Fate was unkind to me last Saturday morning. I was compelled to visit the Red Hook post office, the temple of incompetence which serves much of South Brooklyn. I did not expect to enjoy a fruitful visit. And I did not. I was horrified upon entering to see a line of more than 20 people for basic services, and 10 people for the window to pick up packages (my destination). The usual Madame Tussauds wax figures were sitting beginning the service windows, doing their hilarious impression of postal workers.
Waiting as long as I did, I had plenty of time to contemplate exactly how lousy the Red Hook postal staff were at their job. And not just the stuff we expect them to stink at: delivering mail, finding packages, answering questions, being efficient. But everything! Including the upkeep of the station. Look at the windowsill and blinds above. (I did, for a long time.) They have not been dusted for months. They're filthy.
This television was obviously put in the lobby for the entertainment of waiting customers. But it was not on during my wait. Either it is broken, or no one bothered to turn it on. Nice work.
And look at this little beauty, taped next to the button designed to get the attention of a worker at the package claim window. How long do you think it took to make that fine piece of government work? Three seconds? Plus one second to tape the half-assed sign up? How long until it falls down completely? I don't know about you, but it would totally bug me to come to work every day and see that thing, and not fix it.
As usual, there was a lot of loud complaining about the lack of service, and, as usual, the workers didn't seem to care a whit. One lady waiting for a package said "Come On!" about once a minute, and kvetched for all to hear about how she was double-parked and had to get to C-Town to get a chicken before it was too late. (Too late for what?) She did this all from the vestibule, because the post office was "too hot" to wait in. Thus, she had to remind everybody constantly that she was in line, even though she actually wasn't. This is the sort of behavior the Red Hook post office engenders.
When I got to the front of the line, they found my package in a minute—a minor miracle. They had tried to deliver it once (while I was home!), and had given up after that. It is criminal that it is these people who don't have to worry about losing their jobs in this recession/depression.