Public service an oxymoron at O.B. Post Office 


To the Editor:

On Dec. 4, there was a large, heavy box for pickup at the Post Office. After waiting for a very long time in a very slow line, I said I would pick it up at the back door, where I had been picking up large boxes for 25 years. Easy-peasy, right? No, cannot do. No more side-door pickup. New policy. The ticket taker at the window, sensing my frustration, turned around and called out, “Customer service.” And what to my wondering eyes should appear? The postmistress. I explained I’m 78 years old, with health issues, and am parked very far down the street, and I am unable to carry a heavy, large box that distance.

No, no, no, she was not budging. I had to BEG her to leave the box outside the door. She ungraciously relented, with a parting “This is one time only, do you understand?” So I started pushing the box down the sidewalk until a passerby lent a hand.

This is the face of customer service at the O.B.P.O.! What ever happened to common sense and kindness?

At home, I started making calls to take the temperature of other customers in the know. I spoke to an O.B. town employee, to an Oak Bluffs Council on Aging member, to neighbors. They all concurred with my experience with their own disturbing stories. One even called Boston headquarters to complain about the dysfunction. Their temperature was the same as mine. Hot!

Oh, and a chair would be nice for those who are holding a baby, walking with a cane, nine months pregnant with aching back and feet, or just elderly people like me who can’t stand for long periods or carry heavy boxes long distances. I’ve seen it all. That side-door pickup has served customers well for more than 25 years. Life is hard enough at almost every turn these days. Can’t we work together to find common-sense solutions to the dreaded O.B.P.O. visits?


Beth Tveit
Oak Bluffs