Last Friday afternoon at about 2:30 p.m., I went to the Stuyvesant Post Office. The metal gate was down and a long message was taped to it indicating that they were closed in preparation for their move to the old Duane Reade on 14th.
No mention of when the new facility would be open for business.
Prior to this, no posters had been prominently displayed regarding the move. Nor was there a mailing to 10009 postal customers to let them know in advance when the switch over from one facility to another would take place.
Since the publicity months ago when the move had been announced, there had been no follow-up communication with customers.
I went next morning at 8:45 a.m. and joined a small line of people needing new post office box keys. The metal gate, still down, no longer had Friday’s notice. In fact, there was no notice of any kind. At 9 a.m., the gate was still down. At 9:03 a.m., a woman happened along and told us the new facility was open and that is where they were doing key replacements. Some of the folks had been waiting in line in front of the old facility since 8 a.m. and were angry that the original notice misled them.
At the “cozy” (read cramped) new site, only one woman was doing key replacement. Of course, because there was no sign at the old facility explaining that there would be no retail services, no mail pickup, no package pickup, etc., she was trying to answer all the customers who kept coming in looking for services not being offered and was starting to get frazzled and snappy.
After getting my new keys, I walked back to the old site where a small crowd had gathered, not knowing what was going on. I explained things to them, went back home to create two signs about the old site being closed forever and the new one opening at 9 a.m. Monday (February 24), and taped them up on the gate. By Monday morning, the signs were down and people were standing around looking at the metal gate, not knowing the status.
The lack of respect for postal customers seems to have been a hallmark of this particular post office for years, but there is no excuse for not taking simple measures that keep people informed.
If I can put up a sign, so can they.
The responsibility does not lie just with the manager of this branch. It should have been the responsibility of a higher-up to ensure that the public was well informed. In this, as in many other situations, a failure to communicate is a failing indeed.