I’m not the kind of person to fly off the handle but I am aware of the legend of the postal worker so I have been watching carefully for any signs of change in my character. Nothing. But I have seen some things that could easily tip a less stable person into at least a verbal tirade, if not a complete meltdown.
Here are some observations from this week, which is only 2 days old.
1. Are you are a lady over 50 years of age who could have your physical appearance reasonably accurately described by the phrase “Jabba the Hut with lipstick”? If so, please don’t answer your front door wheezing and sweating and wearing only a towel. I don’t want to know.
2. Are you a man over 70 years of age who is watching television with no pants on? Please don’t come to the front door wearing only a t-shirt. Especially if you have to waddle down 2 flights of stairs with your Christmas baubles swinging in the breeze.
3. When I knock on your front door, I do so because I need you to come to the front door. Don’t shout at me from in front of the television without moving. If I can’t give you the parcel, I am legally obliged to stick a card under the door advising you to go to the local Post Office after 4:00pm to collect your parcel.
4. If I leave a card under your door stating that your parcel will be available at the local Post Office after 4:00pm, don’t bother going to the Post Office at 11:30am and abusing the counter staff. I have 150 parcels in my vehicle and I don’t dash down to the Post Office with each one just because no-one is home. My job and my income are time sensitive and I will surrender all my unsuccessful deliveries to the Post Office together at the end of the day.
5. Loading zones are provided outside commercial premises to allow delivery vehicles easy access to the adjacent businesses. These zones are marked by red and white signs 8 feet high and yellow lines on the ground. If you are red/green colour blind the yellow lines should still work. If you are yellow/blue colour blind the red signs should be great. If you live in a house with ocean glimpses that is mortgaged to the hilt and drive a Mercedes weighed down with a lease payment that would bankrupt many African nations, this parking space is not for you. If your Mercedes accidentally lands in this space you can expect that me and my clearly marked commercial vehicle and the XL Express van are going to park 4 inches in front and behind you and take our 45 minute lunch break. You can’t intimidate me, the law is on my side and my vehicle is worth less than your insurance premium.
6. I delivered a parcel to a resort unit complex today. It was an international parcel that required a signature. I place the parcel and clipboard on the reception counter and said “I’ve got a parcel for Mr Surname”, put an X where I needed the signature and held out my pen. As the staff member started to write I said “and your initial and surname printed underneath please”. She stopped writing and put down the pen. Her signature seemed printed and she hadn’t written anything on the second line. So far she hasn’t smiled or uttered a single syllable. “I’m sorry, I need your signature and printed name. She exhaled audibly, snatched the pen and scoured an X under the printed name hard enough that the pen tore the paper. She said “I can’t sign that name, I’m not them” thus proving she was as stupid as she was surly. I picked up my clipboard and left, closing with “I just need the signature and name, not my stationary abused”.
When I delivered the next parcel I found myself waiting for something, anything to bite at. I wanted a confrontation. The woman at the resort had turned me sour. I went back to the car and replayed the event over and over. It wasn’t me. It definitely wasn’t me. So I went to the corner store and bought a six dollar box of chocolates like the ones I get my wife when I’ve done something stupid. I doubled back and went in to the resort. She was working on the computer with her head down. I placed the chocolate on the counter in front of her and said “You must be having a really bad day to treat me like that unprovoked. I hope tomorrow is a better day”. I didn’t wait for a response.
I never once thought about getting a gun and finding out where that bitch lives. My mother raised me with a good work ethic, good personal hygiene and good manners. She would have been proud of my conduct today and that’s all that matters to me.
But I can see how people with a shorter fuse could have let that event flip their switch.