Dec 162014

Did I ever tell you that I’m married to the most beautiful, talented, and wonderful woman in the world? Yes, I’m a very lucky man.

But I’m not the only lucky person around. Look at this beautiful shawl that Miss Terry just finished. This wasn’t as complicated as some of the patterns Terry has created, but she still put over 20 hours into it. A lot of people have asked if she will be selling any of her work, but at this point she’s just making gifts for friends and family. I know several ladies that are going to be getting some beautiful presents. Besides all that beauty and talent, she’s a nice lady, too.

Speaking of nice, can being nice to somebody be rude? I think so, sometimes. Especially when being nice to one person inconveniences a lot of other people.

Here’s a case in point. Yesterday we went to a post office near the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve to mail out a package. We weren’t at all surprised that we had to look for a parking space, and that there was a long line of people once we got inside; after all, it is the holiday season. We weren’t even surprised that there were only two window clerks working the counter. After all, it is the post office.

We stood in line patiently and eventually moved up to where we were within sight of the counter. And then everything came to a screeching halt. A woman at the counter had a big box and got into a prolonged conversation with the clerk. We were too far back in the line to hear all that was being said, but we and everybody around us could plainly see the clerk leave her station and come back with a priority mail box and show it to the customer. And then she went in the back and came out with another box, and then a third one, all of which she assembled and showed to the customer. I might note that all of these boxes were available in the lobby where the rest of us stood waiting in line.

Okay, so we lost some time while all this went on. It was irritating, but life goes on. But then the clerk proceeded to open the woman’s box, go through all of the presents in them with her, and then carefully repack everything into several of the priority mail boxes and address the labels for her. And a couple of times the customer seemed to change her mind, because labels that has just been affixed were peeled off and new labels were filled out and pasted back on, all by the clerk. Meanwhile the line got longer and longer, until it stretched out of the lobby and past all of the post office boxes to the back of the room. Everybody waiting not so patiently while this went on and on.

And it wasn’t like the customer had some handicap that prevented her from repacking her boxes herself. She looked to be a healthy woman in her late 30s or early 40s, she spent some time chatting on her cell phone and walked out to her car under her own power when everything was finally done, which included another discussion about the cost of the postage and the clerk going over her receipt with her in detail.

By the time we finally got to the counter we had waited in line over an hour, and the people who came in after us were still waiting when we left. I’ve been in post offices all over this country and in every one I’ve ever been to, if your package wasn’t ready to go when you got to the counter, they told you to step put of line and come back when it was.

So what do you think? Was it rude to keep maybe 50 people waiting while she repacked a customers boxes, or was it just a nice gesture and I’m a Grinch? Either way, bah humbug!

Thought For The Day – You inspire my inner serial killer.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  19 Responses to “When Is Being Nice Rude?”

  1. First, let me say at first glance I would think that the woman who took so much of the clerks time on a very busy day would appear to be rude. But since I became disabled, I would look at it differently. I don’t “look” disabled when you see me and I can tell you that I get some pretty nasty looks from people who see me park in a handicapped spot, or when I use one if the electric carts in a store. I sort if understand what they are thinking too, because I used to think like that when I was well. I think we as a society are too quick to
    Judge others, whether it’s about their “handicapped ness” or their eligibility for food stamp usage, or about them being eligible for social security disability. I do not see how people can fake disability, since I have been through that process and it was not easy to get. The same with food stamps. You have to jump through so
    Many hoops and provide do
    Much paperwork that it boggles my mind that anyone could fraud that system. Oh! I have gotten off track. My point is, since you are not that lady, and can not see inside her brain you really don’t know if she may have had some sort of disability that prevented her from packing and addressing those packages. She could have had a stroke, or she could have been mentally disabled. You just don’t know.

    Or, you could be right and she could just be a rude bitch taking up everyone’s time because she is the center of the universe. In that case, the clerk should have pointed her towards the desk that is provided to do that sort of thing at the post office.

    But, that didn’t happen, you spent more time in line, and came away with a great topic for a blog post. What a deal!

  2. Nick, we were in line a ways behind you at the PO yesterday. I said hi to Miss Terri but she was getting some boxes from a rack and didn’t hear me. That clerk is Linda and she’s an airhead. We were in there Thursday and she must of spent 10 minutes looking at pictures on some gal’s phone of her new house. Same thing everybody waiting in line and she’s oohing over one picture after another instead of taking care of business. Here’s our living room. Oooh. Here’s the kitchen. Oooh. Here’s the garage. Oooh. Finally a man ahead of me asked if they could hold their hen party after work. Didn’t do a bit of good they just kept on yammering away. In the meanwhile the other clerk was working fast as she could and shooting glares at them. When they finally got done and I got up to the counter I told her I did not appreciate waiting while they yammered away like that and that it was very unprofessional. She just smiled like an idiot and said merry Christmas. We hope to get by to say hello and buy one of your CDs with all the free campgrounds before we leave here on Friday for Peace River.

  3. Nick, we had a PO box in there long ago. during the holiday season we cked our mail when it was closed & found a large box broken into, it had a package for us.
    When we complained (many times) it was obvious they didn’t give a crap & were actually rude. The story goes on but enough said. Now we won’t even go in the door regardless of convenience. You are 100% right, they are more rude that any PO I have ever visited bar none.
    We will see you next week my friend.

  4. Nick, you need to look at the bright side, this lady being nice kept a bunch of impatient people off the roads for a few minutes making the roads a bit safer for those of us who are retired and in no hurry to get someplace so we can wait at another place where someone is being nice to someone ahead of us in line. There is usually a silver lining in most situations. 😉

  5. @Karen I understand what you are saying about the disability situation that we don’t know what is wrong with people who look completely healthy but the food stamp comment I would like to ask you this.

    Eligibility for food stamps – My friend just witnessed a man with 2 orders in front of her in the line. He was buying milk eggs etc and paid with his food stamps. His second order was beer. He then proceeded to pull out plenty of cash and pay for his beer. Isn’t beer a luxury? Not a necessity. Why are we paying for his necessities while he has money to buy luxuries. I have to pay for both my necessities and my luxuries.

    To many people abuse the system that is why those of us who work for a living look at people who don’t look like the mold.

    PS – my husband is disabled

  6. Unfortunately I find myself in lineup more often than I want, but thanks to my smartphone with email, kindle and an assortment of card games I immediately get focused on something other than the line ahead.
    I find it just makes all that stress go away.

  7. Hi
    Going to the PO for anything is a Pita, but that was beyond irritating.
    Ive been meaning it ask this for awhile. Terry your shawl is lovely, and I have herd Nick mention that you weave, could you share abit on how you do this and what equipment you use while on the road. I would love to learn more.
    I am a big fan of your blogs

  8. I have seen it happen more often in our local PO here in Niagara Falls than I can count. I will do almost ANYTHING to NOT go there. I shove it off on Hubby so I can stay calm waiting in the car! And read the bible while I wait! smile

  9. This happens more times than I can count here in the south of Texas. I always come prepared and get irritated with this type of behavior. Then I think, wow-the patience the USPS employees show is admirable. I’ve come to expect and accept the nuances.

  10. Just one more reason why the USPS is in trouble.

    @Karen…I too am disabled but look fine. Many people have treated me as if I was also mentally handicapped when I have used a wheelchair or electric scooter. I most miss my full timing RV life..

  11. Sounds to me like a lot of Judging is going on here especially Amy. Now I am still looking to see who is Naughty and who is nice this time of year. Some of you will save me the trip to deliver your stuff cause you aint gettin nothin!….after these comments.
    Now as far as miss wonderful behind the counter she is a Fed worker and it is very hard to lose her job but I believe she is looking for a way, weather it be because of her helpfulness and time wasting hoping the day will end sooner if she wastes it, and then went on Faceheck and told everyone how great she was today at work and put up pictures of the woman she helped and name and address, phone number etc. and then proceed with her miserable little life laughing all the way HO HO Ho, or a customer who made some bells on her bobtail ring had enough and takes her to task so to speak, and making her spirits bright, not that I am judging her, I am just saying!…..Merry Christmas to you all Ha ha ha

  12. just because a person walks just fine does not mean they have a disability, many folks have a learning disability do to brain trauma of sorts, and cannot understand written things, It is so bad at times at the post office during this season you just need to be patient, Nick remember the Yuma post office that is always so slow no matter what time of year, especially during these months of snowbirds.

  13. Funny …. I see the same problem at almost every Walmart or grocery store I go in to nowadays. The clerks seem to think it’s okay to chit-chat about anything and everything, and since they can’t do two things at once, they completely STOP checking the items on the counter in order to have a conversation about green beans!! It’s frustrating as all get out!!! That clerk in your story was being nice to ONE while being rude to FIFTY!! That doesn’t compute in my book!!! To say nothing of the Post Office who should have at least 4 people on the desks during peak times. Isn’t that why they HAVE 4 desks??

  14. I agree with everyone here on the disability issue. I to have a handicapped sticker on my plate and use it when there is no parking close to the door, thinking someone worse than me needs the space more than I. I will also walk out of the store if there is no electric cart.

    However the USPS gives and whole new meaning to lazy, don’t give a crap =, attitude to the public, and how slow can I go. There is one person at my PO that would be in a world by himself and you are a bother to him when you are in line. but he will tell you to step aside if you are not ready to hand over the money and get out of his face. I go through this exercise every time we come off the road

  15. I wouldn’t call it rude, just inconsiderate of others.

  16. Postal employees in Benson, AZ are great. Wife and I have both asked if we are in a post office as the people are so helpful and they don’t waste time!

    Nick, look at going to a Postal Mail Service. They cost a trifle more but usually in and out in a few minutes!

  17. There are various opinions, but I think the woman should have been told that her packages had to be ready to mail and if they weren’t she should come back when they were….preferably at a less busy time. I just can’t imagine being so thoughless of the rest of the people in line. The clerk should not have allowed it.

  18. When a person is as this woman was, you can probably be fairly certain she is related to SOMEONE important along the line….esp. with the other clerk giving her the LOOK…usually if we can get to the bottom of things, we understand what is going on. It does seem in general however, in most post offices, that they indeed do hope some other company will take over the mail delivery. I have never figured out why they do not have everyone up at the desk helping when it is lunch hour. With so many folks working these days, that is maybe the only time they can get to the PO when it is open even!! Well, safe to say that our society in general is more “me” focused and way more rude than was acceptable when we were growing up, Nick!! I do think you should feel free to call the inspector general or write a congressman, and give the place, date, time, clerk’s name etc. and ask for an explanation/investigation. After all, they are govt employees. Supposedly working for us!! And you are good at writing, after all!!

  19. Our small town Post office will do that… but if I was in front of people I would never expect that, I would of went to the side and did it myself, but who knows the reason… or the woman’s condition, some silent illnesses prevent people from doing for themselves. I am glad a riot didn’t break out.

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