Source: GenBug/Flickr

Very few of us look forward to our trips to the local post offices. Many think of it as a special circle of Hell, featuring long lines of irritable weirdos, made worse by bad ventilation that gives the humid air a definite funk of moldy papers and body odor. Personally, I’ve never had an issue with the service itself, even finding many of the clerks friendly and helpful, but I’ve heard numerous horror stories that make me better understand the term “going postal.”

Well, complaints about our local branch have spurred the United States Post Office into action. After residents repeatedly lodged reports citing the “absence of courtesy” at the Bill Brown Post Office at 2628 East 18th Street, two new window clerks have been added, according to Don Brown, Community Board 15′s liaison to the USPS’ Consumer Advisory Council.

What’s more is that the new clerks – and presumably the old ones – have been provided a course in Customer Relations, to help ensure friendlier, more efficient service.

“It is hoped that these actions will help improve both the service and image of the Post Office,” Brown told Sheepshead Bites.

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  • Anonymous

    If only the same would happen to the local police precinct. No chance….

    Imagine if someone in an official capacity paid attention to all the local cops who refuse to do their jobs, are hostile and refuse to even answer 911 calls..

    Eventually the FBI will be raiding that precinct as I hear from enough people that they are “aware of the situation”.

    • nolastname

      The FBI? The FBI is aware or enough people are aware?

  • nolastname

    Yay. I rang the bell for the person in charge to help with missing mail. What I heard from the other side was a man saying “Oh no this is not going to worK”. Well eventually it did work, not that he was of any help.
    Anyone else missing packages or mail that never got back to the sender?

  • Anonymous

    Those special feelings are reserved not only for the post office.  DMV, courts, or any other government facility is hell.  The post office is just another example of government inefficiencies.  Why it is so hard to fire government employees? Every day I hear stories from friends and relatives who work at these places what kind illiterate unskilled workers work there and how hard it is to work there.  Some of the worst stories are from the Board of Ed which has been known to retain a special kind of fruitcake on its payroll. 

    • Tinman

      They’re civil servants and most of ‘em don’t give a f–k, as long as they get their pensions!

    • Old Sheepshead Hand

      As a civil service employee, I may be able to tell you why it is hard to fire bad employees. Historically, the unions have taken the position that management is always out to screw labor. And that labor needs to be protected from said management. So the unions were successfully able to put in a long series of rigorous steps to remove employees. Culturally, it is sooner believed that a supervisor is a jerk trying to make a suboordinate’s life a living hell rather than the employee is not fit for the job. 

      So what has happened is that anecdotal instances of bad management have led to a morass of bad labor. Then what happens is, these terrible employees don’t get fired, get promoted instead because of other civil service rules, and then they become the very kind of bad management that the unions try to protect workers from!!!

      • Anonymous

        Yes, this is all very sad.  Especially now with the high unemployment and so many qualified people that can do the jobs of the dead weight currently in place.  Consider for example teachers that are so bad that they are no long allowed to step foot in the classroom but are still on the payroll awaiting administrative hearings that can take months if not longer.

  • http://www.google.com/ F_a_b_a

    Bill Brown? As in Minnesota Vikings 62-74 running back?

    • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

      More likely William A. Brown:

      From the parks dept info about the Bill Brown Memorial Playground:

      World War I veteran William A. Brown. Brown lived only a few blocks
      from here at 1818 Voorhies Avenue. He served with Wagon Company G of
      the 108th Ammunition Train, 28th Army Division. On October 8, 1918,
      this young man made the ultimate sacrifice for his country when he died
      of wounds sustained on the battlefield in France. Brown is also the
      namesake of the Bill Brown Senior Citizens Club and the Bill Brown
      American Legion Post.

      • http://www.google.com/ F_a_b_a

        Way cooler than running back! And RBs are cool as it is.

        • ES

          You obviously didn’t read our Veterans Day post. :/

          • http://www.google.com/ F_a_b_a

            Why, was it about running backs? :)

  • ES

    Every experience I have ever had at that post office has been a decidedly friendly one. The window clerks have been efficient and amicable, as has the bald, middle-aged gentleman (he kind of resembles Theo Kojak, sans lollipop) who makes the line move smoothly by addressing customers’ needs before they even get to the window. I always thought there should be additional clerks to curtail the line practically snaking out the door, but I never felt the ones who were already there were anything short of polite and helpful. When postal employees are dealing with “customers” like this, who themselves clearly require an attitude adjustment, maybe it’s not extra clerks they need.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never had a bad experience with the clerks. There is one, a female, who is always super helpful.
    However, when I’ve had to deal with lost packages, it’s a nightmare. They serarch for it as if they lost their keys in their house. No it’s not in the living room, or dining room, or ….. You  would think they would be more organized that that.

  • Tinman

    The more things change, the more they stay the same, so I’ll reserve sincere commentary until I’ve been serviced there.
    Isn’t it a coincidence that they’re finally responding to customer complaints as the USPS is going down the tubes?

  • Gene

    i will believe it when i see/hear it with my own eyes/ears.  The bold dude in charge of the place is a complete condescending douche bag. Only if they ran it like a real business.  Imagine a business with a line of customers out the door from opening to closing and yet post offices are not doing well.  Where is the money going?

  • Georgia

    There is only 1 female clerk that’s there pleasant and goes out of her way to be nice.  Forget about every else in there terrible. I think its the worst P.O. in the whole area. Only one person speaks perfect English the others you can not even understand them.  They take there time forget about if you have to beat the clock, you will come in last place.  I had asked for stamps & the guy left the counter for about 5 minuets with out saying a word. Then he came back gave me my stamps and never said a word. So disrespectful or ignorant. I had asked him and no answer. You have to be there way before it opens this way your the first on line and maybe you will get out in about 1/2hr. 

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    It’s the customers there who need some Charm school lessons…
    And Bill Brown was a GRRREAT back!

  • Anonymous

    The ‘bold’ dude can be a little abrupt but he gets the job done — tries moving things along by individually asking what you need — i only go there the occasional Saturday — never smelled anything weird — packages get lost in every post office…

  • Knickzmetz

    I’m very skeptical about these “improvements”. The overall service and appearance of this post office is disgraceful. I’d rather have all of my teeth pulled without novacaine than go in there. You have a predominantly Russian clientele with Asian clerks trying to serve them and neither group speaks English very well. It’s a circus. On occasion, the manager ( A bald-headed man.) will try to get people off the line, but this only happens if there’s a dire situation. When he opens the door to come out from the back office, it’s like the running of the bulls in Spain because people rush to the door. Each person then screams their needs at him because they think they’re better than someone else who’s waiting on line. It’s really a shame. The entire postal system is a mess. When people pretty much have a government job like this where they know they have a job for life as long as they don’t steal, why should they do their job and polite to the public? The service drops faster than the rates go up.

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  • Taxpayer

    The Sheepshead Bay post office is one of the worst in this state.  The mail carriers do not deliver mail daily – it must be held somewhere because why would it take a full week before you receive a first class piece of mail.  Wait until the new delivery schedules go into effect and it will take so long to get your mail that you might as well go and pick it up yourself.  As for the mail clerks at the post office, I think it will take more than a course in professional courtesy for them to improve on customer service.  They act like they are doing you a favor by working there.  I can’t wait for them to close this post office – these clerks are not fit to clean toilets for the Parks department!

  • unknown

    Anybody notice that the manager at Sheepshead Bay is bat-shit crazy???