My scariest place

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 9.58.31 AMThis is a scene from my local post office. I come here, oh, once per week—and it’s always on pins and needles.

Not that such an experience is so awful.

The woman who works the front desk is absolutely terrifying. She has blonde hair, is probably in her early 60s, and barks. Bark, bark, bark, bark! If you ask a question that she deems stupid or inane, she lets you know.

“How much are stamps?”

How much are stamps?

“Yes, how much are stamps?”

Joe … Joe … this guy asks how much stamps are. Jesus, they’re the same as they were last week. And the week before. God, how much are stamps …

Or …

“I’d like this to get there in three days …”

Three days?

“Yes, three days.”

Well, it’s gonna cost more.

“How much more?”

M’am, I’m not a psychic. Do I look like a psychic? Do I have psychic powers? I’m just a post office employee. Do you still want to send it?

Here’s the weird thing. I used to hate this woman. I’d tiptoe into the facility, hoping she was on lunch. I didn’t want to be embarrassed or bullied, but I often felt awful upon leaving. Then, a couple of years ago, my outlook changed. I watched this woman and heard her snarls and realized—she’s me. New York. Hard. Doesn’t suffer bullshit. Doesn’t want to see photos of your kids or hear stories about the Yankees. She’s all business—fuck you, bug off, get out of my face, go to hell. Business.

Now I actually enjoy being told, “You don’t know much much stamps cost? Really?”

It makes me feel at home.