Last June, I took my son to college orientation in Indiana and had occasion to go to the town’s post office.
Walking in, I was greeted by a woman sitting at a card table. “Good morning! Do you need any stamps?”
“No thank you,” I said and got in line behind two other people waiting for the clerk at the main counter.
When it was my turn, I walked forward and the postal worker said in a friendly, melodious tone, “I’m so sorry for your wait. How can I help you today?”
“It was no wait at all,” I said. She postmarked my taxes, wished me a great day, and I left. But not before the postal worker sitting at the card table also told me to have a great day.
In the parking lot, I said to no one in particular, “Surely I’m being punked.”
I’m used to postal workers going…well, postal.
The last time I went to the Bel Air, Maryland Post Office, postal worker Madonna shouted at me as she scanned the package I was returning to Amazon, “Dis doan scan. Dis doan scan.”
It took me a minute to cut through Madonna’s indignity and process what she was saying.
“Oh…if it won’t scan, can you type in the information?” I asked.
“No, we’re not allowed to,” she said, pushing the package back at me.
I left and went five miles down the road where Charlie at the Abingdon Post Office typed in the information and processed my package.
I filed a complaint with the post office, but it went to the wrong zip code and got lost in the sauce. Ironic, eh?
But hey, I know I’m not alone here. Madonna has quite a rep in Bel Air.
The last time my friend Vicki went to the Bel Air Post Office, Madonna told her “I’m going to have to come over to your house and put parental controls on your TV–you return too much.” Vicki was left speechless–not an easy feat.
Another friend reports an incident over the coat she wore into the Post Office. Madonna tried to buy if off her. Linda refused. An argument ensued.
Sadly, this lack of courtesy–lack of friendliness is not just a Madonna issue or a post office issue. I will go so far as to assert it is a State issue–maybe even a regional issue.
When we returned to Indiana to deliver our son to college in August, a man stopped us in the parking lot of a local restaurant, “Say, are you folks really from Maryland? I’ve never met anybody from Maryland,” he said as he looked at our license plate. When we answered in the affirmative, “What are you doing in Valparaiso?” A friendly conversation followed.
After dinner, folks waved us over in traffic. Time and time again. Courtesy was evident everywhere. It was like driving through the Twilight Zone.
You know, I’ve lived in Maryland for most of my life and never, never has a stranger struck up a friendly conversation with me in a parking lot. Or not too many other places either.
So when we went to the Valparaiso Walmart the next day, we must have looked like East Coast maniacs walking through the store briskly and with determination.
As we reached the self-check-out line at about the same time as a young couple, they said, “You guys go ahead.”
“No, no,” I said, “you were here first.”
“Oh, we’re in no hurry. You go first,” the woman said kindly.
Wow, Dorothy, we sure weren’t in Maryland anymore.
When I stepped up to the self-check out, things were going smoothly until a box of Ex-Lax wouldn’t scan.
I had to call the blue vest over as I channeled my inner Madonna. “Dis doan scan! Dis doan scan!”
Seriously, I ♥ Indiana and I ♥ the Midwest!
Thanks for reading.
Susan J. Anderson
Foxy Writer Chick