Saturday, January 17, 2009

Drama Llama On The Loose!

Beware of the Drama Llama! Last seen in a Post Office in South Philadelphia -- watch out! She could be headed to somewhere near you soon.

While I was at the little counter in the center of the post office, filling out a mailing label for a parcel, I saw a woman in the (long) line say into her cell phone, "When you change your address, can you just fill out a form or do you have to wait in line?" I don't know what the person on the other end of the call told her, but the end result was that the woman waited in line.

Fast-forward several minutes. I'm now about the fifth person in line, she's heading up to be waited on, and she says I-know-not-what to the clerk. The clerk hands her a change-of-address form.

The woman goes into Drama Llama mode on the spot. She stalked over to that little counter island, mumbling just a bit too audibly to describe it as under her breath, "I don't *believe* this place!" Then she flung said form onto the little counter, where it slid gracefully several inches along the surface (and it would have served her right if it had continued skidding until it went off the far edge of the counter). As the form was gliding to a stop, she WHUMPed her purse onto the counter and ceremoniously dug until she found a pen. All the while, she made a noise that I have associated, since childhood, with the snottiest girls in grade/high school: a big loud, long exhalation that sounds like, "FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFfffffffffffffffffffffffffff". (But this woman was at least in her late 20s or early 30s -- she should have long since outgrown the "dirigible with an airleak" mode of expression.)

All I could think was, "Hello? You're changing your address. FORMS are involved. This is a surprise to you why, exactly?" Or maybe the problem was that her unseen adviser on the cell phone call told her to wait in line, and it turned out she could have just filled the form out without getting in line. Well, don't take that out on the clerk, for goodness sakes -- maybe the Drama Llama should have asked the advice of the CLERKS instead of calling a friend. She could've saved herself a good 5-10 minutes that way. (Did I mention that there are stacks of change-of-address forms on prominent display in multiple locations around the post office? Such that it's hard NOT to get them in your line of sight if you're standing in line looking around? File that under "minor detail", I suppose.)

But it gets better. The change of address form consists of white paper, bearing various groups of red boxes with pink backgrounds in which one writes one's information. So of course, the Drama Llama used a PINK pen to fill it out. Pink. Pink ink on a pink background. Oh, yeah, she's going to have NO trouble having her mail forwarded to the new location. The text recognition software, or even human eyes, should have no difficulty picking out the PINK ink on a PINK background.

You know what's sad? When they can't read her form, and the mail-forwarding gets screwed up, she's sure to blame the Post Office and dole out plenty of "FFFFFFFFFFFFFFfffffffffffffffffffffffffff"s for everyone who's inconvenienced Her Royal Highness. When the source of her inconvenience was that she should have asked someone who actually knows the protocol for obtaining a change-of-address form instead of calling whomever she spoke to, and she should have used a color of ink that people can actually SEE when filling out an OFFICIAL DOCUMENT.

When the Drama Llama finished filling out her pink form in pink ink, she stalked heavy-footedly back to the clerk's counter, presented her with the filled-out form, made a big show of loudly shoving the various paper ads that come with the change-of-address form into the nearest wastebasket, and then she stalked heavy-footedly out the door.

So beware! First of all, the Drama Llama is now out and about on the streets of South Philadelphia, so she could be anywhere. Second of all, she's MOVING. That means she really COULD end up anywhere. You could end up with a new irascible neighbor who sounds like she's sprung an airleak whenever she's irritated.

If you do, and you query her and find she's from South Philly, then allow me to point out that we do NOT all behave like that down here. Honest.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Should one of us ever come across her- then we probably should spare the poor postal clerk and tell her that you can do it online at usps.com