Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Post office etiquette 101 September 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:56 PM
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OK, LET’S PRETEND you are at the post office at around 9 a.m. on a Saturday. You’re waiting in line with six customers ahead of you—three at the service windows.

Now let’s say one of these customers asks for religious stamps and the postal worker says those are available only at Christmas.

That’s reasonable, you think.

But then the customer asks for “Father D” stamps. Now, you know that a pastor in town bears the name “Father D.” And you wonder, what exactly are “Father D” stamps? Religious, I suppose. But remember, this is September, not December.

“Does he like baseball?” the postal employee asks. “Or cats and dogs?”

By then you’re becoming a bit impatient wondering exactly how many postage stamps are available and which will fit the customer’s request.

“They’re just stamps,” you mutter to the woman who is ahead of you with a tote full of packages. You check your watch and ponder leaving the post office, doing your banking and then returning. Perhaps the finicky customer at the middle window will have departed by then with her clutch of “Father D” stamps, whatever those may be.

But you decide to wait. A man two ahead of you catches your eye and you can tell he is thinking, like you, that this is ridiculous. Can’t this woman see the line of four customers waiting behind her?

Finally, Ms. Ineedjusttherightstamps leaves with her stamps. And although you’re not certain, you’re pretty sure she’s just purchased “Forever” stamps.

THE ABOVE STORY is not embellished/made-up/fictional or anything other than a factual account of my visit to the Faribault Post Office on Saturday morning. Only the name, “Father D,” is fictional.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling