You can blame the automated kiosk at the Albany Post Office for malfunctioning when the office is closed, but you can’t fault it for manners, for it is certainly polite about it. One customer after another glanced at the words on the screen on Saturday, muttered something and left.
But if the machine wanted to be truly helpful, its screen would say: “I’m sorry that I can’t sell you stamps or postage today. Something inside me went on the blink, and I’m sure my handlers will fix me as soon as they find out about it, but I’m afraid that might not be until Monday. Actually, though, the so-called ‘stamps’ you can get from me –when I’m working, that is — don’t really look like stamps. So if you care about the esthetics of the postage on your mail, you’re better off not being able to buy any stamps from me. You are in luck, however. Just about a mile east of here, there’s a very nice contract post office in the Carriage House Plaza, and if you hurry you can still make it there because on Saturdays it’s open until 1 p.m. Good luck and have a nice day.”
That’s what the postal kiosk could say if it was suitably programmed and its screen was twice its actual size. (hh)