Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Mr. Helpful and Ms. Sourpuss

If it weren’t that this really happened, it would be funny.

I had a complicated errand at the post office today, and a wait in line. Several people came in for passport services. They would wait in line and get up to the front and be told that the man who handles the passport services is at lunch. Actually, Mr. Helpful would tell them that, and add that just a block down the street, they could get the same services at the (?) county office (?) (I am not sure that is what he said because I wasn’t really paying attention, but the third or fourth time it happened, I caught on.

What is really funny is that there was a woman working in the same post office. She wouldn’t give any explanation, just say that no, the service wasn’t available now. When the bewildered patron would say ‘but it says on the sign . . ” she would add ‘oh the man who does that is at lunch now.’ Nothing more. Mr. Helpful would take pity on the customers and give them the additional information.

When I got to the counter, I got Mr. Helpful, thanks be to God. I had the wrong packet, but he quickly got me all squared away, and then asked me if I knew about the special rate boxes; I had paid $2.00 more than I needed to and the boxes were free. This guy was so impressive – and a stark contrast to the woman working next to him who gave her customers as little service as she could.

It takes so little to make people happy – just words, just a little information.

To push the envelope, I asked another, irrelevant question, and Mr. Helpful acted as if he couldn’t be happier that I asked, and calmly and politely gave me a lengthy explanation. Wooo HOOO on you, Mr. Helpful Customer Service.

June 24, 2010 - Posted by | Customer Service, Florida, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Random Musings, Work Related Issues


  1. Aha ,so you have IBM (Inshalla Bukrah Ma elish ) type at the post office there too ???!!!!

    Comment by daggero | June 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. LLOOOLLL, Daggero, I thought they were Ishaalla Bukra Badeen! (God willing, tomorrow, later) Ah yes, Mr. Malesh! (It doesn’t matter)

    This sourpuss just neglected to give helpful information, and was rude about giving out negative information. The man was such a welcome contrast!

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 25, 2010 | Reply

  3. I don’t know what possess people to go to the Post Office to get your passport. They’re already on of the worst run businesses I know with mail.

    Comment by The Florida Blogger | June 25, 2010 | Reply

  4. I disagree, Florida Blogger, I am pathetically impressed with our postal system mostly because I have lived in so many countries where postal service was almost non-existent. Living in the USA, things are SO easy. How was the mail in Africa?

    Once I mailed a postcard to my parents from Zambia; it arrived almost a year later. 😦

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 25, 2010 | Reply

  5. Ok, touche. If you’re comparing our postal system to other countries postal systems, we aren’t that bad. But as a business, the USPS is horrible. So bad that it has to be subsidized by the government to keep its doors open. Cutting how many days per week the mail is delivered can’t happen soon enough.

    Comment by The Florida Blogger | June 25, 2010 | Reply

  6. Haven’t been back, FB, long enough to know the business aspect. I just love having mail delivered to my door, and all my magazines make it. Overseas, sometimes I got maybe one in three or four . .

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 25, 2010 | Reply

  7. Intlxpatr ;

    Or get your magazine stained with the print of the tea saucer or the bottom of coffee mug on it . Someone at the post office was enjoying the magazine on his break 🙂

    Comment by daggero | June 26, 2010 | Reply

  8. I just had 6 months worth of subscription magazines delivered to my office by the mandoob. I got it all. Sharpie censorship (on the magazine, not just the plastic cover!), coffee rings on my travel mag, and someone had kindly stapled shut the pages of my psych journal. I guess they couldn’t find anything to Sharpie in the articles on “The Debate on the Psychology of Homosexuality” so they expressed their displeasure by making it difficult to read.
    I’m with intlxpatr on the post office thing – I used to complain about Canada Post, being a government entity and all, but I think it’ll be a LONG time before I do that again. lol

    Comment by DaisyMae | June 26, 2010 | Reply


    I received ONE package through the Kuwait mail, but have you ever tried to find a Kuwait post office? In Qatar, they are everywhere, very modern and reliable, but in Kuwait – just FINDING a post office is a challenge.

    I am embarrassed to say it, but I had APO privileges, and my magazines that went missing were all quilting magazines. 😦 I got the New Yorker every week as regular as clockwork, but rarely ever did I get a quilting magazine. Go figure.

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 27, 2010 | Reply

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