On Monday March 16th around 4:15 PM I came into the Hartnell Street USPS office to mail a package.
Only 2 people in line. Quick "may I help you" call from one of 4 or 5 clerks.
My clerk was a pleasant and helpful Hispanic man.
As grateful as I was to get helped so quickly, I immediately noticed something about my clerk that made me feel insecure.
He was sniffling constantly. Not just once or barely. He was pulling sniffs back in his nose to try to contain whatever discharge was coming through it.
It was so effecting him, he had to turn and do this with his back to me and I "think" he pulled his arm up tp his face while his back was facing me, I assume to clean his nasal area? Not 100% sure of this but fairly sure.
At another point just a few minutes into my transaction the clerk actually sneezed!
Maybe the forearm to the face when his back was turned was to keep from sneezing again?
The clerk's sniffling was so constant and animated and after he sneezed, I spontaneously and concernedly asked him "I hope what you have is a cold?"
Meaning I hoped it wasn't a sign he had the coronavirus?
I am almost 70. Like everyone else and especially in my older age group I am very,very worried about this new virus.
The clerk responded to my "cold" question with a calm but brief one word answer ..."Allergies."
Outside of my close physical position to the clerk, my other physical contacts with him included being handed a writing pen, handed a shipping label and handed a $20 bill after my debit card payment and "cash back" entry with it.
After I left the clerk and the Post Office I couldn't get the clerks pronounced sniffling and sneezing encounter totally out of my typical virus concerned thoughts.
Perhaps overly worrying, I still pondered not just the clerk's condition and his answer to my question about this but how obviously out-of-place his choosing to work so closely with the public while afflicted with it was.
His symptoms were the worst possible ones to have and that would obviously scare anyone seeing and being so close to them in this coronavirus anxiety times.
I wondered why the other clerks didn't notice their fellow clerk's sniffling and sneezing as it was animated and loud enough ( one was just 10 feet away) to see and hear in my opinion.
And I also pondered my service clerk's self-determined "allergies" diagnosis. Had he had this confirmed by a medical doctor?
Did he have a coronavirus swab test to eliminate that possible condition? In this environment nobody should assume runny noses and sneezing is a benign symptom.
And then I thought about his "allergy" statement.
I'm no expert on allergies but I realized that before this day, we had 4 or 5 separate spells of rain from heavy to light in our area here over a two week time frame.
That amount of rain in that time period has totally washed away any pollen that we had seen in the warm latter February days over two weeks ago.
I am writing this comment not to personally charge or indict or harm the sniffling and sneezing clerk I dealt with on Monday afternoon.
I am commenting on my experience that day to make the USPS in our town more aware of their employees personal health conditions, especially ones who deal so personally with a stream of customers like mine and in this hyper-concerned virus time.
I am concerned that because my clerk's symptoms were so obvious. animated and constant, that none of his fellow work mates didn't notice or perhaps even address them.
They were so animated and obvious to me, that I spontaneously felt compelled to tell the clerk " I hope that's a cold."
I would never just blurt out such a specific question to a service clerk anywhere without a clear, rational and strong motivating reason to do so.
I have been more than worried about what I encountered at our local USPS office since then.
We live at 2070 Via Taormina in Monterrey ca.
Today we had our front door open and our dogs were outside and barked at our mail carrier. We immediately came out and got the dogs and apologized. However our carrier used profanity at us in an inappropriate manner.
She made the accusation that our dogs are aggressive. Our dogs have never bitten anyone and although they bark (from inside or out back yard) when the mail carrier deliver that have never been out when she delivers the mail. This was a first.
We have always tried to have the dogs inside when mail is delivered. Again this was a first.
We are sorry our dogs were outside and barked at her but we do not appreciate being sworn at.
BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE THE REFUSED TO GIVE ME AN APPOINTMENT TO RENEW MY PASSPORT
FIRST WE DO NEW PASSPORT
SECOND HE SAID WE RENEW PASSPORT EXPIRED FOR ONE YEAR OR 5 YEARS .
ALL OF NONSENSE OF POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE THEY DOSE NOT WANT TO DO THEIR DUTY.
NO WOUNDER NOBODY LIKE US POST SERVIE