top of page

Keeping the Endangered Alive

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

At the Schuyler Street Post Office, a mailing unit (that’s me) has time to watch other mailing units in their happy and un-happy incarnations. I will not do business in several of the other nearby postal stations. I especially avoid Rose City Park Station where the workers specialize in causing line-backup and frustration.

But at Schuyler Street Station, the workers have done a one-eighty on Rose City Station’s philosophy of service. At Schulyer Street, they know how to keep the customers coming back and the U.S. Postal Service in business. They are single-handedly going to keep the Postal Service from failure.

The tall African-American woman, the main postal service worker here, sets the tone. She flashes the most dis-arming smile. She searches for ways to make your package safe, your visit positive and your mail arrive on time. You don’t have the right tape? She’s got it, and helps you apply it. You don’t have the right form? She supplies it and tells you that as soon as you’ve filled it out, you are again the front of the line.

And every customer in line is willing to wait for her kind of service. The customers range from the guy tattooed with Nazi symbols and three packages going to Ohio to the lady with the tennis racket in her backpack, white skirt over snow pants and twenty boxes to mail to Indochina. I’m waiting to mail a book to one of my middle school students who has a short story published in the book. I’ve got the lightest load here.

One postal worker at Schuyler Street has injured her arm. Can’t do the work? Won’t get paid? Naw! At Schuyler Street, the management has found the perfect job for her. Expedite the line by asking the questions and putting the needed stickers on packages. Saves time and energy when you finally get to the mailing window. She’s happy to have the work while she recovers. We’re happy to have her speed the process.

This is the best place to do this necessary waiting at holiday time. There is tiredness, there is looking at watches, but there isn’t any blustery huffing and puffing in this post office. No huffing from the mailing units about bad service and no puffing from the postal workers about ungrateful clients.

The customers come here because they appreciate the service and they apply the Schuyler Street philosophy of patience and service to each other. This is clearly a neighborhood post office, where people greet each other and the postal workers by name. An older woman sporting a long gray braid is greeted with a hug by the spikey-haired youngster whose iffy parking skills I watched out the Schuyler Street window. As she tried to park her (moms?) van, other drivers sat and waited, When she had boogied and back-filled into the parallel parking, waiting drivers, (without honking) went on to spaces farther away. (She had taken the space of two). (Baltimore and Detroit, note the lack of impatient honking here)

woman wearing a fur jacket, vest and cowhide bag. The boots were leather, too, with fur edging. This constitutes a fashion statement in Portland, Oregon. The photographer was wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. Photo/Rae Richen
Fur everything. And the day is not even cold. Photo Rae Richen

However, I must admit that I am put off by one woman ahead of me in line. I’m counting the number of animals worn by this single mailing unit: Faux rabbit vest, Faux cattle boots, Faux Palomino purse, Faux onyx-eye buttons on vest. Where is the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Faux?

Maybe the SPCF should have a PO Box at Schuyler Street Station. And the endangered Faux still in existence should find sanctuary in the mail room.

1 Comment

Rebecca Gellars
Rebecca Gellars
Aug 28, 2021

Grreat post thank you

bottom of page