How Government Runs Business (and do NOT argue with me about this)


November 5th: G.S.P. goes to the local post office with a manila envelope that was carefully addressed to a major university. She is applying for a job. The application deadline is November 15th. She gets priority mail, and a tracking sticker, because the job is important to her.

November 10th. G.S.P. goes back the same post office and tells them the tracking sticker says the package has not arrived yet. They say, precisely, "It must have gotten lost." She gives them another package, paying again for priority mail and a tracking sticker.

November 13th. G.S.P. goes back to the same post office and tells them that the tracking sticker shows the package has not arrived yet at its destination (which is less than 200 miles from here). They say, precisely, "Hm. Well, they scan it in when it arrives at the post office where you're sending it. So I guess it hasn't arrived yet." G.S.P. says, "This was time-sensitive material, which is why I started trying to send it on November 5th." Very precisely, the postal worker shrugs, indicating not only that he cannot imagine that G.S.P. might accuse him of being irresponsible, but also demonstrating that he seems unable to fathom that anyone could possibly be accountable.

November 14th. G.S.P. goes back to the post office: "The sticker still says the second package has not arrived. It is Saturday. The deadline is tomorrow. My materials will not be there on time for a job I really would've liked." I tell her to ask them whether they think she should send another package from there, or just drive it the 200 miles to its destination herself. She is too polite. She drives across town to another post office and pays $25.00 to "overnight" a package, which will arrive one day late (at best), at its destination.

Without so much as an apology.


Insignificant Wrangler said...

Wow, that's bullshit. Fortunately, if things work like they do in my department, that date isn't a "hard-line," meaning the applications likely won't be reviewed until Thanksgiving Break.

Casey said...

That's what I told Gretchen too... more than the lateness, though, it's the conduct of the postal workers that just sends my flag up. You can stand there all day asking, "Who fucked up," and they'll just keep shrugging and saying, "We don't know; if you'd like to try again--"

And I can't help but take a cheap-shot at the government option health plan here... why anyone would expect it to be different than the post office is beyond me.

Wishydig said...

i've had the same experience with fed ex.

for the small stuff i'm glad i have the cheaper option.

Wishydig said...

(…commiseration and all that.)

Casey said...

Don't make me come over there, Wishydig!

Casey said...

And another thing: Really? You've had Fed Ex lose your package twice and just shrug their shoulders as if nobody could possibly expect them to do better?

As I said: it really wasn't the screw-up, it was the attitude of unconcern that bothered me so much... and why should the Federal post offices care? Whether they have customers or not doesn't matter. They don't need to be concerned about "customer service" -- don't even need to pay lip service to the notion.