There I was at my local Post Office.
I wasn’t even representing my mother or father; both have passed away. Rather, I was striving to perform a simple Change of Address update on my own behalf. Though successful, I remain incredulous over what it took to accomplish a SINGLE short and easy procedure.
Step 1: Survived Without Blowing a Gasket
Picture me standing in a growing line-up because one lowly clerk was on duty during core business hours. I was admittedly operating under tight timeframes but not as stressed as irate customers behind me.
Constantly checking my watch, I noticed my wait time escalate through ten, fifteen and twenty minutes. Meanwhile, the exasperated woman holding us up craned around to whisper a silent “sorry”.
Finally, it was my turn. Duly, I presented the infallible paperwork that proved the ground-work had been established as to where I currently reside and where I am moving to.
Step 2: Mission Accomplished
The unhelpful (helpless?) bureaucrat claimed she could not assist me the first time around because apparently the only operational store computer was tied up by the desperate mother ahead of me striving to support her daughter to complete their own Change of Address form!
Not even calling the hapless clerk’s supervisor made a difference. All I know is I had to “abandon” my first try. However, you can rest assured the experience taught me to “travel” (a 15-minute walk away) with every possible mitigating strategy my clever brain could summon the second time around.
Step 3: At What Cost?
Hopefully, I approached the counter. Luckily, the computer was working. With every positive intention I could muster, I produced documents as required – forms, my Passport photo as I.D. because I don’t drive and proof of the new address.
So far so good, right? No, it was not good enough to tender a legal document with my signature! Now, she needed to see my written name, in print. Luckily, I located a reference amongst my stack of papers where she could fill in the blank on her screen. It was when I was asked to produce evidence of my current address (though it was right on her form!!!), that I thought I would lose it. Unfortunately (sarcastically), I had not arrived at the outlet – a second time – with my latest utility bill. Would you have thought to do so?
In the end, I guess she located some measure of discretion and thought better of sending me away for a third return. Smart move!
Implications for Caregivers
Now, why do I go into such detail about one incident that took less than 30 minutes out of my life?
I couldn’t help but think about beleaguered caregivers throughout this ridiculous ordeal. What if I were trying to perform this so-called straightforward transaction on behalf of parents because they’d moved to a retirement facility? The mail has to go somewhere!
Rather than fury, my sentiment became empathy. I was reminded anew why you need support from a listening and coaching ear. Your load is already crushing. You don’t need this kind of nonsense!
Please reach out at (905) 822-2503 or www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com to gain relief – today!