This time of year, waiting in line at the Albany Post Office tends to take longer, presumably because of the pre-Christmas rush. I’m wondering why the Postal Service does not make things easier for the public by giving contract offices the authority to handle more of the load.
On Monday, the line at the contract post office in the Carriage House Plaza was short and moving swiftly. But the office cannot handle packages going abroad. It has extremely helpful clerks, though, and one of them explained that I could go online to complete all the necessary customs paperwork and payment of the postage. She even weighed the items I wanted to send so I would know what weight to put on the form. Another customer also could not complete her transaction (I don’t know what it was) and learned she would have to go to the post office downtown.
There may be reasons for this, but I wonder how valid they are. For instance, it is because of security concerns, I was told, that only regular post offices are allowed to enter the relevant computer information regarding international packages. If that’s true, it sounds to me like a poor reason where mailing Christmas packages is concerned.
Handling the mail is an important responsibility requiring people of the highest integrity. It seems to me that if contract stations are entrusted with handling any of the mail and the processes involved, they can also be trusted to handle the full range of the task. (hh)