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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Things that don't make sense - part 1

Just spent 20 minutes standing on line at the north Durham Post Office on Roxboro next to Food Lion. Still 20 people on line when i got finished at 4:15 pm.

Why does the downtown Post Office close at 2 pm? Lack of customers? Seriously?



  • For what it's worth, it seems like most of the post offices in Durham are now on restricted hours. I suppose it's some sort of cost savings measure and it's very frustrating, especially if you have a package waiting that you need to retrieve from a specific location.

    You know things are rough when even the USPS can't make ends meet.

    The other discussed solution was, I believe, to simply terminate Saturday mail service entirely.

    By Blogger Jeremy T, at 6:34 PM  

  • I have gone to that post office three times since they moved. Each time I swore it would be the last since it was on the way to where I was going. There have been two clerks there each time but each time they were incredibly slow.

    On the other hand, the trip to the North Durham post office is definitely well worth it. There are still usually two folks there but they are fast and friendly. I'm going out of my way for their improved service next time.

    --Steve (son of a longtime USPS window clerk which has led me to expect a certain level of competence)

    By Blogger Steve, at 7:01 PM  

  • I never had less than adequate service at the downtown PO, and often found that, despite heavy traffic, the line never got more than 10 minutes long.

    Hard to believe that in a downtown where "great things are happening," there's not enough activity to justify keeping the post office open for normal business hours.

    The other post offices i need to visit occasionally, in west Durham and in Hillsborough, are open regular business hours, except for Friday afternoon, when the Hillsborough PO closes at 3 or 4.

    By Blogger Barry, at 7:43 PM  

  • "Our" Post Office (at least where our packages for pickup end up) is at Holloway/Miami, and it closes at, I believe, 2 p.m. It's odd because the downtown office is actually *between* us and that one.

    The ones I know of that are surely open normal hours are the Shannon Rd. office and the RTP post office on TW Alexander. I believe there are two others that also have normal hours, but I'm not sure which they are.

    By Blogger Jeremy T, at 8:42 AM  

  • The east Durham PO (Miami/Holloway) is also the one that serves our neighborhood.

    I once had a certified letter sent to me that i never received, nor did i receive a notification of attempted delivery. When i went there, it took someone half an hour to find it.

    By Blogger Barry, at 9:20 AM  

  • I've been to that post office too and noticed the decreased level of service. Both times I've been there there has been but one person at the desk, and even then they would wander into the back, dawdle around, and finally come back later to serve customers. Other workers were seen in back, but apparently they are not allowed to, or are not trained, to provide customer service.

    In contrast, the downtown PO has always been very efficient. Even long lines move pretty quickly. I really try to plan my trips so that I can get there in their limited hours.

    I really like the USPS Priority Mail service. We use it all the time to send package to friends and family spread across the country. I pay for and print labels at home, then drop them off at the PO. Usually I can just hand the packages to the desk worker without waiting in line!

    By Blogger Steve Graff, at 1:54 PM  

  • Hey, that's MY post office.

    Service is notoriously slow there, any time of day. Any time of the year. Always.

    Because people who apparently know nothing about how mail service works show up as customers.


    Every 3rd customer is friends with someone behind the counter.

    Try the one in Wellons Village. I've had only great service there.

    Can't help with downtown.

    By Blogger Tony, at 8:45 PM  

  • I once had a letter take 3 weeks to get from one side of main street to the other via the post office. I had several letters that never arrived at their destination. My change of address took over a month to process, during which time they held my mail at Holloway, but when I went to retrieve it they only gave me a few pieces (it should have been 2-3 weeks worth of mail).

    This is the only place I've ever lived where I didn't have a mailbox within a couple of blocks.

    I never used to have issues with the PO, and didn't understand why people would hold it up as an example of incompetent bureaucracy. I found the PO to be convenient and reliable.

    Then I moved to Durham.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:50 PM  

  • It's a shame that the USPS won't install do-it-yourself mailing stations in all of their branches. There's one at the Kangaroo Drive PO, and it is a great alternative to waiting forever in line. I REALLY wished they had one at the Roxboro PO the other day--seems like it would really help the morale of everyone.

    By Blogger hovercraft, at 9:19 AM  

  • >It's a shame that the USPS won't install do-it->yourself mailing stations in all of their branches.

    Yes! Just before we moved here from CA they installed a self-service shipping station at the local PO. Boxes, envelopes, and a computerized system to calculate, pay and print out postage. They also had a large 'package box' that would accept large packages - just walk in, and in my case where I had already paid for postage, drop the package into the slot and be on you way. In and out. Quick. No muss, no fuss.

    I'm disappointed that I haven't see one of these 'package boxes' here in Durham at any of the POs. This might be a good way to increase customer service, decrease lines, and as a result decrease the need for counter clerks allowing them to perhaps restore the downtown PO hours.

    By Blogger Steve Graff, at 9:31 AM  

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