My office in Garland is located near the Kingsley Station post office. It's adjacent to a little shopping plaza which holds a dollar store, a taqueria, a coffee shop of the coffee-and-chicken-fried-steak kind, and a trophy shop. They're doing road construction everywhere nearby. The post office itself is quite small, with a little three window booth customer service line.
This week I've hauled small holiday package after small holiday package into that little post office. I've been really impressed with the post office folks there. First of all, although this is Christmas week, the line is never long, and the other patrons are never impatient. The postal folks who wait on me never mind that I bring a grocery store sack full of little packages to mail out by the dozen each visit. One man even spends time taping up things he feels I have not secured well enough, with nary a lecture nor impatient word. They weigh each package, while I fill out customs forms for the mailings to the UK, Canada and Australia. They maintain a certain nonchalant good will as they ask the "statutory" questions, such as "shipping anything dangerous, fragile or liquid?". I hear them predict arrival dates, and consult with other patrons about their postal needs.
Garland is not a small town, really, with its population of 200,000 people, but it feels a lot like a kind of multi-cultural Mayberry sometimes. When I visit the Kingsley Station post office, I enter a world in which I always want to live--a world without pretense, hassle or unkindness. I want to live in a place where the fellow behind the desk says "Merry Christmas!" and means it. I want to choose among holiday stamps with toys, musical reindeer or vintage Santas. I want to live in a place in which people do their jobs, and don't talk about how put upon or difficult their lives prove to be.
There is nothing in this world like kind and prompt service by people who care. I am glad I have encountered a great deal of that this week. It's not that the postal people in Garland are highly paid, or important, or somehow superior. It's that they are part of a community, and I find that being part of a real community brings out the best in everyone.