Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Mean Lady At The Post Office

I went to the post office on Saturday to mail out some orders. The clerk processes the tee shirts just fine but turns to her co-worker next to her to verify she is marking and charging the awareness bands the correct way. The clerk-next-door examines my package and starts literally yelling at me, informing me the size of the envelope is all wrong and HOLY SMOKES the thickness varies! She completely stops helping the folks at her window and grabs some sort of postal employee training program material to demonstrate the package cannot fit through an opening it can obviously fit through, jamming it so it crunches and almost rips the envelope in her effort to be right. Now let me say I have been going to that post office at least twice a week since November and the loud and obnoxious clerk has helped me dozens of times with hundreds of the exact same package. In fact, one of those times was last week when I sent out 6 and she did not say boo to me. But she keeps going on and on, loudly and rudely, like she has never seen me before, and refuses to answer me when I ask when all this changed. Nor will she admit to a rate increase that took place on April 17th of this year that is widely published and any Joe Schmoe can look up and verify in a quick google search. She keeps shouting that nothing has changed and these were the regulations and she did not make the rules. Remember this is not even the clerk that is helping me, nor is she any kind of supervisor. 

Oh I am bubbling mad! She is talking so forcefully and loudly that asking questions is futile. My husband, booming over her grating-on-my-ears voice, turns to the clerk that is helping us and asks how much it is going to cost. It is the exact same rate I have been paying since April 17th. We pay and leave and once I get in the car the floodgates release! Oh I am so angry! What a bitch! How dare she talk to us like that! She was not even helping her own customers! Who does she think she is! But the thing I am most angry about is I seem to have lost the ability to stand up for myself. I am becoming increasingly aware I have a serious problem with stress. Basically my ability to deal with it is zilch, zip, zero. As a Fibro patient my senses are already, well, sensitive. But this problem has been getting worse and worse to the point that any public exchange that requires a speck of gumption, stand up for yourself or "Hey rude lady, don't talk to me that way!" derails me. So as I am crying and ranting and raving my husband encourages me to talk about what I feel (oh bless his angel heart) and as I blabber through my thought process I come to a startling revelation. I have lost the ability to problem-solve in a heated moment! Once that adrenaline starts pumping I cannot quickly  mentally scan and assess the situation in any given number of case scenarios, and effectively implement the one that will both meet my objective and mitigate the situation. My brain becomes this mushy mess of confusion and surging chemicals leaping across fried synapses.

Armed with this new enlightenment about how my brain is functioning is actually comforting. I am not going crazy after all! This is just the fun aftermath of the two strokes I had last year. So yet again I set out on a regatta to figure out how to manage this gap, this flaw in brain operation. Melting down at every confrontation is so ridiculously counter-productive to my health it is not even an option. I must build a toolkit to have at the ready so when that flood of emotion hits I can gracefully untangle myself and get the hell out of there as fast as possible. And remind myself once again that when people have a problem with me, it is usually a problem they really have with themselves. Clearly Miss Cheerful has one place in her life she gets to feel in control, and I hope, for the sake of the general public, I got the worst of her that day. So I have filed a complaint and am changing post offices. Luckily in this day and age I can stand up for myself without having to shout in someone's face. Because if it happens once, shame on you. Happens twice, shame on me. Plus, it could really be so much worse. I could be her.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Leah--I can't seem to deal with any "situations" anymore and have never known how to stick up for myself , but am trying!--Dena

  2. I was the same way a year and a half ago and that's when the doctor told me I had no cortisol circulating in my bloodstream because my adrenals were exhausted. Could that be part of it also? I still have difficulty too but I dont feel that intensity as I did before. -Megan

  3. Wow, that is insane! There is NO excuse for treating you like that :o(!

  4. Glad you filed a complaint with the post office. A horrible experience for sure. Wishing you the very best in your quest to re-learn how to stand up to that bullying behavior in the heat of the moment! It's hard to do, even for those of us who haven't had a stroke or other issues. Much love!