Going Postal: The Times Plaza Post Office Chronicles, Part II
Yesterday, we posted a number of complaints about the Times Plaza Station on Atlantic Avenue between Third and Fourth Avenue. There were so many that a resident collected to send to a manager at the Postal Service who professes interest in fixing the situation that we decided to break the post into two parts. Here are more observations:
Having gone through what everyone regularly complains about, and writing letters, speaking with the manager, etc., I finally gave up and now have all my packages go to a friend's Manhattan business location. I try to NEVER have packages sent directly to me. If, unfortunately, I must go and wait on line there, I always take a book to read in order to endure how long I will likely be ignored. (I also try experiencing everyone's lousy attitude as if I'm in some sort of weird theatre. In order to avoid being angry for hours afterward I now go there EXPECTING to be miserable - like a trip to the dentist!)And there is this:
I never try picking up a package there until a few days after their "attempted delivery." I now know that if I go too soon it will likely be "on the truck" and I'll just have to go back. (The fact that they never ring my bell is a given.) So I wait until I know it might be sitting on their shelves. If I need to mail a package I either use one of the UPS mailing centers or I walk the extra distance to the main Brooklyn Post Office near Borough Hall. I also take packages with me when I visit friends on Long Island or Upstate, NY. I know this sounds crazy but hauling the packages is less painful. I also have all other important mail sent to Manhattan as well...These adjustments have reduced my reliance on the Times Plaza Post Office to the absolute minimum. If I could reduce it to zero I'd do it in a NY minute. However, I remain friendly with the local mailman. He seems a nice person.
In my experience the most messed-up part of the 11217 post office is the window for picking up packages or held mail. I was there this Saturday 1/5 - to be fair, it was a busy post-holiday time and I arrived at the post office about 40 minutes before closing - but so little effort was made to expedite the long line or even be polite to those of us waiting that it really was ridiculous. There were about a dozen customers in the line when I arrived, and the first two or three customers were dealt with at a speed of approx 15 minutes EACH. This is for picking up packages or mail where people had their slips, and where it *looks* anyway like all the packages are alphabetized by last name and lined up neatly right there...Two of those first 3 people didn't get their packages at all. Several others in line behind me - by now I would say there were 20 of us - left in frustration at how slow the line was moving.And this:
3 out of 4 times I bring a package slip to the window, the person will disappear for up to 15 minutes to look for it (no exaggeration) and then they come back to tell me that it's not there. If it's not there, WHERE IS IT??? One time, I brought a slip to the window, the person told me they could not find the package, and I pointed to a package that clearly had my last name marked on it. It turns out that this was ANOTHER package for me, that I had not even received a slip for!This:
I hate it! Once I waited on line for forty-five minutes, only to have one postal worker lower her window and go on a break, while the only remaining one continued a long, long chat with a customer.And, we'll wrap with this:
As a business in the area, I never get packages. If I do get a pink slip it is usually missing information I need to pick it up. My store opens at 11am and has for almost 4 years, yet they can't deliver packages to me when I'm open, which is frustrating. I've also tried the online pick ups, but it usually takes 2-3 days and a phone call before someone picks up my packages. I've switched my store to using ups/fedex as often as I can...On the opposite note, Bing, our letter carrier, is a dream! He comes in and gets my outgoing mail when he drops off the incoming. He carries stamps in case i need to buy some, and he always has a smile and a kind word.Always good to end on an upbeat note.