Hell on Earth: Adelphi Station PO

There are few things I hate more than visiting the Adelphi Station post office, for the 11238 zip code. If I can avoid it, I do, opting to send packages and buy stamps at the PO closest to my office (which happens to be huge, gorgeous and generously staffed).

As most of you have probably experienced, there are times when one MUST visit the PO in their zip code. Namely, when one received a large package, and does not have a doorman or a mailbox with capacity for anything larger than a magazine.

Sigh. Where to begin?!

1. HOURS I know PO hours are fairly standard, and this branch is no different -- 8-5 M-F; 8-1 Sat. However, how many people can actually get to the PO between these hours if they're working regular hours and have to commute to work? If you could get through the line quickly, that might work...

2. STAFFING I have never seen more than two employees working at the windows, when there are, in fact, seven or so windows that could potentially be used. This means that when anyone comes in for something other than stamps, it takes an eternity for the line to move forward.

3. PACKAGE RETRIEVAL My "favorite" thing is when the lone window attendant disappears for ten minutes to find one package, leaving the line at a complete standstill. On occasion, there will be a window dedicated to package pickups, but even then it crawls along. I suspect all registered packages are just dumped in one unorganized pile. Some sort of "system" might be more efficient.

4. APATHY Once, this branch lost a package of mine for two weeks. I showed up at the window after waiting 30 minutes with my retrieval slip in-hand, and my parcel could not be found. The explanation? "I don't know what to tell you. Sorry. I'll call you if I find it." (say aloud in monotone voice) No one called.

Two weeks later, I receive another slip. Thankfully, this time they handed it over. But I still had to wait in that snail-paced line. Again.

5. FACILITIES Dirty, unattractive and unstocked. Don't expect the forms you may need to be readily available. Chances are, you'll have to wait in line (surprise) to ask for what should be sitting out at kiosks.

I always have to pick up packages before work -- I am fortunate enough to leave for work around 9:30. I have never once walked in to find a line that did not extend the length of the office. And I have been late to work more than once because of a trip to the 11238 PO.

Clearly there is an enormous customer base. Long lines are the standard, not the exception. WE NEED INCREASED STAFFING, NOW! It's just not acceptable to wait 30 - 60 minutes every single time.

I'm going to write letters to the manager of the 11238 PO, as well as the NYC and national headquarters (there must be such a thing, right?)

My suggestions:

  • Triple the staff
  • Dedicated window for package pickup, and expedited package retrieval
  • Extended evening hours at least one night per week
  • Dedicated window for international shipping (to help expedite the necessary customs forms and shipping requirements)
  • Self-service package shipping machines (available at the WTC PO currently, and probably many other NYC POs)
  • Staff ALL windows during busiest hours

I stopped in last Wednesday afternoon to test the waters during a time I'm never available to go. Here's what I found:

adelphi long lines, even during the middle of the day
not only is this kiosk void of materials, it's full of TRASH!
...and again, few supplies, but trash all around

11238 is the armpit of the postal service.