Post office stress

As I age, I’m noticing a heightened sensitivity to stress. For example, this morning I needed to mail an IOU NO MORE! forms CD (thank the Lord we finally sold one!!) for Sam. The post office is literally at the bottom of our hill, so I decided to run it down there first thing this morning so I didn’t forget to do it later today. In my rooting for the CD I failed to come across our stash of padded mailers, so I knew I was going to have to pick one of those up from the post office too. No big deal right? Wrong!

First, have you been into a post office lately? They have really expanded. There were probably 35 different types of envelopes, padded mailers, and boxes to choose from. One of the things you may not know about me is that I’m not good with too many choices, just ask Sam. Fortunately I was able to stay focused and without too much trouble I found a mailer that seemed to be made just for CDs. Whew, that was easy enough, thank you Jesus.

Second, I approached label center. Oh my gosh! There were about 15 different mailing labels and I didn’t really have a clue which one to use. I was looking for one that had a tracking number on it and maybe even a delivery confirmation, but they all seemed to have some sort of tracking number and delivery confirmation code. I looked, and I looked, and I looked, and I looked, and they all looked the same. Oh, some of them were white, and some were hot pink, and some were neon green, but they all looked the same to me! I stood there staring at the bins for what seemed like five minutes before my eyes were able to spot the right one for my mailing needs. I filled it out, addressed my mailer, slipped the CD in it and sealed it up. I felt good about this. I felt like I knew what I was doing. I felt like I could safely approach the clerk behind the counter without looking like I was an idiot. Wrong again!

As I stepped up to the counter, the young lady (who must have been all of 12 years old) said, “Um, did you have anything else you’d like to put in this envelope, ma’am?”

I had sealed it up, so I thought it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t planning on including anything else. “No. Why? Did I miss something?”

“Well, um, this envelope isn’t thick enough for us to give you a delivery confirmation.” And she held it up to this little cardboard cutout showing me that it was indeed too thin.

Uh-oh. I’d already sealed it up. I didn’t have anything else to put in it – not even crumpled paper. Gulp. What was I going to do? I could feel little beads of sweet forming on my forehead (that could have been due to the humidity, mind you). I needed to get this mailed off and it was too thin.

As I stood there looking dumbfounded, a thought occurred to me – maybe she had a scrap piece of paper I could crumple up and stick in the envelop. Sure enough, she happened to have one, although from the look on her face you’d have thought I’d asked her to give up her firstborn child. But she handed it over and as I was crumpling, she was unsealing the industrial strength flap on the mailer.

I’d just like to point out that it would have been helpful to know the package had to be a certain thickness before I sealed it up. Fortunately, it is still the post office, and the one thing they seem to have plenty of is tape. In the end, it all worked out just fine. What felt like an hour episode for me was really only a few minutes. Next time I have to mail something for Sam’s business I’ll have a better idea of what to expect, and I’ll make sure not to seal the envelope before I get to the counter, just in case there is damage control that needs to be done.

Oh, don’t ya just love turning into an old fogey?!


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