Howdy Doody, there, folks!
Today I introduce the Government Operation Award! The idea of an award has been shamelessly pilfered from Tori :)'s blog, with apologies and the hope that she will understand that sometimes, stupidity and incompetence is so pervasive, so blatant, that it must be highlighted. Today, I present just such a situation.
The first recipient of the award is The United States Postal Service!
I live and work in a large city, in the central part of the city, really quite near the post office building which is responsible (and I use that term very loosely!) for bringing the mail to its customers, which is pretty much everyone.
Now, silly me, I had always thought that it was the express purpose of the Postal Service to deliver the mail. Since they do this every day, one could possibly assume that some sort of routine would eventually be developed, so that the recipient of the mail could reasonably expect the mail to arrive about the same time each day. HA! NOT!
I have worked at my current company for over a year and a half. When I first began working there, Carl delivered the mail, and he did so at about 2:00 every day. Every day, Carl called me, and I went downstairs to pick up the mail (we get tubs and buckets of mail, so it won't fit into a mailbox and needs to be picked up. We have a note over the Post Office desk in our building, asking the delivery person to call our suite when the mail arrives). Life was good. Then, Carl moved, or changed routes, or something. He had fill-ins for over a year. These fill-ins would last a few weeks, and the mail arrival time would almost fall into a routine, and then BAM! The delivery person would change, and we would start getting mail at 5:45 p.m. Then it would come at 6:00 p.m. Then at 6:15 p.m. I would call the Post Office every day, and every day I'd hear the same story. There was a new person on our route. They didn't know they were supposed to call us (remember the note?) . Or they had had to split up the route and were still delivering. I would point out the ridiculously late hour, and the dork on the phone would apologize, and the delivery person would eventually show up, and then I could go home to my kids.
Recently, though, we were blessed with Sam. Sam brings the mail by 12:30 p.m., even on Monday when it's busy. He's quick and efficient and courteous. His uniform is clean and pressed (which is more than I can say for many of the delivery people we get). Sonny got all the backed-up mail delivered in one week, and then they were caught up (backed-up mail?? Wha?? They can let it just sit there and be, well, backed-up????? Fabulous). But I didn't complain. Every time I see Sam, I tell him what a wonderful delivery person he is, and how we appreciate him so much because now we get our mail on time!
Well, today, Sam was on vacation. I'm supposed to be off work at 4:30 p.m. At 5:00 p.m. I called the Post Office, where the phone-answerer-person said that they'd had to split the route up and the carriers were still out. I waited. And waited. I went downstairs, and outside. And waited in the wind. Finally I went into the other building, because the mail truck was in the parking lot, and he obviously wasn't in our building. I tracked him down in the mailroom for the other building. He had already finished our building. He didn't know he was supposed to call us when our mail was here. I asked if I could get the mail, since I was still waiting for it. He said yes, but to give him 15 minutes. So, I waited. Outside, by his truck, with my cart, because I knew we'd have a lot of mail since they also didn't call anyone to let us know the mail was here on Monday.
He finally emerges from the building, gets my mail, I take it upstairs, and finally get to leave at 6:00 p.m., an hour and a half late. I missed choir practice. My kids didn't get dinner until 7:30.
I don't know how this particular Post Office manages to do such a lousy, inconsistent job. I am ticked off that their ineptitude forces me to leave late and ruins my schedule. But their supreme effort toward this goal earns them the very first "Government Operation Award!"
Sometime before our office closes at 5:00. P.M. But today, and on many occasions