Going to the Post Office
Situation: You have a package to send to someone, so you go down to your local post office.
If this was New York: Before you leave your house you pick up the package to see how heavy it feels. This is an important step because you know you’re going to be holding it for a long time. If it feels light, you walk out the door. If it feels heavy, you might put it into a bag so it can hang off your shoulder.
You set out for the Post Office which now seems to be farther away than you remembered. As you get closer you start praying in your head that it won’t be too crowded. Once you get there you find that your prayer didn’t help, and there is a swarm of people standing in line solemnly, like they are waiting to pay their last respects to their boss that died in a traffic accident- slightly better than being at work, but not nearly as much fun as being at the doctor’s office.
You go and stand in the line. Every couple of minutes a bell rings and a board lights up, announcing which teller is open. You do a quick calculation and realize you’ve got at least thirty minutes of waiting ahead of you. The person standing in front of you is holding some paperwork and seems to think they are at the DMV. The person behind you looks like they took a break from drinking to get a money order to pay rent.
Forty-five minutes and 8 games of Doodle Jump later, you are near the top of the queue. The package has become unbearably heavy by now, and you’re just kicking it on the ground ahead of you, hoping that the recipient will just assume that the scuff marks were a result of shipping.
Now that there are only a couple people ahead of you, you are watching the board and guessing which stall you’ll go to. You’ve never gone skydiving, but you get a little taste for the anticipation of a jump as you become the first person in line. When you bell rings, you scramble to make your way to your assigned booth.
Making eye contact with the Post Office Representative is a little like a first date- you are a little anxious and a little nervous. Your gaze is met with a look somewhere between contempt, malaise and, depending on the time of day, a bit of hunger. The rep listens to your request, and assuming that everything is in order, takes your package and charges you for the shipping.
If there is a problem, like you forgot a certain kind of tape across the top, you are now at the mercy of the rep. If they are in a good mood, they will tell you to make your changes and then come back to them. If they are in a bad mood, they will just send you to the back of the line. You now pray that your phone has enough juice to get you through another 8 rounds of Doodle Jump.
When you step onto the street, you feel like you’ve joined the world of the living. Take a breath, and continue with your day, wondering what the world was like before the days of email when our parents and grandparents had to stand at the Post Office all the time.
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