Corner Booth: Going Postal

We have a friend who likes to note that half the people in the world are below average. I was reminded of these wise words today during a quick outing to the post office downtown.

The post office is one the few places (the supermarket is another) where you see a true cross-section of people. Everybody has business at the post office on occasion. Hang around there very long, and you’ll see many people who seem below average, odd or, at minimum, unusual.

While I was in line, a guy with a long beard and a 49ers ski cap transacted a month’s personal paperwork (including money orders) at one window. At another, an uptight grandma had many, many questions about her change of address. A tattooed guy who looked like a bicycle messenger in a Mad Max film strode past, mumbling to himself. A woman dressed like Dame Edna tried to SELL BACK some stamps to the postal clerk. A large, angry woman told anyone who would listen that her ex-husband owed $29,000 in child support, and the letter in her hand would finally make him pay, by god, you better believe it.

My trip to the post office was exactly like an appearance on The Jerry Springer Show, except nobody threw any folding chairs.

The US Postal Service employees were patient and polite through it all, bless their hearts. I don’t know how they do it all day. If I had to deal with the unwashed public, I’d last an hour. Which, I’m sure, is below average.

  • Another place they need folks who can deal with the public is at the hospital. Mercy Medical Center is looking for volunteers to work as greeters in the emergency department. For more info, e-mail Shirley Knight at sknight@chw.edu.
  • Next Monday, the annual State of the City luncheon is scheduled for noon at the Redding Convention Center. Thirty bucks buys you a balcony ticket from the Redding Chamber of Commerce. Or, you can watch a free “encore” presentation of Mayor Rick Bosetti’s speech that evening at the Cascade Theatre. I’ll attend the luncheon as a member of the Shasta Public Libraries Citizens Advisory Committee, sitting downstairs among the bigwigs. I’ll be the one dressed as Jerry Springer.

Tips appreciated: Send news and tidbits to steveb.anewscafe@gmail.com.

Steve Brewer

is the author of CUTTHROAT and 17 other books. Read more of his columns at http://stevebrewer.blogspot.com/, or follow him on Facebook.

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