Wednesday, March 15, 2006

New Orleans Postal Workers

Here's a letter I just sent to the Postmaster General:

On Monday March 13, 2006 I went to the Elmwood Station located in Harahan, LA 70123 to mail several packages that I needed to ship. Since the Carrollton Station near my house still has no phone lines and cannot take packages, I went to Harahan to avoid the long lines at the other New Orleans post offices. There were two employees servicing customers at the Harahan location. I had a postal crate full of packages on my left arm as well as a large package (it cost over $18 to ship) on my other arm. When I was next in line and the man at a station left and I started walking towards the employee because I wanted to get down to business and rest the packages on the counter. As I approached, the employee named Monica (an african-american woman in her mid to late 40s--early 50s) told me (without looking at me) "Uh Uh Uhhhh, I didn't call you. I am finishing a transaction, you get back in line." Now I don't care where you work, you don't tell a customer "Uh Uh Uh." I am a 32 year old man and a paying customer, you don't talk to me or anyone that way when you work somewhere. She had zero tact. She could've told me, "sir please wait until I call you to my station so you're not waiting unnecessarily." I am sick and tired of postal employees' attitudes in New Orleans. Three years ago I wrote to you about a postal employee at the Carrollton Station that told a Spanish speaker he had to speak English, saying "My country, my language." Every damned time I go to the post office I or someone else there gets some drama from your workers, and I'm sick of it. I sell over 2,000 items a year on ebay and I ship all of them via the USPS, but I am seriously considering switching to a private carrier so I don't have to deal with all the bullshit I have to endure from your employees. I told Monica "I don't care where you work, you don't say Uh Uh Uh to your customers. Instead of attending to me, she just walked into the back and waited until the other teller, a polite lady named Rose, finished helping her customer and started helping me. I have put up with the odious attitudes of your employees during the recovery from Katrina because I figured that they were stressed out; but we all are, and it's been long enough where they need to stow the attitude and do their job, or you need to find someone else to replace them. Feel free to contact me. Mac Williams


paul said...

Nice letter... I would've left out the words "damned" and "bullshit" though. You're more professional than that and I'm almost satisfied you've changed them already.

The second thing I'd like to add that USPS doesn't give a rat's ass if you go send your business to UPS, FedEx, DHL, Overnight Express, Pony Express, Ryan Express, Holiday Inn Express, or Orient Express. They are not afraid of losing money (read any article in the WSJ over the past 20 years re: the USPS, and you'd know that already).

The letter is quite beautiful though. The content certainly gets my attention and gets to the point quickly.

darlamay said...

Ditto, nice letter. I would have left out the description of Monica as an african-american woman unless you equally would have described her as caucasion had she been.

Mac said...

I New Orleans, it's pretty much standard practice to mention someone's race in describing them. Also, because I didn't have her last name, I would've called her caucasian had she been.

paul said...

Darlamay makes a good point. Rose's race is not defined; however, she is not the focal point of your letter.

JC said...

I say the Black or Caucasian or Hispanic or Oriental or Indian or Middle Easter or French or ... help us understand what the "Uh uh uh" mentioned might have sounded like.

And when they say my country, my language, they are showing their ignorance. I guess they want to feel they are better than someone, anyone. Maybe I'll start speaking only spanish at the post office and see how they treat me. If they say something rude, I'll simply correct their English when they do so. :)

Pappy Mac said...

Why don't you get a wagon and a folding chair?