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stay this courier

October 29, 2011

antioch post office fourth street

I walked downtown on Friday to renew my post office box. It’s about three miles, each way.

I got there just after one, and decided to open my mailbox first, before I went to the counter to pay the fee. By the time I got back to the office door, it was shuttered and locked. “Closed today from 1:15-2:15. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

Are you kidding me? THIS IS THE U.S. POST OFFICE.

I mean, I know everyone else downtown does business like that. That’s why nobody ever shops there. No matter what hours they have posted, whenever you go there, they’ve decided to kick back for a couple of hours, somewhere else. No one seems totally clear on the concept of “business.”


I caught the clerk coming out of the side door, and yelled past the ‘phone in his ear, “Can I renew my box at the main Post Office?” “Yes,” he spat out, as he brushed past me. So, I was going to walk back up there and do it, till it occurred to me this just might be his little joke.

I killed an hour sitting by the river– that’s another story. I got back to the lobby about 2:10, and there were already eight or nine people waiting. The clerk breezed in around 2:14 and said, “It’ll be about ten minutes.”

Two people had to leave to pick up their kids from school. The rest of the talk revolved around bands and where they played, and what they ought to play, what the post office used to look like, and how great the service was here compared to the main post office.

Which sadly, is true. The Rivertown post office may be the poster child of personal sinecures, but the main post office is a suburb of Hades.

The conversation was dominated by one guy. Another small business go-getter. “I’ve had a comic book store on 16th and A for years,” he informed us.

Did he see me roll my eyes?

“And a head shop. I have a little head shop.”

The doors finally opened at 2:25. I paid for my box for another year: an idiotic extravagance, but one I cling to. I can barely afford to send real mail any more, and the same goes for the people who send it to me, thanks to the U.S. Post Office. Do you think they’ll even last another year?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2011 7:43 PM

    yeah, i can barely afford to send mail either, lol. who knows about christmas cards…p

    • E. A. Peregrine permalink
      November 13, 2011 12:25 AM

      *takes a deep breath so she will not start ranting about the post office*

      I know, I loved sending Christmas cards, and now it costs a million dollars. So I quit. But for you, I’d make an exception.

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