Friday, April 23, 2010

Thank you USPS

As a lover of cards, letters, coupon mailers and the like, I spend at least an hour of my day every day either checking the mail, mailing out something or standing in line to mail out something. While I used to frequent the post office in Santa Monica, with my recent office move I now find myself enjoying the Venice post office on most occasions.

What a delight this place is, truly euphoric. Let me start with the ambiance. The stairs covered in last nights liquids (spit, gum, vomit, you know what's coming next), the smell of local homeless mixed with old lady perfume and hippy patchouli, the bullet proof glass you have to so inconveniently squeeze your packages through to mail them, the variety of trash leading up to the door and through out the lobby, I mean this place really is charming.

Moving on to the people who frequent the Venice post office. I'm going to leave out the employees there for now, they deserve their own section in this note, for they are an amazing breed of human beings. At the Venice post office there are two gentlemen that stands, one sits in a jazzy in front of the post office with a small boom-box, lollypops, jewelry and a bucket. They always say hello, and always ask for money. They have been there every time I have ever been to the post office, yet they never remember me, nor do they care that I say hello. The only time they have anything to say is when I don't respond to their cat calls or when they find out that I will not be giving them anything for their bucket, then they always have something real nasty to share, which reminds me why I don't care for the homeless. My thoughts on homeless people on another day. As for the people always waiting in line, on any given day I can guarantee you there will be the following:
  • A homeless person
  • A crazy old lady who has no idea how to send a package and will yell at you for assistance and/or cut in line until she finally figures out what she needs, yet proceeds to label her package wrong anyways
  • A few trend setters who wear skinny jeans, vans, sport tattoos, wallet chains and want nothing to do with the rest of the population because they are clearly cooler then us
  • A normal white chick (usually me, but sometimes there are two of us)
  • An australian or german tourist trying to send stuff back to their ex-boyfriend or cousin
  • Some yoga fanatic who sports dreadlocks and may or may not have shoes on
These people think that they are the only people in the post office at any given time, they cough, sneeze, fart, talk loudly on their phones, etc. in line as if you aren't standing 6 inches from them waiting patiently. They always proceed to take as long as physically possible to get their package mailed when they get to the window. They either want to chat, don't have their labels completed, don't have their box taped and want to argue for 15 minutes on why they should have to purchase tape, didn't bring enough cash and have to run to their cars, need a pen, or straight up are just slow moving people.

Which leads me to my first story about the Venice post office. For the purpose of this story I will call the character Sue. Sue was the yoga fanatic who sported dreadlocks and may or may not have had shoes on. Sue had been waiting in line with everyone (there was a full house this afternoon about 15 of us in line) and got up to the window to complete her transaction. I'm not sure what Sue was mailing, or how long she had been in line before she got to the window. What I am sure about is that you don't want to get on Sue's bad side, nor was she taking her meds this day. Next thing I know Sue is telling the women who works for the post office that she needs to get laid. After ranting at her for a few minutes Sue then turns to the crowd and asks us, "Doesn't this woman need to get laid?," "She just needs a huge dildo to get her off so she isn't so bad at her job!" After announcing these things for a few Sue then leaves and heads like she is going to check her box. Moments later Sue reappears and heads back to the window, yells something else along the lines of "get this women a big dick" and then waltzes out as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile I've turned to the guy next to me and whispered, "If there is anything that doesn't ever happen to me in this lifetime I really hope it's this situation right here"

Which brings me to last week. Since I frequent this post office I have come to know the tellers, not by name, but by personality and face. And in turn, they remember me as the chick with the orange packages who always has her credit card and ID ready to go. As I head to window 5 to mail my packages last week I had no idea that the tables were going to turn, and I would be the victim of post office embarrassment. The teller, who is the nicest petit asian man ever, starts up small talk. "You still single Vanessa?" "No" I respond "I've got me a keeper" "Ohhhhh" he says "Lucky Guy" I blush, and try to move on to the thank you, see you next week. But then he goes all in, "You have babies yet Vanessa?" now mind you I am in the post office, where there is bullet proof glass that you can hear perfectly through when speaking at a normal tone, but for some reason you feel the need to yell through to be heard, so he isn't speaking softly, and for some reason I'm not responding softly either. "No babies yet," I reply. "Ohhhhh....when are you going to have babies Vanessa?" "Give me 10 years," I say with a smile, looking back to see that most people in the line are now just as concerned as to when I am going to birth children. "Ohhhh noooo Vanessa, you must have children now, too many complications if you wait. You must have babies now before 30." To which I respond, "Ok, give me 5 years then." Surely this will calm him of his worries and I can get out of this mess. "5 years Vanessa, that is still too many, you should have babies now. Why you waiting, too many complications at the doctor Vanessa, you need to talk to your man about babies." To which I respond, "Good thinking, I will talk to my man about having babies now," As I turned to leave I could see in people's faces that they either; A: wanted me to go straight home and talk to my man, or B: were trying to picture me naked and pregnant. Both were disturbing, and both were enough for me to get a scale, purchase dollar stamps, and use the post office box on my corner from now on.

Thank you USPS, for putting a mail box on my corner so I never have to stand in line again. Oh and of course thank you for the medical advice, I'll be sure to come back next time I have a serious dilemma I don't even know about, hopefully you can prescribe me something like a day full of rainbows and unicorns.