What I want: To know why my package didn't reach its destination in Europe, where it is and when it will arrive.
The problem: A long line at the post office that leads me to a postal worker who doesn't know how to help me. But the other guy can. I just have to wait another half-hour while the other guy deals with a customer with a hellacious amount of packages to send. Ultimately, that guy can't help me either.
The company's solution: There's a phone number I can call to use the tracking number on my receipt. But it took me 45 minutes to find out what that was, and the second postal worker threatens me because he doesn't like my attitude -- even though that attitude built up because I waited the better part of an hour. Apparently, part of the U.S. government's postal worker training is to tell only some employees about a phone number.My solution: Why not just print on the receipt that phone number with the note that all questions about expensive, missing overseas packages should be referred to that phone number? And that, in fact, going to a post office will be a waste of time? That would help customers and postal workers who are more swamped than ever -- because the U.S. Postal Service is in massive debt and cutting workers and offices to make up for it. The result: If the U.S. Postal Service can't take such a simple step to ease long lines and overwork in its surviving staff, citizens are going to start to think the service needs even more radical change. Starting with smarter people running it.
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