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Guest Entry: Yael Klein speaks-out on Yelm Post Office issues

Yael Klein

– Yelm postal service – A Critique
For awhile now, I have felt so frustrated with the service I received when walking into the Yelm Post Office to have counter service, but I had always cast-away my frustrations, telling myself that I am only one person and so it will not matter.

But lately, things got worse that I could not ignore this situation any longer. Here are some incidents I experienced:
* An incident – A month ago I was expecting mail with medicine enclosed. It was mailed to me as Next Day Delivery, and Insured. After a week of driving to the post office for my package to no avail, I connected with the sender to request the delivery number and took that to the post office. The package was there all that time laying on the shelf without any yellow slip in my mailbox to notify me. Mind you that I had two other packages delivered and picked-up during that week, yet no one bothered to see that this envelope also belonged to my p.o. box.

* Another incident – since I do not have a street mailbox near my house (due to vandalism), I had been advised by one of the clerks at the Yelm Post Office to ensure I added my p.o. box number next to my physical address for items I ordered for delivery to me, so the mail deliverer will see the box number and place a yellow note in my box to pick-up. Well, most times that worked well, but lately, a few packages have been returned to the sender marked “undeliverable.”

* Another incident – Each time I went to the post office, about five times a week, I stood in long lines. Recently, there were ten people in line, and as of late, only one clerk servicing us customers. I only needed to pick up a package, so I was hoping that another one of the clerks would show up to help with customers picking up packages only. While I stood in line, I watched the clerk repeatedly tell the person in front of him that he is out of change. Finally he stepped away to the office on the left with few dollars in his hand and came back to continue his service. A few minutes later, a tall guy shows up from that side office asking him what he wanted from those few dollars that he now held in his hands. The clerk said that he is completely out of change. The tall guy walks away, while noticing the long line. He paused and then asked for those of us with yellow slips to come to him. Four of us jumped right in. I was second in line. The lady ahead of me did not have her slip, but had some sort of an issue to ask him in regard to a package. So he dealt with her for few minutes, then collected our three yellow slipped and disappeared.

We waited and waited and waited, then saw him in the distance waiting near the safe box to get the change he needed for the clerk. After collecting the change he disappeared. Then we saw him returning, our yellow slips still held in his hand plus some rolls of change, along with a few more white envelopes. After dropping the change, he left again and after being away for a length of time, finally shows up with our packages. Looking at the line I left for the sake of getting quick service for package pick-ups, I saw that by the time I received my package, I would have already been served by the clerk had I stayed in the original line. I walked away from the place with such a terrible feeling. I felt like a second class citizen; that I was a nuisance to those employees, who made me feel as if they were doing me a big service by being there, semi-servicing customers. I knew right then that I had to do something, for if I will not speak up, no one would hear. It did not matter if they will change or not, what mattered was that I step up to create change in the way my life ought to be. My philosophy is that if I care about my lifestyle, and I do, I must be active in it. Just like the political elections that we are faced with right now. If we do not vote, we do not create change. Period!

I got home and started my Internet research on how to place a complaint against a postal service.
I went thru a loop of several phone calls to finalize the route needed and share that with the public, just in case you face the same frustration as I did and decided to do something to improve our community’s lifestyle, here in our growing town.

* Here are the steps to take in case you want to file a Postal Service complaint-
Call customer affairs @ 253-214-1800

Once they answer, you will have a choice to complain over the phone or they can send you a form to file.
If you place the complaint over the phone (which I did), they will write it all up and give you a complaint case number.
Then they will let you know that the Manager of the Yelm Post Office will call you within 72 hrs. I first wondered why needed to talk to the man who was responsible for this whole mess to begin with. But they told me that perhaps he was not aware of what was happening out there, so that should be the first step after filing with them.
His name is Ken (360) 458-2374 (I did not get his last name). Once you connect with him, he will listen to your complaint, write it up, and if he feel there is something more that can be done, he will advise you on it.

The day that I spoke to him, I had to go there again, and this time there were three clerks attending the long line! THANK YOU KEN!!!
So, it DOES matter if we do something to improve our life here in our growing town…

Well, at least this is a beginning.
I went there again to send a package and the place was empty. I waited there for someone to show up. Here came a clerk, accompanied by the manager Ken, who was so concerned that clerks would be on the front counter when there was a long lines of customers. However, not this time when the counter became busy. The manager and clerks were talking among themselves that Ken would like for a clerk to clock-out for lunch, since the place looked empty. This was in front of customers waiting in line. Within five minutes, we were already six in line and I was still not served….
and the clerk was now supposed to clock-out for lunch, while another clerk, an old-timer there, peeks in, but certainly avoided looking at the growing line on the other side of the counter, yet paid full attention to the clerk who was about to go to lunch, and asked if she got her car keys and her glasses, and accompanied her to the exit door. The manager Ken is still there yet with customers in a growing line, the three of them disappeared. I decided to leave and took my package to the McKenna Post Office where there were hardly any customers, yet their clerk greeted me with a smile. This was so refreshing in contrast to this long-forgotten act of goodness from the Yelm Post Office. Within two minutes, I was done and happily driving back home.

So, I still have my p.o.box in Yelm, but I now have most of my packages directed to a separate p.o. box at the McKenna Postal Office. I decided for now to use McKenna because of their better and quicker service, as the little extra drive time is worth it. I hope one day the Yelm Post Office will get it together, for this service is so needed in a growing community such as ours.

Yael Klein

Klein is the wife of Blogger Steve Klein.

Posted by Steve on February 24, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

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