Life and the Post Office

Yesterday I walked to my neighborhood post office with a few dozen packages of books to be mailed.

Our regular post office workers were all there including Tommy, a pleasant older gentleman. One thing about Tommy is he has an issue with his right hand which causes him to be a little slower than the others punching in the addresses and handling the postage stamps.

When my turn came Tommy was available and I walked up to his window, My first thought was I had a lot of packages and I was glad the post office wasn’t busy. But as if on cue, people started coming in. Tommy pleasantly started processing my packages as the post office filled up. People were now lined up to the far wall, although six feet apart and wearing masks made it more intimidating than it may have been otherwise.

I was embarrassed for Tommy and I didn’t know the best way to handle it.

Everyone was pleasant except for the post office manager and the other postal workers. They started ‘ribbing’ Tommy in front of me and the rest of the customers. “Tommy need some help?” (without actually helping), “Tommy hurry up!” “Tommy are you sleeping?” and “Tommy what’s the problem?” I was embarrassed for Tommy and I didn’t know the best way to handle it. Do I add my comments to the mix telling them “he’s fine” “leave him alone” “he’s doing a great job” possibly creating more drama or do I stand silently by smiling pleasantly at Tommy offering him a friendly face?

I was most taken with the postal manager who wasn’t actually doing anything to help Tommy or the other customers but was just being rude and judgmental in her loud comments which were in fact slowing the process down because she kept disturbing Tommy.

Finally, after almost an hour the postal manager went to the long line of customers and helped a few of them directly. Then she came up to Tommy and on the last three packages helped him by affixing the postage to the packages.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my experience yesterday and I see many parallels to our everyday life.

How many of us are Tommy’s who are just trying to do the best we can? How many of us are the postal workers giving our unsolicited and unhelpful advice? How many are like the postal manager who has a choice to be helpful through taking action, even small actions to make a positive difference… and doesn’t? And how many are like me and the customers who are watching injustices and drama unfold around us and are unsure of the best thing to do? And how many of us have been each of these at one time or another?

Friends, in this divisive, fear-driven world we are currently living in, I invite everyone to consider holding their judgments and taking more action, even a small action like affixing postage stamps to envelopes to help. Every positive action we can take will return a thousandfold more than our spoken opinions.


Ariel Patricia
Ariel Patricia
Ariel Patricia is CEO and Founder of Sacred Stories Media, a conscious online media network. Sacred Stories Media includes Sacred Stories Publishing, an award-winning book publishing, and marketing company, Garnet Press a self-publishing and marketing division, Sacred U an online course division, podcasting, and The Owl magazine. As an ordained interfaith, interspiritual minister and a sacred storyteller Ariel Patricia believes it is time to raise the vibration of our planet to one of respect and honor for the sacred nature of ourselves and for all living beings. The sharing of our hearts and wisdom through our works is a powerful beginning. Ariel Patricia is ordained from One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York and she has earned her Masters of Arts in Education and her Bachelors of Science in Business. She worked in the corporate and educational worlds for many years and proudly served six years as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. On a more personal note, she is a mom, an obsessive coffee drinker – Ariel Patricia drinks it black like any good former Marine does and is the best friend of her little dog Bear. She is a contributing author to the inspiring books; Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


  1. I have been in that same situation before and purposely choose the cashier who needs extra patience. We don’t know the power of our words when we just say something kind to the person being ridiculed. Last year I was at the airport for hours due to delayed flights. (Pre-COVID) I went to the coffee shop three times during the day. The barista who had brewed my order previously waited on my and took my order the next time. I asked her if she was going to make my order. She hesitantly said yes. I told that was good because she made it just right the last time. I can’t describe the bright eyes and wide smile that literally shown from her face. I went away feeling like that was the first time anyone had ever complimented her. Words have power.

  2. I’m not sure I wouldn’t be able to contain my self. It’s just not right to witness… I’ve been in too many leadership roles and this is just not right. When a customer complains… there’s a lot of clout.. well for most places . I hope you called this in. It’s undignified and unacceptable. They should see this article…. good for you for speaking out Re. Patricia🙏 Thank you for sharing this