Friday, June 3, 2011

Don't stuff my box

After years of fairly flawless, if not zombie-like service here, I am always taken by surprise when there is a blip in the system. I think this also increases my reaction to said event disproportionately, causing me to lash out rather than take it in stride as I would in a less service-oriented country like Canada or the US. Yesterday I arrived home to see that two packages containing a shirt and pants had been unceremoniously squeezed through the narrow slot on my mail box. I almost fainted with shock.

I live in the city where the post is a perfect system of pick-ups and deliveries, where you can even specify the time you want something to be redelivered. I could send you ice cream or cheese through the mail it's that good. When a package looks like it won't slide easily through my mail slot, the postman either buzzes me or leaves in it an automated lock box that I can access with a swipe card.

Those packages were not made to be shoved through my slot. I pulled them out and inspected their crumpled messes, turning them over and over for clues as to how they even made it through. Why the postman decided to shove them through, I do not know, but I was seized by a feeling of extreme pissed-offness and I wondered aloud to whom I could address my complaint. Could I call the post office? Leave a nasty passive aggressive note taped to my slot? I was studying this problem with the intensity of a laser and I was dearly disappointed when I realized there was no one to complain to that would make it worth it.

The beau was some kind of horrified when the nice shirts he'd bought in Canada were thrown, unfolded into a paper shopper. The ceremony of service that you get here can drive you a little crazy sometimes (see: woman at the grocery store who has a polite phrase for every step of the purchasing process that she has to cheerfully SHOUT at me when I am buying a bottle of water--> Over here please! Sorry to have kept you waiting so long! I'll take that for you! This is 126 yen! I'm receiving exactly 150 yen from you! 24 yen is your change! And here is your receipt! Oh you don't need a bag?! Thank you so much for your troubles! Thank you! Please come again! Thaaaaank you!!!!!! Next!). I started to tune out when I realized long ago that while some service people are genuinely nice, most of the lovely things that are said to you are part of a grand act, where the actors play ass-kissing shopkeepers while they silently don't give a flying fuck about you or your purchases or your problems kthxbye. So when I am all tuned out and grooving along and I come across some incredibly shitty service person, I put on my bitch gloves and really feel like letting them have it, even though I often don't. Nonetheless, I would kiss the toes of postal workers, who are always so careful with my packages and who have written, "This package got wet en route so we dried it at our office. We sincerely apologize for the delay this has caused," on my deliverables before. As a result of all this, I have concluded that the postal worker that day, the one that stuffed my slot full with nary a thought of the crushed, broken packages inside, must have been a foreigner.