The other day, Denise and I went to pick up a package that had some postage due. No worries, I figured we'd jump into the car, breeze through the line at the post office and be done in no time. No such luck.
First, we had to find the place. Apparently the package isn't saved at the regular post office (the one with the pretty interior and heat), but at the carrier annex. We found this by looking at the address as we neared the post office and realizing we were in the wrong place. After finally finding the annex, which is not advertised, and is hidden at the back of a truck rental building, we had to figure out how to get inside.
While there was a sign outside proclaiming "carrier annex", there was no clue how to get in. Simply a large overhead warehouse door that opened onto a cavernous garage for a number of delivery trucks. No "this way" or "over here" signs to be found. Little light. No heat. All in all, not a friendly place.
After poking around for a few minutes, we found the service desk in the middle of this facility, and also two other hapless souls like ourselves who were trying to figure out how to get their packages. You see, the little button for the ringer, noticeable because of two very large "ring button for service" signs hadn't done a thing - and they had been there for ten minutes or more.
So we start banging on the door, on the roll-up window barrier, everywhere. A few minutes later, someone comes to open the window and acts surprised - "Why didn't you let someone know you were here?" he asks. Geez.
We wait patiently for the people in front of us to finish their transactions, hand the clerk our piece of paper and wait. And wait. And wait. About five minutes after he first received the slip, he comes back with the package and tells us we owe postage. Yup. So I hand him a credit card, and he looks at it like it's from another world. Apparently they don't take credit cards. Would have been nice if someone mentioned that.
Once we get back from the ATM, we find the window sealed again, and quickly rap loudly on the roll-up door to get service. The same gentleman comes quickly this time, recognizes us, and proceeds to take another five minutes to get the package again. I hand him money, including some coins so that I don't end up with even more pocket change, and it takes him another five minutes to make change.
Then he gets back, tries to hand me a mess of $1 bills and some quarters, all the while I'm trying to take the two bills I need out of his hands and be done with it. For another three minutes he tries to get me to take this conglomeration of small change (which is incorrect, I might add) and I try valiantly to get the correct change. Finally I get the two bills I need, put up with more berating because I didn't take it the way he wanted, and get the heck out of there.
What the heck happened to customer service? I'm not talking kiss-your-feet, the-customer-is-always-right kind of service. I'm just talking about some common courtesy. Why is it so difficult to be a customer these days? It's like you're inconveniencing these people, and they're the ones who choose to work where they do.