I've been remiss posting lately... it may not get better, since work is from dawn to dusk, and chaos reigns there. I hope I come out on the other side.
I have a few stolen moments this weekend, to finish a story for Kelly, and to give the rest of the readers a daily slice of life. It concerns severe emotional trauma - over a mailbox key!
Good People in the World
When I returned from vacation on the 30th, it was with relief to find my son still had my mailbox key in my car. He hadn't lost it. His absentmindedness with such things comes directly from me. I'm often misplacing keys, documents, braincells, you name it, particularly in times of stress.
I got the mail on the 30th, and put the key somewhere safer, I'm sure of it. Was it the armrest in the car, key box on the foyer table, or another one of those places I try to remember to keep things in? Or did I? It turned up missing. We ransacked house and car, no key. I called the property manager. No call, no return message. I stopped at a post office on the way to work during the ensuing week. They told me I had to go to my OWN post office, and even if I went there, they might or might not have the key; it might be with the property manager. 8 calendar days since we'd seen the key, getting a little frantic for what was in the box, I set my sites on Saturday.
Workers with stressful jobs, even empty-nesters like me, can only get so many errands done in a week. We might have the dry cleaning in the car, but we didn't stop all week at 7 am, because we had 8 am meetings. We might mean to pick up that loaf of bread or bottle of milk all week, but we just kept forgetting to stop when getting home from work at 7 or 8 pm and we're too tired to go back out after it. WE SAVE SATURDAYS. For errands. And so I did.
I was up at 8 and to the post office. Post office had changed their hours to 10 a.m. No big surprise, I know they probably won't have Saturday hours soon. On my was back home I called my landlord. No answer; I left a voice mail, but knew I might not get them on the weekend. Back to post office at 10. I waited in line while a nasty man in front of me berated the postal clerk for something that was not her fault. He got angry in both English and Spanish. We all endured that. When it was finally my turn, I learned that, 1.5 miles from my home, they are NOT my post office. They sent me 5 miles over to the "mail depot" that is supposed to be my post office (no stamp services or mailboxes, just a pick up window). I expected the worst, and got the best.
The really, really nice man who answered the bell looked up my key. As it turns out, the lock "belongs" to the PO. He could make me new keys if I returned with my signed lease. But, they couldn't do that until Tuesday. I filled out the card to have them hold the mail going forward. I was worried because I really needed a check and some information that was in the mail that day. I told him I would wait at the mailbox area in my townhouse comples until the carrier arrived. He actually CALLED the carrier and told him about my problem, and the carrier agreed to meet me at the mailboxes around noon. The carrier took my cell phone number.
Home to wait. Air conditioning! (It was 98 degrees in Tampa yesterday). My landlord called. She wasn't sure what key it would be of the 30 she had, but she was game to drive over and help me. I told her it wasn't a rush, since the carrier would help me, but she insisted.
At noon, I went to the mail boxes, and received about 15# of mail from the carrier. 10 minutes later, the landlord stopped at my house. She had gone to my mailbox, tried all of the keys, and had two spares. She'd driven over to give me one. Key and mail in hand, I had no need to spend the $25 to rekey the box. After she visited awhile and left, the carrier stopped by. He knew I now had a key and wanted to return the "hold the mail" card, so I didn't have to go back to the depot next Saturday. I must say I was flabbergasted by how much these kindly folks were willing to help save me from my scatterbrain.
You get so used to the lack of people's time or their manners that you need for customer service, that, when you get people who are willing to put themselves in your place and give you a hand to accomplish a seemingly simple, (but maddeningly difficult to resolve) situation, that when it happens, you are eternally grateful. As am I. It set a good, optimistic tone for the rest of the day.