PAYBACK! Service With A Snarky Smile

People complain about the Post Office for a reason: People are at the helm.

By Guadalupe Gonzalez, Contributing Writer
Published on LatinoLA: August 21, 2012

PAYBACK! Service With A Snarky Smile

When last we met, Mi Gente, I told you about the young Mamacita and her baby, perhaps about 4 months old, who had been banished from a public sidewalk by an employee of the U.S. Post Office. I stood up for her and her rights, feeling that "If not now, when? If not me, who?"

I thought the matter had been settled when I would pass by and did not see Maria anymore. On the one hand, I feared for her safety, wondered whether she had been deported, or simply had selected another venue for seeking a bit of financial help in a very non-threatening manner. But no.

Now I was the culprit. This is what went down. I got kinda hooked on an Internet purchasing/selling site that rhymes with x-Ray. Yeah, you know the one. Pretty soon I was ordering pins, Rosaries, a braceros' jadeite face...things that I liked and were within my price range. (Meaning inexpensive.) Well, I had a "nom de x-Ray" and had the packages sent to a P.O. Box, never thinking there would be a problem.

There was a problem: A Big One. The "lady" at the Post Office that I had questioned about sending the young Maria closer to the jackhammer had made a decision. She decided to send all of my packages: Paid for, in a box that was about four feet from me, kept out of the P.O. Box deliberately ... she was sending them all back to the vendors.

Now, this is not as simple as it sounds. I told her they were mine. I had paid for them. They were right there. I was the person named on each envelope. And as she listened, I saw her eyes shutting me out. Her ears blotting out my words. Her heart, which I had thought was good, hardening in her desire to pay me back for her perceived embarrassment of days' before.

Not only that, her sending back each and every package caused additional postage back, then postage forward again. A couple of things to foreign countries with language rigamaroles, vendors questioning why the post office would do such a thing -- my explanations. And things still NOW, TONIGHT in the nether world of the much vaunted United States Post Office. In other words: WHERE IS MY STUFF? Some of the items I paid for are not to be found, or in a foreign country, or who knows where. Because of this woman.

This woman whom I had regularly greeted graciously and as a friend turned out to be a fiend. A mean fiend.

I had acted, perhaps precipitously, on Maria's behalf. But I had done it because I thought it was the right thing to do. I did it with a good heart, I did it to attempt to right a wrong. But that witch (oh, did I say "witch"?) at the Post Office waited a few days and then she took her stab at me -- making me pay big time for what I had done.
I do not know if I will ever get my items or the money or this mess all straightened out. But people complain about the Post Office for a reason: People are at the helm.

Do not get me wrong. My father-in-Law worked for the Post Office: A true and faithful, well-liked employee. A friend works at the Post Office. Another good, solid employee. But people such as these exemplary two are betrayed and brought down by people like "La Bruja Postal". Now I know what "Going Postal" means, on a small scale. But vengeful, nonetheless.

I try to support the Post Office by buying philatelic stamps--the pretty ones with hearts or flowers, fish or plantitas. That is how they make their money. Now, I am not going to put myself out there, spending my sparse money so my husband can collect the latest in stamps. So that my envelopes will look festive. Let La Bruja make her money from some other [/i]tonta inocente[/i] -- but not from me. Not anymore. And when it comes time to pay for that P.O. Box, I am going to a nicer, more aesthetically pleasing Post Office. One without La Bruja's broom leaning at the front door.

Guadalupe Gonzalez, Contributing Writer, 2012 (c)

About Guadalupe Gonzalez, Contributing Writer:
Writer and Los Angeles Attorney

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