Stories from my past: The look of understanding

If you ever had to spend time in the DMV, Post office or other government office, you probably know what I am going to say next. There is a special kind of inefficiency that you experience when you are there. I don’t know how they manage it, but time seems to go slower when you have to interact with a government agency.

I went into the Post Office and I had a simple transaction. Unfortunately so did the other 10 people ahead of me. They had simple transactions too, but the gentleman who was employed had his own speed. Part of the problem is that he had a pattern of speaking and advertising that slowed it down, but I guess it helps make money for the Post office. So he had to go through his spiel with each person.

While I was waiting the lady in front of me asked a simple question and got the spiel that all of us had heard a half-dozen times with other customers. She looked over at me and gave me the look of understanding that said “Can you believe this guy? He is acting like a robot?” I just smiled and she went back to her business. What can you do but just tolerate certain situations in your life?

Just as an aside, is there a reason that Post Offices refuse to use the latest technologies? Many of them don’t have a stamp dispensing machine, and often their credit card scanner is out of date and slow. Do they get a kickback from card companies to take as long as possible to transact a charge? Couldn’t some credit card transactions have priority like say those of hospitals, police stations (bail), and post offices? Do people need to wait 1 minute to have their credit card go through so that Bob can buy some socks at Target faster? Why is the speed of services inversely proportional to their importance? It takes forever to get charged for an emergency room visit, but if I wanted to get a candy bar from a food dispenser I’m practically done in seconds.

Stories from my past: A social experiment with food

Have you ever been in an office and the most common thing that people bring in is donuts, cookies and other pastries? Nothing wrong with that, but I was curious. What if you brought in vegetables and fruit platter? What would happen? So I finally did that, and here are the results.

I was surprised when I went back into the kitchen and much of the fruit was gone but also a surprising amount of vegetables. I didn’t think anyone would eat them when they are used to the sweet stuff. It turns out that no one knew who brought in the gifts so they started calling the person the “fruit fairy”. What do you think happened in the future? That is going to be another story.

It was a small office and mostly mature people who worked there. I have noticed that the older people get the more bakery items they seem to buy. Have you noticed that as well? In offices with young people there are less sweet treats. In an office I worked that had mostly young people they had things like chips, or things with flavors rather than sugar. I was curious why that was. Do you know why?