Thursday, January 08, 2009

Going Postal

In yet another tale of Pomona dysfunction, my post today is about our local post office. The one on Monterey and White. Our main post office in town. Now my husband has been griping about this forever, but now it's my turn: For many years, our post office has been without a scale in their lobby. If you run in with a letter of unknown weight, you are out of luck unless you stand in the always-very-long line to have a clerk weigh your package.

Last week, Mr. Big and I rushed to the post office to mail off a contest entry to the Lego company. As the package was oversized, I had no idea how much postage to put on it. Mr. Big's big dream in life is to grace the pages of the Lego Magazine, proudly displaying one of his creations, so getting this in the mail was a life or death situation. As I saw the time nearing 5 p.m. as we were still on the road to the post office, I thought to myself, "Oh yeah, they don't have a frickin' scale." But I quickly convinced myself that since nearby Claremont and nearer-by La Verne post offices have sported fancy, self-help computerized scales/postage dispensers for some time now, that surely the Pomona post office had finally entered the 2000's and would have the same.

As Big and I rushed into the post office at 5 p.m., my hopes for Pomona turned into Claremonte poste office envy. The doorman had already locked the inner lobby, which was, as usual, overfilling with people in line. Said doorman could not be convinced to let us in, and confirmed that there was no scale at the inn for us to use. When I started to discuss this obvious deficiency with him, the doorman explained that they used to have a scale in the outer lobby, "But that just didn't work out. No it sure did not." The doorman then suggested I try the La Verne post office, which he advertised was open until 6:30 p.m. and had a scale.

Now personally I find a scale-less post office about as acceptable as our local Stater Bros. not having hand carts for something like 4 years. I immediately announced to Big, who was also in an uproar about the whole thing, that I would write a post on the blog about it. Even 6 year old Big could grasp the cathartic power of an online rant, and with that we were off to La Verne.

Once inside the La Verne post office on upper White, the scene was one of serenity, order and virtual emptiness in comparison to the jam-packed Pomona office. And there in front of us was a working, unoccupied computer containing a scale and postage dispenser.

I know that some people will tell me to stop complaining and get my own postage scale. And perhaps you are right. If there is one thing I love about Pomona, it's that it forces all of us that live here to be creative, self-sufficient, and a little more immune to heartache. But sometimes it really sucks!



Ren said...

Hey Boss did you try the post office up on north garey seems like when I go in there might be 2 or 3 people in there so check it out oh and if you havent done your wash there is a place right next door to it so mail and wash or is wash your mail mmm kind like that one lol

Anonymous said...

The post office in Pomona is horrible. For a city this large that it's main office is such a small rundown place is sad. The employees don't add much magic to the situation either.
Another thing to remember... the Pomona post office takes all of it's daily mail to another dispersal place in City of Industry so if you are near being late on a bill or want a letter to get there fast go to La Verne or Claremont. Pomona adds at least a couple days to your letters journey.
Ironically it's one of the few things that is wrong with Pomona we can't blame city hall for as it is a federal agency.

Anonymous said...

I go to Claremont's post office up the street since I live of the northeastern side of Pomona . Its small fast and friendly. Never been to Pomona's, in fact don't even know where it is. You would think a city of about 200,000 people would have a decent post office. That is rather odd of them not having a scale. Doesn't even make sense. Perhaps the large number of people who would use it would cause it to break and be serviced and replaced often? who knows.

Anduhrew said...

i have a gripe about our postman, i've been avoiding posting about it. He have a slotted mailbox (one that hangs on walls typically) and he often does not put the mail completely in. he just lets it stick out all the way and i've gone up to it and it took almost no effort to put it all the way in. he's just being a pain because he wants me to get a common mail box. but i'm a starving student! i don't have one and they are expensive!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they were having theft or continuous damage with the scale.

pomona's art colonists said...

I like the Pomona Post office. I go there often as I ship items I sell on ebay. There are lines, but you have to time it. Don't go at at opening time 9am or around lunch 12pm or any time after 4pm. Everyone rushes to get there by 5pm and makes it a busy place. I know this is not convenient to time it, but it is a part of being "creative".

I do own a scale and sometimes use PayPal to ship so I can print my postage and just drop it in a box. I'm not sure about the extra day stuff, my clients get their mail right away and our netflix only takes a day. As for the employees, I think they are wonderful people. My friend's mom works there as other cheery clerks. If you don't know Alvis, you're not there often enough. He usually makes a point to break the ice and make everyone in line smile. Zaw also is great and curious about the cool stuff I ship.

I usually plan on about a 15 minute wait, but thats better than the 45 minute drive and turnaround to La Verne. I've been there and have enjoyed the short lines and help yourself scale, but it's sometimes too far. The 6:30 closing is good for those times I'm running late though.

Like Ren says, there are a few alternatives. North Garey and one on Indial Hill close to Holt. There's also the UPS store on Mission and Garey and Postal Annex in the Wallmart area in South Pomona.

I do agree that maybe there should be another main office somewhere in Pomona. This would relieve the congestion of the Monterey office. I also asked one of the clerks about a scale, his answer was "you mean install a jungle gym for the kids to climg all over and break?". So if you're going to the Monterey office, time it, know your alternatives, and smile.

K said...

I try to take the good with the bad in Pomona, but it does kinda rankle that this is a Federally funded service. There's no possible reason for us to have a less-pleasant Post Office than any other town.

I've definitely found the Claremont and Marina del Rey Post Offices to be more pleasant, with shorter lines and less hassle.

And, as long as we're ranting, it appears that they've run out of those small baskets at the Stater Bros -- you now have to use a cart or juggle your food. :-)

John Clifford said...

I've had a long-standing problem with the Pomona PO as well.

As the editor of the Pomona Heritage Newsletter, I get the privilege of mailing it as well. When I started out, I of course, wanting to support our fair city, used our local PO. It took over a week for the Newsletters to get into people's hands. NOT good for time sensitive news. Since then we started using either Claremont, or since Mrs. C works in Diamond Bar, the DBPO. In either case our mailings usually hit the next day (the longest has been 2 days).

I was told that the employees at the Pomona PO tend to look at newsletters as "junk" mail and so don't process it right away, even though it had full first-class postage.

Yes, this was a good subject to rant about. I'm glad that at least PomonaArtsColonist has had good experiences. I just can't afford to even test it again.

calwatch said...

I have to admit I use the La Verne post office a lot too. But there is no excuse why Pomona doesn't have an automated postal machine in the lobby. Most surrounding post offices now have them.

robincgonz said...

I am SO stealing your graphic!

Anonymous said...

I gave up on the Pomona post office a looooong time ago. Thank goodness for La Verne. Along with the self serve kiosk which I often can be found using on Sundays, their staff is professional and efficient.

The preaching Jesus freak that works at Pomona and obsesses over any child under 10 really concerns me. After seeing several mothers scurry out the door, clutching their children closer, after he's practically jumped the counter to hand candy to their children, I wondered why he still has a job. If he doesn't have candy, he'll grab anything not tied down just to have something to give to a child. Scary. When he fills in at Garey Ave., he actually feels free to preach from behind the glass as there are no supervisors nearby. Heaven help any child that goes in to buy stamps for their mom...

Another problem with Pomona post office is that a certain segment of the population thinks it's really a bank. I would love to know how many money orders they send to Mexico each week. That's what usually held up the line when I was in there. The employees aren't all bilingual. Sorry for the rant.

Robin said...

I was at Stater Bros today and commented to the clerk about the new turnstiles at the entrance. He told me there had been too many people filling the red hand baskets with merchandise from the pharmacy aisle, then running out the door and jumping into waiting cars. Hence the disappearance of the baskets and the new exit arrangement.

A year or two ago Staters cut down several trees that provided shade to my favorite parking spots in an effort to keep folks from loitering. I was really steamed about that. Poor people aren't allowed trees. They might sit under them.

The PO is what it is, and I agree with all comments.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

I LOVE our postal carrier. Beyond being super nice, he cares about the community.

Yes, the actual post office needs lots of help. Pass along your concerns to USPS. I called the USPS to place a complaint. After lots of voice prompts, I eventually talked with a very helpful customer service rep who logged my complaint about the absence of an automatic teller AND provided me with a the phone number for our regional consumer affairs office, which is located in Santa Ana. The number is 714-662-6215 . Let's all call to let them know the residents of Pomona expect more.