Mail fail: What it could say – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Mail fail: What it could say

Written January 3rd, 2015 by Hasso Hering

jan 3 postal 006

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)

Meanwhile, at the privately run Plaza Post Office Saturday just before 1.

Meanwhile, at the privately run Plaza Post Office Saturday just before 1.

4 responses to “Mail fail: What it could say”

  1. James Carrick says:

    “Daisy…..d a i s y ………g i v e m e y o u r a n s w e r…..” ~ HAL 9000

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Or…the screen can refer the “customers” to Safeway, Freddie’s, or Costco.

    These places have lots of stamps to sell, they have more convenient hours, and the stamps are sold by real people.

  3. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Or..if you want to mail a package go to Postal Connections by Freddie’s, Goin Postal in North Albany, or the Shipping Store by Arby’s on 9th Ave. All are open till 2:00pm on Saturdays.

    All more convenient locations, and better service, than government mail.

  4. Jim Engel says:

    Do you suppose it has anything to do with the USPS out sourcing much of it’s maintenance work? I believe much of it is done out of Portland on a contract. I still miss the drive-up mail drop that was out front! Maybe if McDonalds or Burger King had a mail drop it would be so easy…. JE


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