For many years we had a friendly Langley Post Office. People picked up their mail, walked over to the several counters to sort out the wheat from the chaff — and deposited the chaff in the convenient recycle bins. And, of course, they stopped to have a word with friends and neighbors.
They knew the people at the counter and engaged in lively group discussions while waiting in line.
All that is over and gone. We now have a sterile center of pure anonymous function – and not very efficient function at that. The counters have been replaced by package lock boxes. On the one hand, good not to have to wait in line. Ever so efficient. On the other hand, people sorting their mail are stuck trying to use the rather narrow window sills, which are no longer available because they have been piled full of junk mail, spilling over to piles I saw on the floor.
The two receptacles below the mail deposit slots were crammed well beyond capacity and the balance there too was stacking up on the floor. The small counter below the mail deposit slots was piled with the materials previously available on the counter.
And then there’s the staff. Not sure what happened to the regulars, but every time I’ve been to the post office in the last year, there’s been a new stranger behind the ever-so-safe Plexiglas barrier. That, of course, means they don’t know any of the locals.
A few months ago the recycle bins disappeared. The person at the counter told me frostily that she was the regional supervisor, and that the post office was not a recycle service. She was rather cold, brusque and definitely not an islander.
I would kind of like to have my warm friendly functional local post office back. Any ideas?