Monday, March 7, 2016
High Noon at the Post Office
I stopped in at the Post Office about noon on Sunday to mail three Netflix CDs. Seeing the self-service kiosk, I decided to buy stamps. The first thing I noticed was that "This machine accepts only debit or credit cards." OK then. I inserted my debit card and ordered 4 sheets of stamps, ten stamps to a sheet. My card was debited $9.60. The screen advised patience, as about a minute was needed to print the stamps. Soon some stamps appeared. But only one sheet.
Well, this was no good. I ripped a piece of paper from my pocket calendar and wrote a curt note to Uncle Sam. I told him what had happened and that I would be coming in on Monday for the remaining three sheets. I happened to glance at the machine again. Lo and behold, another sheet had appeared in the meantime, but only one. So I stood there in the deserted post office for about 5 minutes, staring hopefully at the machine, waiting for two more sheets to print.
Fortunately, another customer arrived just as I was about to give up. When I told him what happened, he replied, "Oh, sometimes they get stuck." Twisting his hand up behind the plastic shield, he reached the stamp-dispensing slot, but no sheets were there. "Let's see what happens when I buy my stamps," he said. He inserted his card and ordered two sheets. Four sheets promptly appeared. He handed me my two sheets and was on his way.
Next time I'm buying my stamps from a person.