Post Office Nazi

I had to mail some documents back to my parents in Pennsylvania so I went to the post office on Barrington. As I waited in line, I noticed a couple of things. First of all, almost all the employees were older Asian women. I have no idea what that is the case but it’s absolutely true.

One of the postal workers was giving a woman customer a hard time. She was yelling, “No! Not this one. This one! Stand over here! You’re holding up the line.” Apparently, the woman had filled out the wrong form and now she had to do it all over again.

I turned to the guy behind me, an average looking dude my age. “I hope I didn’t fill out the wrong form.”

He laughed and did a Soup Nazi imitation: “No mail for you. One year!”

This went on for a while as we moved up in the line. We were having a good laugh at this women who was bossing everyone around.

Then it was my turn and sure enough I got the Post Office Nazi. I put on a fake smile and started to launch into what I needed.

But she interrupted me. “Everything goes smoother if everyone follows the rules.”

Oh, shit. Had she overheard our conversation? I played dumb. “Yes, that’s definitely true.”

“If you don’t know something, you ask. Don’t hold up the line with the wrong form.”

She definitely knew we were making fun of her. I said, “Well, maybe sometimes people don’t ask because they’re scared of the person who has the information they need.”

She furled a brow. “Who’s scared?! There’s no one scared here.”

I pointed at the guy behind me in line I’d been joking with. I said, “He’s scared.”

I fully expected the guy to have my back here. But instead, he totally denied everything! He said, “I’m not scared. I don’t even know this guy.”

Back-stabbing jerk. I felt betrayed. So I just said, “Whatever, can I just mail this?”

She rang up the postage, I paid, then I turned to leave. But she stopped me with, “No mail for you. One year!”

I looked back and saw she was smiling. Clearly a joke. I smiled.

Work Is Overrated

I had to ship some boxes from my parents’ house back to my apartment in L.A. and so I had to go to the post office back home last week.

An old man held the door open for me as I was carrying these boxes and when I let him back in front of me in the line, he said he wasn’t in a rush, I could stay in front of him.

We got to talking and he told me that he’s been retired for 15 years and he loves it. He spent his whole life working for an insurance company and chasing promotions and bonuses. But now he spends time with his children and grandchildren. I asked him if he missed having a career and he said he didn’t. “All that stuff about needing work to tell me who I am– that’s nonsense. Work is work. I’d rather spend my time with my family.”

I told him I lived in L.A. now and he said one of his fondest memories was in 1955 when he had to go to L.A. on business and the big boss needed someone to pick up a car in San Francisco and drive it down to L.A. He volunteered and took a brand new Thunderbird down the PCH the whole way. That was his only fond memory of work.