Friday, December 28, 2012

Spoiled No More

For the last seventeen years I have lived in Bayview, there have been two postmasters. Sue for most of those years retired last year. Eric who was her temporary during that period took over. Apparently he was not on the career track as a permanent postal employee and he was eliminated just prior to the Christmas rush. These two were not just postal employees. The were also friends and neighbors who knew everyone and cared about the community and those in it.

I will not mention names here, but I came down to earth with a thud when the new guy showed up. I had a malfunctioning lock on my regular mail box, so another adjacent one was assigned to me. The old box had a block on it which read deposit mail in XXX box. For months that worked quite well. ...Until the new guy arrived.

I get my medications from the Veterans Administration in Spokane, of which some are controlled substances requiring a signature. Such was the case when the VA sent a sorely needed medication December 19 which arrived at 07:28 am December 22. I had checked daily, including Christmas Eve for what should have arrived and didn't.

Finally, I called the pharmacy at the VA which had tracking numbers. They indicated that the post office received it at 07:58 am the 22nd and forwarded it later that morning. When I asked at the post office where they forwarded it they couldn't tell me. It was just out there in the ether somewhere in the system. The new guy failed to read the instructions that everyone else followed correctly. since there was mail in my box every day, one had to assume someone there knew how to do their job.

I got a call telling me that it would show up eventually. No apology, no, I'm sorry a mistake was made, just a mumbled, "I just followed policy." I had been spoiled for so long it took me a while to realize that a true bureaucrat is never wrong, and always has policy or regulations to blame for their own ineptitude. If he had owned the mistake that would have been the end of it. Some people just aren't able to man up and take responsibility for their actions. Nobody is perfect, but you are expected to express regret when you screw up.That he didn't indicates he probably doesn't belong in a small town post office.  


Anonymous said...

Sadly, I saw this sort of change coming earlier in the year when Eric and Sue told me changes were coming. Bayview just lost yet another one of the small town charms I loved, the post(wo)man knew your name, asked about the family and approached their job more as your friend than you as a customer. They will both be sorely missed by many in this community.

Paul C

Anonymous said...

Herb, I am certainly sorry that this happened to you. We must however give the new guy a chance to catch so to speak.

Sue and Eric are missed by all in the community. They did their jobs and beyond normal customer service. I hope Eric is enjoying his time in Hawaii!

Should he go beyond normal customer expectations? YES! But what have we as a community done to welcome him to our community?

Norma Jean

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would help a bit if you didnt call him "the new guy". You seem to have names for Sue and Eric. Maybe it would be nice to welcome your "new guy" with his actual name.

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled upon your blog and find it to be fun and interesting. I don't live in your state or know anything bout it. I had to laugh at your USPS post and the two comments following it that felt you should have to welcome the new guy, just to have him do his job correctly, forget about adding the "friendly" touch... hilarious. The second post should have been signed...the "new guy"...