Friday, October 16, 2009

A Mini-Rant

It's been way too long since I've had a good old-fashioned rant, hasn't it? I have missed out on so many opportunities, too. So many rants; so little time.

Since this is still bothering me a little bit this morning, I'll write about it and maybe I'll feel better. Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Post Office to mail some tax forms (no, that's not even the rant!). Of course I had The People with me, and as you can imagine, waiting in a long line at the Post Office is not something they particularly enjoy.

I held the baby and the Big Kids ran around the small area. I had to ask them a couple of times not to dart in and out of the unsuspecting innocent people waiting in line (that's the term I used), but to find one spot and do their wiggling there. They did, and were shortly joined by a little girl, about 2.5 years old I'd say, who was just a happy little shrieky thing.

The kids got kind of loud. My bad. I know that I have a different threshold for "loud" than non-parents, but I really do think I pay attention to how loud they are in public and tend to err on the side of shushing. Their voices were raised, but they were NOT extremely loud or even out of control. In fact, I was thinking that it was nice of my kids to play with this other little girl.

One of the Post Office workers got the attention of someone in line, who turned to the other mom and said, "He [pointing] wants to talk to you." The mom looked up and the Post Office worker said in a loud, snotty voice, "You need to keep those kids quiet. We're trying to TALK back here!" So she and I shushed our kids.

Not two minutes later, the dull roar of grownup conversation began to increase. There were probably 20 people in line. The adults got loud--yes, louder than the kids, but Mr. I'm Trying To Talk Here said nothing about that.

I struggled very hard not to say something about my "right" to Post Office services and since I have a government-given right to Return Receipt, then it by-god shouldn't matter how me or my children behaved in this government-sanctified place of business. That they could strip naked and climb the walls and I would STILL HAVE A RIGHT TO POST OFFICE SERVICES.

I wanted to say that of course they don't care how snotty they are to their "customers" with kids because they have the force of government to back up their "services" in the "market." That if he had a real job he could actually get fired from, he might think of a nicer way to ask us to quiet the kids down and/or hold the adults to the same standard and/or make their office kid-friendly. Because companies who have to EARN their customers' business in order to make money do those things.

Oh sure, I could have gone to the UPS Store as I normally do--and they even have a nice little play area for children!--but it was too late in the day and this needed to go out. Again. My bad. Won't happen again.

I do feel better. :o)


Wendy Hawksley said...


And another point: If the Post Office actually served people in an efficient manner, people wouldn't be stuck in a long line with children!!!

I'm sure there are USPS workers out there who do their job quickly and efficiently, but it seems that many government workers (federal or state... Just look at the DMV!) take their sweet time accomplishing anything.

Mrs. C said...

Great post!

I'm thinking that it's more than just government stupidity. It's that idea that only adults should have any sorts of rights. HELLO, these kids are acting in a totally developmentally appropriate manner. No-one hurries old ladies along and tells 'em to move it faster. Why do people insist on OVERLY shushing children?

I understand when things are totally out of control, but I think any error that is made ought to be on the side of grace.

Tenure said...

Yep. Love that public option. I've found our postal service -well, those working at the Post Office itself (at least my local one)- to be rather good.
Transport for London, well, that's a whole 'nother kettle...

I believe this guy was fired, or at least suspended pending an investigation, only because such a furor ended up getting kicked up over it online.

Crimson Wife said...

What really ticks me off is when I'm obviously making an attempt to amuse my kids and I still get a lecture. This happened to me during my last pregnancy when I had to take that hourlong glucose tolerance test. The lab wasn't open on weekends or evenings (that would be too convenient for people) so I had to bring my older two with me. I was prepared with toys, books, crayons & paper, etc. But they still got a bit wiggly by the end. I really was trying to keep them under control as best I could & did not appreciate the chewing out I got from the receptionist.