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Why I Work at the PO: 1-800-BE-SHADY

May 25, 2011

Before I share with you my first blog-worthy experience in the post office, I should tell you that I felt my boss needed a good respectable nickname for the web.  And when I think of the PO manager I think of two things—patriotism and stamps.  So I came to the utterly uncreative name Sergeant Major Postage.

On Monday afternoons, the post office at Brenau is usually hopping.  Since there’s no one around Saturdays and Sundays to collect the mail, things sort of pile up.  This Monday was no different.  There was plenty to do when I clocked in at one.  But there was some extra action in the PO that neither the boss man nor I expected.  Sergeant Major Postage isn’t exactly computer (or as he so lovingly calls it, “compooter”) savvy.  Sometimes, the technology is beyond him—he knows how to do what he’s gotta do and he leaves it at that.    On occasion, however, he’s got to reach outside his knowledge base of Word, Excel, Outlook and all the Pitney Bowes doodads, and today was one of those days.  Poor Sarg got himself locked out of his customer account on the Office Depot website.  It was time for a call to the customer service hotline; they’re always the best with Postage because he likes to leave ‘em laughing, which usually leaves me laughing too.  But today I got to laugh before he even got a rep on the phone.

As I printed postage on the flood of out-going university mail, I heard the boss’s gravel –like voice: “What the—“

A few more moments pass, his whispers to himself drowned to my ear by the zips and swooshes of the postage meter machine.

Then again he voices his building confusion and frustration, turning to me to say, “this is not right. Chloe, dial up this number for me.”

Then I realized he’d been trying to call the service line, but they only printed the number in that obnoxious 1-800-AS-DIFFICULT-AS-WE-CAN-POSSIBLY-MAKE-IT-FOR-YOU-TO-CALL-US numbers where you have find the corresponding number for each letter.  You know, since when you’re already frustrated with the company’s shit, you really want to spend more time translating their pain-in-the-behind numbers into actual numbers.

So, after a few tries on his own, the boss called in for backup from his right hand lady, the “top woman in charge” in the PO (aka TWIC), me!  He rattled off the company’s number, and I started dialing.  I got customer service on the first try.  But the Mail Marine got it wrong one more time.  He just couldn’t understand!  And I don’t blame him. He explained, “every time I try to dial the number, I get some sex hotline.  It says ‘something hotline, free phone sex for men and women.’  How could the numbers even be so close?”  I couldn’t help but giggle at the boss’s mistake.  He was clearly beyond uncomfortable about the situation.  He admitted the number he dialed in a barely audible voice.  If only he’d gotten to an actual phone operator.  I wonder if he would have stuck to his “leave ‘em laughing” rule. And imagine the headlines if he had: “respectable long-time university employee enjoys explicit telecommunications on school’s dime”.  Shocking.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 26, 2011 10:56 pm

    I’ll be sure to weave “leave ’em laughing” into every conversation this weekend.

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