Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Just Be Nice

I walked into the post office this morning hoping to use the self-service kiosk to mail a gift. I had the box all set, I just needed to buy the postage, and the line to go in and talk to an actual postal worker was over 20 people long. It looked like a good 20 minute wait. That's why I like the kiosk.

One person was using the machine, and one other person was waiting. Overall, not too bad.

Well, the person using the machine had a _stack_ of what looked like Christmas cards, and was purchasing stamps for them, individually. At a little of 1 minute per transaction (if you know what you're doing) it would have taken her about 30 minutes to finish her pile. I was thinking about leaving when another person walked in and got in line behind me.

This person had a child with her and instantly went into the whole "Stand back, I'll fix it" mode and began to question the already flustered person trying to buy stamps.

"What are you trying to do? Buy stamps? Did you press the... yeah, that one. Maybe you can't buy those kinds of stamps here, you might need to go in line. Did you try..."

This, followed by some audible sighs let me know that the lady in line might have been having a bad day, which is fine, I mean that happens, but she was unable or unwilling to contain her frustration.

It turns out, the person using the machine only needed to buy 5 more stamps, not 30+ and was simply trying to find a way to bulk purchase the 5 identical postage stamps for her cards desitined for Europe. It took another minute or so, for the person to buy the stamps. English was not her primary language and yet she managed to do the whole thing in just a couple of minutes. Even at the end the lady in line was still trying to rush things along.

I honestly did consider letting the impatient lady go in front of me. I was in a hurry, but nothing like what her barrage of sighs would lead one to believe about the urgency of her day. But in the end I opted to just go ahead and do my transaction because I knew I could be done in a single minute and then I'd be free.

Once I finished I took my box to the side so I could attach the postage sticker/etc. and she rushed up to start using the machine.

Then, kharma let the rushing lady know that maybe she did not need to be a jerk to those that are in her way. As I dropped my box into the package bin, she asked me if there was a trick to getting her debit/credit card to work in the card reader. Immediately other people in line started offering their own swarm of hints and tips on how to hurry up and get a move on.

"Did you try wiping the magnetic strip?"

"Turn it over. No, the other way."

And yes, maybe another sigh or two.

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