USPS Automated Postal Center

Written by | December 30, 2004

Topics: Misc

USPS Automated Postal Center

Editor’s Note: Next Christmas, will someone please remind me that I MUST NOT upset the Line-Waiting Gods.

So I had to go to the post office the other day because I had to mail a CD that someone bought from me on eBay. Unfortunately, when I got to the Post Office there was a very long line of Christmas gift shipping procrastinators.

At first I thought, “Hell no,” but then realized that my eBay rating was too precious to ruin with the possibility of a negative rating.

While waiting in line I noticed a machine semi-hidden by the patrons in front of me with the words, “Automated Postal Center” on it. I wondered what it exactly was. As I got closer, I realized that it was an automated postal center (duh!), which I could use to ship packages, buy stamps, or check a zip code.

At first I wondered if it was broken or something, because none of the other thirty patrons were using it. Then I took a closer look at the other thirty patrons and realized that I was surrounded by senior citizens, who probably have technophobia and have no idea how to set the time on their VCRs.

I looked at the long line and then I looked at the Automated Postal Center. Then I looked at the long line again and decided to give the Automated Postal Center a try.

The Automated Postal Center has a touch screen, which allows you to make selections. There’s a scale on the left hand side of the machine to weigh your package/envelope. Just select the type of postage, weigh it, type in the zip code, slide your credit or debit card, and wait for the postage label to print.

I thought this was so fast and easy. I was glad to be surrounded by gray-haired technophobes, who probably have no idea what a blog is.

While the label was printing, which takes about 30 seconds, I was doing the cabbage patch and kept saying in a taunting tone, “I don’t have to wait in line. I don’t have to wait in line.”

Of course, this drew the attention of all the senior citizens waiting in line and I got many dirty looks from them, but I didn’t care because…”I didn’t have to wait in line. I didn’t have to wait in line.”

After the postage label printed, I stuck it on my package and placed the package in the gigantic bin next to the Automated Postal Center. Then I looked at all the senior citizens in line and again began doing the cabbage patch and taunting them as I walked out the door.

That same day I had to go to the big red electronics store to pick up a gift card for a friend. The lines there were just as crazy as the line at the post office. Unfortunately, I had to wait in line since there wasn’t a machine I could buy gift cards from.

So there I was waiting in line with about 15 people in front of me. Twenty minutes passed before the person in front of me got to the cashier. This was when things got worse.

The customer in front of me told the cashier that the Playstation 2 memory card was on sale, but the sale price didn’t come up on the register. The cashier said it wasn’t on sale, but the customer insisted that it was. Then the cashier looked through the newspaper ad, but couldn’t find anything. She then went to talk to another cashier, who also said it wasn’t on sale. Then another worker who overheard their conversation came up to them and said it was.

Their little employee conference took about five minutes and eventually the customer got the discount.

In my head, I thought, “My goodness could this get any worse?”

Apparently, it could.

Finally, when I got to the cashier, I asked her if I could get a gift card. She then said the worst four words she could possibly say, “We don’t have anymore.”

So I waited 30 minutes in line for nothing and I was about to be angry, but then I realized the Line-Waiting Gods were just getting back at me for my actions at the post office.

Damn frickin’ karma.


Item: USPS Automated Postal Center
Purchase Price: FREE to use (Must pay for postage and stamps)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Pros: Ship small packages and envelopes without waiting in line, unless there’s a line for the Automated Postal Center. Open 24 hours. Able to purchase stamps from it. Easy to use for some.
Cons: Never make fun of those who have to wait in line. May scare senior citizens with technophobia, which is probably about 99 percent of them. Can’t ship large boxes. Damn karma.






20 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Sarcasmom says:

    That damn karma will get you everytime! Happy New Year.

  2. I like your blog. ;}

    Nice,
    B.A.R. Editor
    http://www.badassreviews.com

  3. don says:

    I tried to mail a CD at one of those things the other day and the damn thing wouldn’t give me the rate for first class mail, which should be like $1.20! The cheapest rate it gave me was like 6 bucks. So I called the machine a few choice names and went to stand in line with all the blue-hairs.

  4. Jenny says:

    I’ve used the Automated Postal Center for stamps, and really enjoyed it. By the way Marvo, you could have showed some old people how to use the APC…. that might have improved your karma. ;-) Although, it probably would have taken about 72 hours to get even the most lucid blue hair to grasp the concept. My grandma is one of the most intelligent people I know, but I’ll be damned if she can work even the tiniest electronic device. She doesn’t even use the radio in her car!!!

  5. Aymie's mom says:

    Hey Marvo…wanted to tell you that I got my pudding in the mail today…did you use the automated postal center thingy to mail it to me? Thanks :) Happy New Year to you and yours in the middle of the Pacific ocean!

  6. Dixie says:

    I love the automated new postal worker! I use it even when there’s no line. (I’ve added you to my blogroll and taken you off my blogmarks, just in case you were wondering.) I do enjoy your reviews!

  7. Dave Diamond says:

    Great post! Get it? Post!! LOL!!!

  8. James says:

    I love your site! Hope you have a fantastic New Year :)

  9. Ryan Maynard says:

    I got stuck in an electronics store behind a guy buying a 128MB MP3 player. He decided on an extended warrantee. I almost yelled, “You’re kid’s going to throw it away anyway. It won’t even hold a double album.”

  10. Alex says:

    I WISH they had those over here…I avoid going to the post office BECAUSE of the lines…And karma does always get you back. That’s why I’m nice to kids. I could send some your way, if you need me too.

  11. RagDoll says:

    Love the machine. I will learn from your taunting and will make fun of the line lemmings in my head.

    Great blog too!

  12. marvo says:

    Sarcasmom – Happy New Year to you too. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to buildup as much karma as I can so that I can be invincible.

    Bad Ass Reviews – Thanks. You’ve got a good review site yourself.

    don – Aaah yes, technology still isn’t perfect.

    Jenny – I’m usually a patient person except when I have to deal with technology plus anyone over the age of 60.

    Aymie’s Mom – If it has a huge postage label on the left side of the box, yes I did. If not, no I didn’t.

    Dixie – Thanks.

  13. marvo says:

    Dave Diamond – What if I told you that I didn’t get it?

    James – Thanks and you have a Happy New Year, as well.

    Ryan Maynard – The dude bought an extended warranty for that. I wonder if he’s gullible enough to buy a bridge from me.

    Alex – I thought I built up a stockpile of karma from opening doors for strangers, but I guess not. But if I need some, I’ll ask you.

    RagDoll – I don’t know, I think that might give you bad karma as well.

  14. Jenny says:

    Ps. I received my Oreo pudding today. Marvo, you rock.

  15. julia says:

    fantastic post! as usual your wit has me chortling away, jiggling like a bowl-full of jelly… or maybe we just need out of the holiday season, eh?

    random comment from a random stranger… but i figured out how to get rid of Texas Holdem and all those other sweet little commenters. Would you like to know? It’s permanent and doesn’t involve chainsaws, black lights, or even MT Blanklist. feel free to email me.

    Julia
    400k.net/&

  16. ooh! thanks for the review! I saw one of these at our post office, but I wasn’t exactly sure of what all this machine was capable of. Now I’ll get to skip all the crazies too!!

  17. Mellie Helen says:

    This sounds great! Now if there were only a special machine to help me find a parking space at my local post office…

  18. Yano says:

    Another great thing about the post office machine – often times its open a little later than the post office windows.

  19. marvo says:

    Jenny – Can you say that “you rock” part a little bit louder? A little bit more louder. Louder. Okay, that’s fine. Thank you.

    julia – Wait. Let me knock on wood before I say this. (knock, knock) I’ve been comment spam free for awhile now since I’ve used the auto close comment plug in for Word Press.

    Webmiztris – You’ll get to skip the crazies, until the crazies get crazy enough to try it.

    Mellie – I think a monster truck will solve that problem, because you can park anywhere with those things. Especially on top of cars.

    Yano – It’s open 24 hours a day. I think it’s going to be the cool place to hang out.

20 Comments Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Pineapple’s Post » Blog Archive » Anyone wanna play Post Office?