How not to get a post office box

Mid-morning in my local postal branch. Luckily, there were only two people ahead of me in line. But when the line moved up, a short and very unkempt woman suddenly appeared alongside the customer in front of me, who moved away while giving the newcomer a look that said, “Who are you and why are you cutting in?”  I waited for drama. However, Ms. Slovenly merely stood there looking dazed as she stole the place in line.

Moments later, a male postal worker came from behind the counter and asked if anyone needed help. Ms. Slovenly mumbled something incomprehensible, then looked toward the back of the line at a middle-aged man. He wore a military school hat, sported three days worth of beard and displayed five star shaped earrings in his right ear. He announced they wanted to get a post office box.

The postal worker handed the man a two page form and told him he needed to fill it out, show proof of residence with a lease or a mortgage. This news completely flummoxed the man who repeated mortgage several times. He received a short explanation that a lease would do. The postal employee added they would not accept a photo ID or any of the normal kinds of ID. The man stared out from under the bill of his cap at the postal worker. Meanwhile, Ms. Slovenly was half lying on top the glass showcase where the application had been spread out for her to view. Perhaps she found it to be narcotic in its length and complexity or perhaps she’d already had some narcotic of her own choosing.

Her companion rattled the application form and complained. It seems they’d come from Columbus, Ohio and if he wanted his lease he’d have to go all the way back there and get his lease. The postal employee suggested they wait until they rented a place here in town and then they could bring in the lease and get a post office box.

Not to be denied, the man began pulling various forms of ID from his wallet. The postal worker calmly took each one and handed it back, repeating that only a lease would do the trick. He then proposed a solution. Why not have mail sent to general delivery? This could be arranged at a nearby location. He wrote down the address on the margin of the voluminous application. Ms. Slovenly whined, “Can you write that on another piece of paper? We can’t carry that around all day!” Her companion added with indignation, “How are we gonna carry that around? It’s too big.” He looked ready to erupt.

The postal employee froze for a few seconds. I watched and held my breath. I didn’t know whether to burst out laughing or run for cover. The postal worker picked up the two page form and folded it in half, then in quarters, then once again until it was wallet sized, and handed it to the man.


Now if only they could deliver the mail correctly, but that is a different story.

~ by mickeyhoffman on February 11, 2014.

One Response to “How not to get a post office box”

  1. Great story Mickey….how come I haven’t been following your blog? Will correct that oversight immediately.

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