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Opinion >  Letters

In praise of postal clerks

I have an online business, and mail out orders 6 days a week.

Like Bill Murray’s character in “Groundhog Day,” over the years I’ve learned a lot about my postal clerks, one brief conversation at a time.

Like everyone else, they have good days and bad, stress, fears, and aggravations— but they are good people doing a great job, with a friendly demeanor, incredible patience, tact and skill.

Rarely, but more frequently lately, a postal patron will vent his/her frustration and anger about a long wait in line or whatever — with fury, shouting, and the occasional expletive-laden diatribe. Yet I’ve never seen any counter clerk lose their cool, raise their voice in anger, or be anything but professional. I have seen one cry. Mostly they just patiently apologize, complete the task at hand, and call for the next in line.

Any job that requires daily interaction with the public is difficult at best, and soul-crushing at worst. Cashiers, cab drivers, law enforcement, medical and social workers, waitstaff … they all deal with people daily that you and I would avoid like lepers, cower from, or lose our temper with — but they manage to do it with professionalism, a friendly attitude, and the patience of a saint. Every workday, over and over again.

So if your postal clerk is rude, there’s probably a good reason for it. It can be a very difficult job.

Let’s try not to make it worse.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Chuck Foster



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