What would the holidays be without lines at the post office?
This morning a quick run to the Wyandotte West postal station, 1710 N. 78th Terrace, to buy holiday stamps, a trip that would usually take about 5 minutes, had a different result.
Around 11:43 a.m., about 15 minutes before closing time, there was a long line of customers holding packages and letters. The line stretched from the counter, into the lobby and around the lobby, and maybe 25 to 30 persons were in line, a larger number than usual.
Customers generally were holding packages to be mailed, picking up packages, mailing letters or buying stamps. Toward the front of the line was a poster that told us that letters and cards should be mailed by today, Dec. 20, in order to get there by Dec. 24. And Dec. 23 is the deadline for sending packages by Priority Mail Express.
Nationally, a U.S. Postal Service news release said that Dec. 18 was the busiest delivery day of the year. Monday, Dec. 15, was supposed to be the busiest mailing day of the year, when over 600 million pieces of mail were expected to be sent.
Post office closing time, noon, came and went with the line still stretching out into the lobby. No one was allowed in line after that, but staff was still waiting on people in line. Three employees were visible, helping out at the facility, with only one behind the counter waiting on people toward the end of this time. Some were helping with packages. Some workers had been there since before dawn.
Customers made wisecracks while waiting: One woman entered the lobby, mailed a letter and said, “Did you guys bring your lunch?”
Another woman left the lobby and said, “I’m leaving for Texas and will be back before you get out.”
“This is like the Twilight Zone,” another said.
One customer remarked that she was there because Price Chopper didn’t have any more holiday stamps. Some customers laughed at their situation, some scowled, some checked their phones and one sang.
As the minutes dragged on, with nothing to do, a woman in line broke out into a loud rendition of “Jingle Bells,” and then an improvised number. But no one in the line wanted to join her attempt to find something to do while waiting in line.
At 12:43 p.m., one hour after the fast trip to the post office, the goal was finally reached and the stamps were bought.