A smile would have sufficed...
I fear I am becoming Andy Rooney in my old age (minus the talent, of course), but here's a little rant for today.
What the heck ever happened to manners? Especially by someone in a service-oriented business.
Take the post office for example.
One can't make generalizations. The gentleman that used to deliver the mail to my house is a fantastic, conscientious guy. He once even delivered Christmas presents I had shipped to my house to my office because, he said, "Thieves are stealing packages delivered to doorsteps left and right."
The same can not be said for the guy that delivered the mail today.
I went hobbling out to the mailbox (sprained knee) trying to get an important piece of mail in the post today.
"Just my luck," I thought. "The mail carrier is still here."
He was parked beside our centrally-located mailboxes, feet up, reading a magazine. I guess he was taking either a lunch break or a break.
"Hello, sir," I said. "I have an outgoing package for you."
The postman looked pissed that I had interrupted his lunchtime pause. (But he wasn't eating.) Without smiling and without acknowledging my greeting, he took my package, said a weak, whispering, "thank you," scowling the entire time, and went back to his periodical.
The post office is in trouble. Jobs are up in the air. The guy was on break. I get all that.
But his lack of simple, everyday manners, ones you would give to servers, attendants, or a stranger while holding open a door, made me hope this guy is the first person the post office sends packing.
When it's fourth down and 15, and your job is literally on the line, sometimes you don't punt the ball. Sometimes you go for it. Sometimes you even throw a Hail Mary.
Didn't need all of that. But a simple smile would have sufficed.
Addendum: Since this post went up, two friends made great comments. One said -- and this thought did go through my mind -- the guy might've been having a bad day. "If he does it again, kill him with kindness." Good advice. I did do that today, in fact. Smiled broadly and thanked him. Still wish he hadn't taken out his bad day -- if that's what it was -- on a customer.
Another said, "How could anybody (working for the post office) smile today?" Good point, too. Guy might be scared to death he's going to get canned. Still, I think I'd be bending over backward to do my job to the best of my ability if this were the case. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
I am happy to report this guy is the exception to the rule -- in my experience. The postal workers at the Halls and Fountain City branches have gone out of their way to help me, each and every time, as has every other delivery driver with which I have dealt.