Pesky post office workers keep playing games with my heart

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March 30, 2007

2:41 PM

I didn’t know the post office had a sense of humor. Common knowledge indicates that post office workers — particularly those unlucky enough to be stationed in the basement of the University Center— are particularly lacking in mirth, joy and general good humor.

p. And can you blame them? First of all, they are in the basement of a campus building, and as anyone with Yates experience knows, living in a basement can seriously mess with a person’s head. Now, presumably, the post office people don’t actually live in that basement, but can we really know for sure?

p. Second, the College’s mail people are not provided with the same accoutrements as other postal workers — the snappy blue uniforms, the really cool truck, the official mail-holding sack. How can they be expected to happily perform their duties without a sack? Personally, I can barely make it out of bed to write this column when I think of the giant, Flat Hat emblem-bearing sack-shaped hole in my life.

p. Lately, though, I’ve become suspicious that College post office workers have a lot more fun than they let on. It started with my wait for grad school acceptance letters. I checked my mailbox every day, and finally, on Valentine’s Day, I received my very first letter … a rejection. It could have been a twist of fate, but it’s much funnier to believe that some postal drudge, stuffed in a back room, saw all the Valentine’s cards addressed to everyone but him and held onto that little gem for about a week before popping it in my CSU at exactly the right time. As my heart sank with rejection, my respect for the fictional, evil post office workers rose to a new high.

p. My suspicions were bolstered by the fact that no other letters came for at least a month. And it wasn’t just grad school acceptances that those crafty delivery people were withholding, it was everything. No coupons, no flyers, not even a single pro-Jesus pamphlet crossed that cold, silver threshold. For a month people! If that’s not the post office messing with my head, I don’t know what to tell you. I could almost hear them giggling behind their stacks of package receipts as the light from my side of the CSU wall blazed through the empty doorway of my mailbox and into their offices.

p. As much as I hate having a gaping void for a mailbox (I even kind of miss the Jesus pamphlets), I like the idea that the post office workers are having a good time back there. And if they really do get their jollies from hiding my mail, I think we can tie a long list of student mail grievances to some shady goings-on right on the other side of that mail counter.

p. For example, there have been times when I received my Vibe subscription at least a month late. The only explanation is that a bored mail worker, intrigued by the headline, “Ciara: Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like her?” picked up my Vibe for a little leisurely perusal. I can’t fault him for that — I, too, wish my girlfriend was hot like Ciara. I just wish he had put it back after he was done reading because, lacking Vibe’s wise guidance, I ended up being totally uncool for the entire month of February.

p. I think the post office employees also entertain themselves with care packages. They roll down that little window at 4:30 sharp and place all kinds of unsavory bets on those lovingly duct-taped boxes from home, shaking them and making guesses on number of cookies, flavor and whether or not they are delicious. Oh yes, the post office plays fast and loose with our letters and our hearts. I’m onto them, but I’m willing to make a compromise. Post Office, I hope you’re reading: unlimited Vibe and cookie samples in exchange for a grad school acceptance. I think you know where to send your reply.

p. __Lauren Bell is a Confusion Corner columnist for The Flat Hat. She’s busily searching E-bay for her very own snappy blue uniform.__

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