on being a good customer

I have something like 550 customers... actually I have a lot more than that. There are 550 stops on my route, most of them households and some of them businesses. A few of the businesses are quite large. So it is safe to say that on days I deliver the route, I have a couple thousand customers. Most of them I never see, and the ones I have met so far are genuinely nice people.

But there is one customer on our route who has a very bad reputation. So bad that one of the other subs developed the habit of walking in to her business with his cell phone open, on, and with a supervisor on the other end listening so as to hear the verbal abuse.

This morning, to my horror, I noted that a cart sat next to my parcel hamper. It was stacked bottom to top with parcels, approximately 24 of them, all for this customer's business and all requiring delivery confirmation (which means you scan a barcode before delivering it). Just so you know, a typical day's load of parcels is about 24 and I had about that sitting in my regular parcel hamper today as well. This was all additional. This particular business also received an insured parcel today (separate from the other deluge) with a receipt confirmation which requires a signatures on two different forms. I brought all the parcels in, brought their regular mail in for them instead of leaving it in the box at the street (which we are allowed to do). The owner signed one form and walked away. Then the assistant (his wife?) came over and went to sign the other form. I asked that the same person sign both forms and she gave me a hard time. "What difference does it make?"

I explained that it might make a difference to whoever paid for the delivery and signature to be confirmed (yet another customer, by the way). She "hmmphed" me and proceeded to sign the second form. And handed it back, saying "It doesn't make any difference."

"Thank you," I said and left.

Postal workers and other public interface workers simply need to learn to put up with this type of person. But that doesn't mean we like it. Here's my request: don't be a capricious snot like this woman. Be a good customer. You don't have to be overly nice, a simple "Hello" and a modest attempt at accomodating someone who is doing you a service would be wonderful.

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