Evil Postal People

Evil Postal People

I’m either not very intelligent or I have really bad luck ordering school books online. One semester I (sort of accidentally) ordered two of every book. Another semester I forgot to order until the week before classes started and none of them had arrived by the time I needed them for school. This semester I was totally on top of things. I ordered my books three weeks ago. I even compared prices from several different sellers and found the best deal. I expected that they would start coming a few days before school started (which was this Tuesday), but they didn’t. I had received confirmations that almost all of them had been shipped at least a week before so it didn’t make sense that they weren’t being delivered. Until I went back to amazon.com and looked at my orders. Somehow I didn’t change the shipping address from our old apartment. I changed the billing address, but the shipping address was, regrettably, still our old address. And apparently the post office does not forward packages. Blah.

It may not have been a huge deal except that the post office for our old zip code is awful. AWFUL. I hated going there. Long lines, rude clerks, messy lobby. It was worth the move just to get a new post office (which, so far, has been clean, prompt, and a pleasure to do business with). But, unfortunately I had to go back to the old one to see if I could claim my books. After waiting for a long time (15 minutes? 20?) in a relatively short line (there was only one window open) I got my chance with the clerk. I explained the situation — that I probably had packages waiting, but that I’d moved so I didn’t have any delivery slips. She was kind enough to go back and check and found one box with my name on it. It had three of my books, including one I needed for this week. Lucky me. I then asked her if she thought any of my other packages would be forwarded or if I should keep coming back to check for them. She acted as though I had personally offended her. “Your time is done. You’re done,” were her exact words, I believe, as she walked away while I was in the middle of asking her what I thought was a perfectly valid question. Apparently my 15 minutes in line with a cranky baby only paid for three minutes of her time. And apparently I have no skill dealing with people like this, which is extremely unfortunate because I’m going to have to go back there next week to beg for more of my books. Any suggestions?

10 thoughts on “Evil Postal People

  1. my suggestions are:

    bring in a treat for her like assorted donuts, and politely offer her one and let her choose her own out of the box. When she reaches to choose a donut pull the box away, close it and say: “your time is done, your done” and take your donuts and walk away…

    or (my real suggestion)…
    you could just go back to the post office check again next week but politely ask to speak to the manager, when you get your turn at the counter. Tell the manager your situation, what your trying to accomplish and how you were treated last week. Explain why it put you out and how you would like the situation to be rectified.

    Or you can call the manager.

    By the way can you call the post office and talk to them, before you go down to check?

    I’m sorry that you had to deal with such a frustrating person. Don’t let her get away with it. (i wouldn’t at least)

  2. Yeah, absolutely. Next time that happens…don’t move. Just ask her politely (but firmly – and with your eyeballs about to pop out of your head can only help them realize you mean it) if you can talk to her manager. Usually this immediately rectifies her reluctance to help. If she helps, great. If not, for sure tell the manager. If the manager doesn’t care, ask to talk to his/her manager/regional representative. If they say they aren’t available, then ask for the number to get a hold of them. If they say they don’t have that, be sure to let them know that you will get it on your own and will give a full account to your reluctance to give their number and the terrible customer service that was rendered (make sure to add the laborious time it took to get there, the baby, etc.). Be sure to get names and then really do contact the powers that be. Usually, when you ask for a manager (in the first step), they will do a 180* to their customer service.

    Stand up for yourself. You deserve it. It is a good thing I weren’t there. I would have let them have it.

    I had this experience with my cell phone insurance. They refused to cover the phone. I asked to speak to their manager and continued to go up the ranks till I hit the 4th person above the 1st person. I let them know that I was not pleased (in very firm terms) and would take action if needed. Needless to say, I got my phone and a few other things tossed in with the deal as well.

    It pays to stand up for your rights. And…some people need to be reminded what customer service really is. My suggestion…remain calm, firm, and resilient when demanding common decency in customer service…you deserve to be treated better. The squeaky wheel generally gets the oil.


  3. oh. my. gosh. I would have been so upset! But I probably wouldn’t have done anything at the moment either. The previous commenters gave good advice so good luck if you decide to go the confrontational route…!

  4. One of my favorite lines in dealing with people is the following, “I feel that I have shown you respect, do you agree?” (They answer, “yes”.) “Then, I am pleading with you to show me the same respect I am giving you.” It has generally worked for me..

  5. That was a totally normal question to ask, I’m pretty sure the lady was just crazy. That is so weird. I’m not really good at confrontation myself, so I have no advice, but good luck.

  6. Wow Lizzie. I don’t understand people’s lack of courtesy. I would have done the same thing you did, but then wondered what the heck that lady’s problem was and probably concluded that she was having a bad day. Not that that justifies her behavior, but there ought to be some explanation. I really like the advice you’ve been given- donuts are great Ü- and wish that I had something profound to add. Seeing as I don’t, I’ll just say good luck!

  7. Yikes! I'm so glad you won't have to ever step foot in that post office again after this.

    I, also, am terrible at knowing what to say in the moment, but I know being firm and asking for what you need, going to higher ups, etc is probably a good strategy… however, with government employees it may be a different ballgame.

    My suggestion? Pray before you go that you miraculously get someone in a really happy mood who is nice to you. Or that you will have the presence of mind to stand firm, say what you need to say, and get what you need. Even with a cranky baby in tow. Good luck & we love you!

  8. I realize that we have never strictly said this, but we would like to keep our blog free of any swearing, cursing or other unnecessary language.

    An Anonymous person left a very good comment which, unfortunately, included a slight slip of the fingers. I deleted their original message, but am including an edited version here:

    Anonymous said…

    i think you should have just stood there and said in a firm voice, “No I’m not done I just asked you a question and when you help me I can be on my way. So will this post office forward my packages to my new address or are you going to hold it here for me and let me keep calling you every single day to see if they’re here?” Or something like that.

    Thanks for your comments and we appreciate you understanding our wishes.

  9. If I were you, I would go back there again to check those books but I would be extremely nice to her. In that way, she would feel so so bad about what she had said to you (and yes you are a bigger person). Then, you would be like some sort of a good example for her and then she would realize that she should be nice to her customer next time. Just like how I do it in my fancy world.

    Mr.Dior (Ex-Vuitton)

  10. Bring a water pistol and squirt her in the face… it’s only fair Lizzy. Haha, although there’s probably a glass window, huh?
    I’m so sorry!

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