Tuesday, May 17, 2016
By Mel Carriere
Mel is mobile again! He's got his wheels and hopefully his mojo back. I apologize to my faithful readers, but I was away on a kind of self-induced tsunami sabbatical, caused by transportation issues and a sort of mental hibernation that accompanied it. Now that I'm rolling once more I feel saucy enough to refer to myself in the third person again.
The eye-rolling monotony of postal existence has not changed since I wrote my last blog post three months ago. Supervisors are still repeating the same stupid things at the same insipid, wearisome stand-up talks. I could blog their inane absurdities every day, but then my posts would quickly resemble the repetitious drivel they spew out. You get paid for enduring them, but not for reading me, so I'll spare you.
Needless to say, I've been at a loss for ideas, but if you do any kind of writing you know that you can always count on some idiot to come along and bust you out of your writer's block - kind of like Michelangelo dynamiting a block of marble and producing the Pieta. This is hardly the Pieta - it's more like the obscene garden statue I saw of a troll scratching himself, but it operates on the same general principle.
My sudden burst of inspiration took place in a Target store a couple of evenings ago. Target has taken a lot of heat lately, simply because they want to try and make people comfortable in the bathroom. I don't want to join in on the Target bashing. I like Target, I shop at Target frequently, but they really have to rein in some of their maverick employees.
I was standing cooling my heels in a nearly empty Target checkout line while some kid cashier wasted his time, and mine, trying to flirt with a lady who looked old enough to be his mother. He was attempting to seduce her by explaining the complexities of his Target Point of Sale System. When he had exhausted his repertoire of nerdy amorous advances this admirably patient woman was finally able to escape and I, at long last, was able to step up and pay.
As I approached the register I got a closer look at the twerp, and pretty much saw what I expected to see. The kid looked like he took second place in a Harry Potter look alike contest; like he didn't win because he was a little short and pudgy and had a pimple on his forehead instead of a bitchin' lightning bolt scar. His glasses were of the thick frame, pointy end variety we used to call "birth control" in the Navy, because they scare away most women. This is a real optometry term - if you Google or Bing it you'll get dozens of four-eyed dorks.
As I paid, the little twit tried to sell me on the advantages of saving 5% by signing up for a Target card. I understand he has to do this because Target big brother in the back room is watching; but that's not while I'm calling him a twit. You'll understand my choice of pejoratives in a moment.
I told Not Quite Ready for Hogwarts boy that while I wasn't interested in his card, could I please get an application for someone else to send in via the mail.
"Who do you want it for?" he said in a snotty, surly tone that he definitely didn't use on the God Bless You Please Mrs. Robinson standing in line ahead of me that he had been trying to impress. His inappropriate intonation sort of took me aback.
Although I didn't think it was any of his damn business who I wanted it for, I told Gryffindor Quidditch team reject that it was for my son. I did not add, because I shouldn't have to, that the kid is trying to establish some credit so he can finance an automobile. At the moment, he is content borrowing Dad's car and not making payments, so if I don't set the application in front of him he won't do it.
"He can apply here or online," the bug-eyed brat said. He handed me a flyer with the directions on it.
"What about the mail?" I insisted. "Can he mail it in?"
"Yes, he can do it at home on the computer," this obviously wand-less boy wizard replied.
"No, I mean the U.S. mail," I repeated carefully and slowly so that the idea would penetrate his brain, which was obviously so cluttered with Target-sanctioned mantras that he had forgotten how to analyze information for himself.
With an obstinance that would make Lord Voldemort throw down his wand and give up, Harry Potter's rejected evil twin, probably abandoned as a baby in a Diagon Alley dumpster, laughed and said to me, "Oh, I didn't even think they had a mail service anymore."
I was wearing my Postal Uniform.
Still standing stunned in front of the register, I couldn't help but wonder what he used those big, thick glasses for, because he obviously couldn't see straight. Maybe he couldn't fly his broom straight either, which is why he worked at Target instead of chasing golden snitches on the pro circuit. Filled with righteous indignation, meaning I was a little pissed off , I sort of barked back at him. "Listen, I work for the Postal Service. I bust my ass delivering the mail everyday." Did I really say ass? I can't remember. I hope not, but it's possible. I was kind of fired up.
"Oh, so that's why you want to use the mail," he said with a stupid sneer and snicker.
"No, that's not why," I started, but it was pointless to continue. I gave up, grabbed my merchandise and left.
This is what we're up against, Postal People. In spite of Target's costly computer hacks, they still insist on doing everything online. Not only that, but they would prefer to take all of your sensitive personal data right there at the store, to have you trust it to the safe keeping of Harry Potter boy, who not only failed Defense Against the Dark Arts, but I'm pretty sure flunked out in Potions class too.
All the stores are doing this. I tried Sears and Macy's, and got the same confused looks from everybody, like they wondered what planet I was from, asking for an application to send in via the mail.
I live on Planet Postal, if you really want to know, and I'm proud of it too. Go ahead - give your social security number to some four-eyed flunkee if you want, I'm going down the road to buy some stamps.
More by Mel on Hub Pages - How to Follow the Mail when The Mail Won't Move
The Postal Tsunami's magic is powered by Muggle-grown coffee, which is quite costly to produce without the appropriate spells. I would be exceedingly grateful if you would please investigate what the Tsunami's sponsors you see on this page have to say.