How many care packages have you sent to your spouse over the years? It's an interesting question. I actually wish I had kept track of this. I'd love to know the number of care packages I've sent out during my tenure as a military spouse, but I never kept a file. And let's face it, if I had, I'd probably have thrown it away during one of those mad PCS purges.
Last week, I had to go to the post office to send something overnight. I know my way around a post office (the virtual one and the physical one) by now thanks to milspousedom, so I came prepared. I had already printed my Click N' Ship label and all I needed was the Express envelope, which you can pick up at the post office supply table without having to stand in line. I was going to be in and out in less than a minute, then get on with my day.
Life doesn't always cooperate. Unfortunately, my stealthy visit turned into a painful 20 minute ordeal.
The supply table was out of the envelope I needed so I had to stand in line and get one from the clerk. As I was standing there, (with half the county) I watched customer after customer approach the counter completely unprepared, something I've noted in the past. I was thinking about the many, many days I had waited in line with my taped care package box and custom forms.
Over and over again, I heard the clerks tell people they needed to step out of line, fill out the proper label and step back up to the counter when it was ready. This scenario played out several times before I was served. Surely these patrons had heard the instructions 400 times, just as I had, yet nobody said to themselves, "Oh, I should probably step out of line, grab a form and try to have it filled out before I approach the counter." Bearing in mind that I was once a postal virgin, it was still painful....
Now, I realize that we have become Care Package Queens after so much practice, and we have a bit more experience with the postal system than most people, but I was a little irritated. It's clearly becoming a pet peeve and I really should get some help. Ha!
I truly think there is an opening here for military spouses to teach a course in how to efficiently send correspondence or care packages. At the very least, we could be hired to pre-screen customers so that nobody gets in line before they are ready to seal the deal. The Care Package Queens could whip those Postal Virgins into shape in no time at all!
Boy do I have a love-hate relationship with the post office.....