be fooled. Dangers lurk there, and, as my public service, I want to highlight three. 

1. The queue
The queue, at least where I live, is always long and turtle slow. You must come prepared- mentally and physically. Do not fight it. No shaking of head, no sighing. No questions about the fact that there are six windows but only one of them has a person behind it. Embrace the queue! …and bring provisions in your handbag.

2. The Security Lady
The Security Lady is heady with power. Nothing gives her more joy than to exert her power on you. Are you standing out of single file in the queue? She will be there to put you right. Is that your cellphone? Before the second ring, she will be at your side pointing to the typed notice that forbids them. The only way to survive the Security Lady is to submit completely. She will grow to love you for your pliable uselessness. Once at that point, things improve. I know, I’m there.

3. The Man Behind the Glass
The second before your legs give out and after you’ve been bullied by the Security Lady for chewing gum, encouraging poor posture, and having a hairstyle she doesn’t approve of, you will finally meet the Man Behind the Glass. His job is to ensure that whatever you have come to do will fail. Posting a package? Wrong tape. Sending a registered letter? Your lines are not straight enough.

I have found the best way to deal with the Man Behind the Glass is to pretend you hear nothing. If you’re old enough or odd looking enough, just don’t respond. He’ll think you’re hard of hearing or mad. You can also pull the language card. Whatever language he is speaking, you don’t know a word of it.  

Luckily, the Man Behind the Glass is tired and he caves-in quickly. With a heavy sigh, your tape is suddenly fine, your lines straight enough.

And finally, you’re safe, you've survived…until the next time.

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