Monday, September 22, 2014

This adventure brough to you by the US Post office

I figured I wouldn't be sending a whole lot of letters anymore, and certainly none for banking, but life apparently has a way of ripping plans to shreds.  So today I found myself in the public library with recently printed documents to mail out and Google telling me the closest branch was two blocks away.


Except I walked in and saw a sign that said 'no stamps'. There was pretty much only po boxes and a customer service desk. But the lady behind the counter pointed me to an address down the street a block so off I went.

And found myself in front of the Philip Burton Federal Building.

I remembered the little Chinese lady saying something like the post office being on a lower floor, and it was 20 min to five, so I took a chance and walked to the front door. I don't know what the doorman thought, dressed in his business suit and standing at parade rest, while I huffed in with two bags of textbooks I had just checked out.

I wish I took pictures of this place, but I didn't know if that was allowed.  I had to have my bags scanned, and then got chastised because unlike the airport where you just have to take you laptop out of your bag, here you have to take your cords out too. And your phone. And wallet. But he totally knew what he was viewing through the screen so why take it out? And I had to walk through a metal detector too. To go to the post office!

I got directions (take the elevator down a level and follow the signs) and it was a little surreal walking into the elevator alcove and seeing a wall full of 'most wanted' profiles.  And more so when the elevator doors opened and I was reminded of the basement levels of hospitals. I was staring at a vending machine and a sign for a freight elevator. The post office was down here? And a customs office?

Honestly, I thought I was following directions for a store room and not a mail counter. But there it was, tucked past all these 'for authorized use' only swinging doors (that really might need more security for a federal building). Talk about the most depressive post office ever. Only one counter, and one worker, to sell stamps and sort incoming mail for the po boxes. No windows. And no pretty bubble wrap envelops for a bit of color. I'd go crazy in that environment. Or read a lot of books. I can't imagine many people actually step foot there a day.

Leaving that place was just as weird, going from this gloomy environment to the nice open lobby above and then bright sunshine. And wa~ay to much effort for a two minute errand. I need to find a closer post office.


Anonymous said...

There's a reason they call it going postal.

Annalisa Crawford said...

That sounds like a very surreal experience!

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