Our neighborhood post office branch on Hudson Street is the focal point of community activity. It is the crossroads of our neighborhood, like the Village well in olden days. It is especially busy at Christmas time.
I went in and approached the counter. The woman looked up and smiled and asked if she could help me. I requested a roll of stamps. The woman looked at me and said “I’m sorry, I have no rolls of stamps.” I asked her if any of the other clerks had rolls of stamps in their boxes. She seemed sad and said that there were no rolls of stamps in the entire post office. I paused for a moment and then I asked her if there would be any stamps coming in soon. I reminded her that the whole purpose of the post office was to send mail and stamps were an essential part of the process. She said more rolls would be coming in after a day or two, and three days at the latest. I asked her when they were ordered. She said they were ordered yesterday. I paused thoughtfully and then asked her why they had not been ordered a few days earlier. She looked at me and explained, as if to a child, that “we were not out of stamps a few days ago.”
“Oh, now I understand,” I replied. She offered me some sheets of stamps. In the spirit of seasonal harmony and love I picked out a sheet of Christmas stamps and Hanukkah stamps and EID stamps. I paid for them and turned to leave. I went to the door and pushed. The door would not open. I turned and looked back at the lady behind the counter. She noticed my problem and said “Oh, that door is broken. It does not open from the inside.” There was another pause. I asked how I could leave the post office. She said, “don’t worry the postmaster is on his way.” Showing off, he left the post office by the sliding door and came down the alley and came around to the front of the post office. He opened the door for me and smiled, and I thanked him. He said “all right, there’s no problem.” This entire interchange was marked by extreme friendliness, politeness and eagerness to please the public. I’d like to compliment the post office on their efforts during the holiday season.