27 February 2008

Going postal, straight up with a twist

The Online Etymology Dictionary has this to say regarding the phrase "going postal":

Online Etymology Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
"pertaining to the mail system," 1843, on model of Fr. postale (1836), from post (3). Noun meaning "state of irrational and violent anger" (usually in phrase going postal) attested by 1997, in ref. to a cluster of news-making workplace shootings in U.S. by what were commonly described as "disgruntled postal workers" (the cliche itself, though not the phrase, goes back to at least 1994).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

I propose a slightly different interpretation, one dedicated to disgruntled postal customers rather than employees. The ones who, for example, stood in a long line to pick up a package, waiting patiently, ok that's a lie, waiting impatiently while the ONE postal worker poked around in the back trying to figure out someones package mix-up (shocking). The ones who, when they FINALLY get to the front of the line because FINALLY some other postal worker came over to help, are told, "Sorry, can't find your package. Are you sure you didn't already pick it up?" Pretty sure, yup. "Have you come in recently to pick up a package?" Is that a trick question? No, I haven't. "You haven't already picked this package up?" Ok let me think about that again. Had I already picked it up, I wouldn't be at the post office now, and don't you guys takes these little mail notices when the packages are picked up? Uh, yeah. So like I said, you have the package. "Ok we have to ask your mail carrier. We'll call you." That sounds like the kiss of death. We'll call you. As in "Don't call us, we'll call you." What is this mysterious package?? Who sent it to me? What does it contain? I wasn't expecting anything, and now I'm dying to know what it is I stood in line thirty minutes for, and then another twenty while they "looked" for it.

They seem to have it pretty cush, these postal workers. They go about their business nice and slowwww, they don't care if there's a line a mile long, they're going on break when they damn well please! It's we, the poor customers, who are angry. We deserve vengeance!

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