Saturday, December 20, 2014

What not to Say to your Mailman on a Friday - "Have a Nice Weekend"

Are your Postal Customers dogging you out with cruel taunts about the weekend? - Photo from my phone.

By Mel Carriere,

If you are an uninspiring aspiring writer like me, don't ever blog on your phone.  I was trying to blog on the Blogspot app yesterday and had punched out about three excruciating paragraphs on that tiny keyboard that is definitely not friendly to my big fat fingers when I got a call from my wife.  She was calling to tell me to hurry up and get my butt home because she had plans for me that involved laundry and perhaps waterboarding afterwards.  Waterboarding is not a fun, stimulating romantic game that my wife and I play, in case you are wondering.  If you don't know what waterboarding is I will refer you to the declassified CIA documents on the torture of Guantanamo detainees that were recently released, and that's all I will say about the subject.

Anyhow, when I hung up the phone my blog was gone.  It disappeared completely into the blogosphere, the individual words floating away like spores on the wind shot out by some distasteful, unsightly fungal body.  That's okay, it was all crap anyway, because I had been up very late the night before binge watching Orange is the New Black and I was very tired.  So I'll just start over.  

The topic I was trying to write about before my phone got hungry and ate it is an expression that many postal customers like to say on a Friday, which is "Have a Good Weekend."  This seems like an innocent and friendly enough thing to say, and even though most of the time it is spoken in well-meaning ignorance, every once in a while it is uttered out of pure smug spitefulness.  Whatever the case, it is the wrong thing to say to your mailman on a Friday.

Let's start out with the well-meaning ignorance category.  Although it would seem that people who never see the mailman would make the mistake of thinking we have the weekend off the same as most normal people do, I have discovered that the customers who use this phrase are most likely to be those who see us slinging the satchel down the block four or five times a week, and are usually waiting in front of their houses for the mail.  In light of these circumstances it would seem like they have no legitimate excuse for thinking that we have the weekend off, because they were probably out there last Friday when we handed them the mail and it is quite possible they greeted us with the same words on that occasion.

Therefore, there are only one or two conclusions that can be inferred from this.  The first one is that they have the memory of that bloated, belly up goldfish you have been feeding every five minutes just because you are bored and want to see what will happen, and maybe are tired of cleaning out the stinky tank too.

I think that this is a very cruel, unflattering conclusion to draw and so I will suggest a different explanation. This is that these customers are so psychologically befuddled after being retired so long that they now mistake news reports for their own thought processes.

A couple of years ago our beloved outgoing Postmaster General Pat Donahoe released a statement that the Postal Service was going to cut Saturday Delivery.  He made this pronouncement like it was a done deal, and certain members of the Postal Public still have these words stuck in their heads and are unable to shake them out no matter how vehemently we explain to them that they are not true.  I have given up trying to explain.  As with the case of that belly up goldfish, I treat every feeding like it was the first one.  I just smile, hand over the mail, and move on.  I am the postal equivalent of that evil food shaker of the goldfish tank.

Sometimes when you deliver mail to these people on a Saturday they look at you suspiciously, as if you are some malicious mailman-impersonating impostor.  I have even had them rush back into the house to check the dosage levels of their medication, just in case they might be seeing things.

The second category of Postal Customers who unwisely say "Have a Nice Weekend" to their letter carriers are people who are just mean and cruel and hate the mailman.  Of course they know we work Saturdays, but maybe they are angry because you never deliver that million dollar lottery check they claim to be entitled to, even though they never play the lottery and have only imagined that they won, or maybe hallucinated because of unwise choices in their own methods of self-medication.  Or maybe they have it in for you because you had the bad manners to write up that dog that was chewing a hole in your sock last July.  Even after that series of painful abdominal rabies shots you were forced to undergo following that encounter with their wonderfully fuzzy, foaming at the mouth Fluffy they still insist that you were exaggerating.

Whatever the case, these folks always say "Have a Nice Weekend" with a cruel sideways sneer, especially during the holidays when they know you might even be coming in on Sunday to deliver parcels.

Meanwhile, I sit here in a state of smugness about the weekend myself, being fortunate to work in one of those areas where letter carriers have rotating days off, which means I am enjoying my own three day weekend.  But I definitely have those of you who are slaving away on a Saturday in my thoughts, and I sincerely urge you to be cautious and prudent so that you do not go "belly-up" under that binge feeding of parcels that the Postal Service is giving you.  I wish you all a Merry Christmas for 2014 and I thank you sincerely for reading my irreverent and sometimes inappropriate rants.

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