Today I went to the post office.
Not my favorite errand.
Had to wait in line. Big surprise. Or not. You decide.
Distracted. Tired. Want to get home and relax. Been on the go A LOT lately. Needing some down time. Badly.
Thinking about what else I needed to do, and what could possibly wait. (I mean to say that while my body was at the post office, my mind was most definitely not.)
All of the sudden, I realize that the volume of the background noise was increasing.
As I tune in, I realize that there is a woman (customer) yelling at a clerk.
And when I say yelling, I mean YELLING.
Something about his rudeness and the fact that "this is a post office and you don't own it."
Hmm. Technically, don't we all sort of own this government/public entity? Anyway, I digress.
Apparently Ms. Yeller has been getting someone else's mail (at least 4 times) and thought she was doing the right thing by returning it. She did bypass the lengthy line and walk (march) right up to the counter. Where she proceeded to hand? toss? throw? slam? (oh how I wish I was paying attention when the show started) the mail to the clerk, who was not happy about this.
Mr. Government Worker asked Ms. YELLER to wait her turn. Seems appropriate to me because Mr. Government Worker was in the middle of a transaction with another customer who I will call Mr. PULL UP YOUR PANTS DUDE. (He had a belt on, tight, too low. I got to see his boxers. A lot of his boxers. Most of his boxers. They were gray. Nice.)
So, Mr. Government Worker is not too well versed in how to de-escalate conflict. This is apparent by his ongoing argument with Ms. Yeller. Now let me be clear, Mr. Government Worker did not yell or lose his cool. It was actually quite impressive. I doubt I would have done likewise, had I been in his shoes. So Ms. Yeller continues to carry on and starts to ask for "the post office manager". (um, that's not what they are called, but whatever.)
Meanwhile I have moved to the 2nd person in line. It's almost my turn. Finally. It should be noted that there are only 2 clerks working, even though there are at least 5 stations (I will count the next time I have to run this errand). That discrepancy and inconvenience is for another blog post though.
Another Government Worker-I'll call her Mrs. GW finishes comes over and asks Ms. Yeller to calm down. Ugh. Famous last words for (not) de-escalating a conflict. Ms. Yeller continues to turn up the volume and the insults (she called Mr. GW a liar among other things), and to ask for a "post office manager."
2nd clerk aka Mrs. GW motions for Ms. Yeller to come over to the side, away from Mr. GW who is still defending himself verbally. Ms. Yeller is led into the back of the post office via the door where they process passport applications. So now, there is not a Government Worker in sight-they are all gone for few moments. (of course, because it is ALMOST MY TURN).
While they are gone, the other customers and I all just look at each other, shake our heads and laugh a little. We share some commentary, and the lady that is number 1 in line (in front of me) has small children with her. One of whom asks "mommy, where did that mean lady go?" Mommy replies, "when you aren't very nice, you have to go back there, it's like the time out space." To which we all laugh and I say "that lady needs a time out, for sure." (I'm also thinking that I hope this mommy doesn't need to take her children to get a passport anytime soon, because I'm guessing this child will recall this incident and protest going into the time out space.) But I don't share this thought/concern. See, I do have impulse control, and I don't speak/share every thought that runs through my head. That is a good thing. Trust me. :-)
Keep in mind that we can all hear Ms. Yeller yelling, still, even though she is now in a different room. After a few moments, she comes out, looking pretty disgusted and then leaves the post office. I think to myself, wow, that was fast. Hmmm.
And then, Ms. Yeller comes back. I notice this and am a bit concerned. Is she going to "go postal"? Hmmm. Did she go get a weapon? Did she come back to really tell Mr. GW what she thinks of him? She walks (marches) right back up to the front of the line, then proceeds through the "time out door". I raise my eyebrows at this, but no one else seems to notice. I don't hear anything, and now it's my turn. I walk up to the station that Ms. GW is at and she apologizes. I point out that Ms. Yeller has returned and Ms. GW says "Oh yeah, her car was running."
There are so many ways (directions) I could take this post, but I'm just going to stop here. I have lots of competing thoughts, opinions, judgments and even a few rationales (ie excuses) for the behavior of Ms. Yeller.
Have I mentioned that going to the post office is not my favorite errand?
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Lena's (first) mission trip toCan't wait to see what God has in store next.....
Haiti turned into our