Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Gripes of Wrath

Two for the morning so far. Okay, maybe three.

Episode I - The Post Office

That's right, gentle readers, I made the mistake of ordering something and having it delivered via USPS. Now since I don't have a buzzer or intercom system on my building (an inconvenience that I believe is finally being rectified, because it just may be illegal), it is virtually impossible for me to receive anything when it is actually delivered unless they call me on the phone. Which the USPS is not going to do. And I would not want them to have my number. Ever.

Because I believe the USPS has a special method of finding it's employees. And by special method, I mean special. As in Ed. As in Special Ed. Because these people are not normal. And they clearly are not intelligent. Today's example:
"I don't even work over here."

Really? And how exactly is that more my problem than yours? Am I employed by the USPS? Am I responsible for your late coworkers? Perhaps, in fact, they're late because they're being delayed at some other lameass government agency where the employees have no incentive to provide good, if any, customer service whatsoever. I mean, where and to whom should we complain? Don't we pay their salaries through our taxes? In other words, aren't they accountable to the American people.

Which, as we well know, means they're accountable to no one.

And which leads me to the following statement, which I would never say about anything else: that mother fucking shit should be privatized.

I am not one of those people who thinks big business can do it better or that free markets are always the answer (health care, hello!), but in this instance I am moved to concede that only with competition will the postal service ever be able to mend its ways. When profit becomes the bottom line, lazy, inconsiderate and ill-skilled workers will be passed over for more competent counterparts. Not that they'll be perfect (take any fast food restaurant in the city for example). But they just HAVE to be an improvement. I mean, at this juncture, cardboard cutouts hitting the Staples "That Was Easy" button would be an improvement.

And the worse thing is that they have you by the balls AND THEY KNOW IT. So you can't start complaining, or saying things like, 'Lady, the post office has supposedly been open since 6:30am. It is now 8:30am. You mean to tell me that this is the first time you're noticing that 'No one's here yet'? And that I'm supposed to feel bad for you because you 'Just walked in'?" Because they have something that you need - that you can't get from anywhere else. YOUR PACKAGE. The item you already paid for. The parcel from Grandma. The letter from your LTR. So no matter how frustrating they are, or how incompetent, or rude, you just have to stand there and fume, add some cortisol to the layer of stress-induced belly fat, and probably take it out on some innocent bystander on the subway.

And don't even get me started on the way the mailman manages to mangle the mail while stuffing it into our mailbox. It's bestial.

Episode II - The Subway

Next stop, the A Train. Nothing wrong with the train. Don't get a seat at first, but that's fine, it's going express, it's moving, we're all good. Except for that bag in my hand. Which contains my lifeblood. A bag of hot mothers' milk.

Coffee.

I get a seat by 14th Street. Arrange my package at my feet, purse on lap, backpack still firmly planted on back. The bag is still in my hands, taunting me with wafting coffee aroma.

I look around. No one else has a beverage. I wait.

59th Street. Train clears out considerably - it's time for the longass express haul up to 125th Street. I remove the coffee from the bag. I look around, surreptitiously. Still I wait. I am a coward, but I convince myself that the coffee is probably still to hot to slurp comfortably.

125th Street. I decide that I'm going to risk it. I flip the top open and Oh! coffeeliciousness. I glance around guiltily, savoring the comforting blend of coffee, sugar and half and half. I wait for someone to try to deny my pleasure. In vain.

I exit the subway at 145 street, unticketed.

Unticketed?

Yes, dear readers, apparently the MTA has finally decided to enforce the long-standing rule of "No Open Containers" on city subway trains or buses.

I emailed them last night to clarify this rule. I mean, what really constitutes as an open container. If I flip the lid tab up on my coffee does that count as it now being open? What if I have a travel mug? Is it only open when I'm sipping from it? What if it's one of those "no spill" mugs, what then?

What about water bottles? Only open if I'm drinking it or if the seal is broken? What about fountain sodas? Closed without straw, open with?

I think it's patently unfair that in these times when every entrance into the subway is taking a risk of not coming back out again that the MTA would choose to focus on something that is not only so petty, but also such a waste of resources. Yes, transit cops should be on the lookout for businessmen trying to perk themselves awake with some joe, instead of terrorists or rapists or muggers or thugs. Not.

Episode III - Location

Well, I was going to gripe about the fact that the heat still isn't fixed. But then production managed to score about space heaters. So it's cool. 1 for 3 though.

2 What'd you say?

Blogger Gabe said...

I AM a reader but I most certainly am NOT gentle.

I had forgotten the new "no open container" rule and I'm glad you mentioned it. I suppose I'll have to slap a Tupperware lid on those open semen samples again. The burp means it's sealed!

12:22 PM, December 06, 2005  
Blogger Brenda said...

What do you mean you're not gentle? Did you not pat me on the head and reassure me that I was the bee's knees? That was pretty gentle. Pretty gentle/manly. Hey, I made a new word: gentlemanly.

(I know it's not a new word. I just happen to think I'm clever and cute. And it was pretty gentle. And manly. And I should never drink that much wine and look at other people's websites again unless you're there - and even then I shouldn't, because who wants to put up with that).

Okay, Amanda, tell us to get a room now... :)

5:17 PM, December 06, 2005  

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