Thursday, January 03, 2008

Stupid or just plain crafty?

Guess where I went today? The few interactions I do have with our federal government are my trips to the post office. Today, I had three packages to mail and because one was a Media Mail package, the automated postal center was not an option. Ugh. I even managed to get the post office two whole hours before the noon rush. Despite being a stay-at-home mom, I somehow manage to wind up at the post office during the noon rush. Go figure. The post office ranks up there with the DMV in places that make me twitch as I try to wrap my brain around how these government workers even got their jobs in the first place. Oh, that's right, the government is the fallback employer for the stupid, inept, lazy and surly people of the world. These are the people no one else will hire. Silly me, I forgot. My expectations get me in so much trouble.

Anyhow, as you can probably tell, the visit was what I've come to expect. I asked for the least expensive three-day shipping option. She rings up Priority Mail for each and comes up with $4.50 EACH for a 6.5 oz and a 15.3 oz package.

"Is that really the least expensive option? That seems rather steep," I say.

Blank stare. I take the package back and say, "I'll just take this somewhere else." Of course, I have no idea where else to go.

Then I notice that she has mistyped the zip code for one of the packages. While I'm looking at the screen, I also notice that there's an option for Parcel Post at $2.60. I ask her about this.

"Will Parcel Post get it there in 3 days?" I ask.

"Uh, yes," she replies.

"Then that's what I want. The least expensive option for three-day delivery," I say slowly.

Apparently, this postal clerk doesn't understand superlatives. Least means the lowest price, not the second lowest or the lowest price in the most expensive category. Or maybe she was trying to charge more and hoped I wouldn't know the difference. Recalling what my expectations are, I may be giving this woman too much credit.

I'm not really a mean person. Really. I just get annoyed. Written tirades are my only recourse.

No comments: