Yesterday I was a valued customer at the USPS office on Milk Street.
And when I mean valued, I mean “getting freaked out a little” customer.
There was a rather long line upon entering which doesn’t really bug me. I feel for USPS and their budget issues, so I don’ t mind the wait.
As I was standing in line there was a man filling out what looked like envelopes and he was looking around the room a bit dodgy. Oh well. What’s new in downtown Boston, no?
Anyway. Eventually dude went over to the counter and one of the trusted USPS employees helped him with his letters. He then went back to another counter where all the forms are that is kind of parallel to the main service counter.
Suddenly he says very loudly directed at the female USPS employee who had helped him “This MY pen!”
The USPS woman was all “Uhm, yes, sir. Ok. I didn’t say it wasn’t.”
Clearly dude wanted to pick a fight. That was obvious the moment he opened his mouth. His voice got louder and louder as he went on how it’s HIS pen and how she implied. I would say she was definitely trying to be chill initially. So kudos to her.
I noticed my new employee getting a bit uncomfortable, but HELL, I am not about to give up my place in line. But I think as this shouting match progressed we all started getting uneasy. Didn’t just someone in Arizona do the unthinkable and shot into a group of people killing many?
To be honest, I usually don’t have those thoughts, but those memories were so close and I kept thinking “don’t these USPS people see that the man is not 100% stable?!!!Egging him on might NOT be the way to go!” I was pissed.
THEN, Postal DUDE joined in.
“SIR, you are DONE,” he said without making eye contact but with a booming, authoritative voice.
WHAM. Of course letter dude now completely gets loud.
Now those two went back and forth to the point of “Why don’t you come out here and tell me?” “OH, LET ME COME OUT THERE AND TELL YOU.”
I swear, I was standing there going “Is this really a place of business, are you fucking kidding me?!!!”
I also pulled out my iphone and started filming, in case letter dude looses his shit and starts launching himself at postal dude or …worse, pulls out some weapon or so.
Please note: NO ONE left their place in line!
Then postal dude leaves his spot in the counter to the postal ladies voices who are all “Tom, Tom, don’t go out there. Come back…”
I swear. BAR FIGHT! That’s what it felt like (and his name is not Tom, but I don’t want to plaster his name here).
Tom didn’t come all the way out there. He just opened the door to the “common” area and yelled some more. There were more exchanges. Postal lady called the cops who seemed to give her a HARD time , I overheard some of it(shame on you, Boston PD as well, come on!)….and then letter dude ran away.
I just stood there and started laughing when he was gone. The lady in front of me turned around and said “Way to go USPS! That’s one way of conflict management after what just happened in Arizona.”
So I wasn’t the only one who felt that this was handled very unprofessional.
I am not sure what the right answer would have been. But “encouraging” someone by yelling at him more was probably not it. I also get that this man clearly wanted to pick a fight and maybe there was nothing they could have done.
The postal lady said something to me when it was my turn about “I do get aggressive about these things” and I said to her “I know that was a shitty situation, but you have 12 customers in here, this could have been dangerous!”
Entertaining though. ;)
I thought about posting the video, but I don’t want to violate the people’s privacy that are in it.