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March   8

What's Wrong With This Picture?


There are some killjoys hell bent on making a trip to the post office a completely joyless experience. Remember the happy ending with the birds who were removed, then returned to the Watchung Plaza post office following a petition asking for their reinstatement? Unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished -- now everything that gave this Post its personality has been removed. Lucille Ball memorabilia - gone, four parakeets, gone (given away to customers), local signed celebrity pix - gone, and most of the lush potted plants, were banished at the insistence of post office marketing muckity mucks who want all the branches to have a standardized look where nothing detracts from those exciting product displays. Needless to say, folks behind the counter are not thrilled. In fact, a peace quilt made by Montclair children and a framed American flag -- both received following the 1995 shooting at the branch's former location on Fairfield Street -- also came into question, but employees fought for those to stay.

Workers tell us..."They want it to be a normal everyday post office, just a place where people come in to get stamps." Since when does normal mean void of any personality? And what's next? Will pleasantries and chit chat at the counter be outlawed, too?

March 8, 2006 in Seen around town | Permalink


I was actually in the post office when it was undergoing an inspection the other day and the workers were fighting hard to keep the framed poem that hangs on the wall. I am glad that the plant was removed - it creeped me out and made the "lobby" feel cramped but the rest of the stuff gave the post office some charm.

Posted by: caris | Mar 8, 2006 12:51:37 PM

One of the people killed was a friend &
neighbor of mine. I remember that day very clearly.
(the above- what's wrong w/ this picture)
I stopped there about 2 weeks ago & it was closed... no one knew why.. I guess they were removing the "offending" objects.
Very sad!

Posted by: JT | Mar 8, 2006 12:54:35 PM

I wish they'd apply the same sense of simplicity to the postal codes as well.

I used to send (very often) small packages of booklets. Thin booklets in flat cardboard envelopes. Because they were not at least 1/4" in thickness they could only go first class and not the cheaper "book rate" (even though they were books!).

Solution? I would stick one Styrofoam "peanut" in each package so it would be the desired thickness. I saved hundreds a year.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 8, 2006 12:59:24 PM



Posted by: Left Of Center, like Suzanne Vega | Mar 8, 2006 1:03:16 PM

Full of TEXT only LOC!

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 8, 2006 1:20:54 PM

It is too bad that the one post office in this area with personality and an interest from the employees in making a dull spot attractive, has to be marketed with boxes and signs. An attempt to brighten a place up and the technique might prevent other post offices from having the ' gone postal' occurances - maybe US PO should REQUIRE all PO's to have local personalities with framed pictures posted, , birds and bright plants as decor - rather than bland and boring.

Posted by: adriana otoole | Mar 8, 2006 2:23:04 PM

> An attempt to brighten a place up and the technique might prevent other post offices from having the 'gone postal' occurances

Brightening a place up is nice and all, but I think it would be pretty far down on the list of things that contribute to violence in the workplace.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 8, 2006 2:30:02 PM

Can't wait for the welcoming bulletproof glass to be installed like at Glenridge Ave.

Posted by: ccc | Mar 8, 2006 2:31:41 PM

"I used to send (very often) small packages of booklets."

Republican propaganda, no doubt. The Montclair PO should ban that stuff. This is a liberal town, ROC. Get with the program!

Posted by: walleroo | Mar 8, 2006 3:19:30 PM

If anyone would like to email a complaint regarding this or any other issue, you can use the form at this tiny url: http://tinyurl.com/lc5zg

Posted by: Krys O. | Mar 8, 2006 4:37:04 PM

That's email the USPS, btw.

Posted by: Krys O. | Mar 8, 2006 4:37:50 PM

I thought the government was getting past the notion that all its facilities needed to resemble the prison system.

I was never in the branch you're talking about but the North Center one in Bloomfield has a very interesting character working there.

Posted by: echriscopal | Mar 8, 2006 9:50:24 PM

Whoever ordered the birds, pictures and plants removed should be fired. The employees who brought those things in should be commended and honored. I thank them for bringing some humanity and grace to the mind-numbing postal office box. What small little boring minds are at work, killing the spirit of the employees and the public? Get another job postal overlords and leave us the f--- alone!

Posted by: rantman | Mar 8, 2006 11:24:02 PM


Posted by: MONTCLAIR TEEN | Mar 9, 2006 6:09:28 AM

I agree with you, Rantman, but we're dealing the US gubmint here so don't expect miracles.

Posted by: Miss Martta (8T) | Mar 9, 2006 7:00:10 AM

Is there asa petition we can sign,to support a lillte creative joy in life? We mail a parcel & then leave, the workers have to remain in there all day. Let's bring the birds & Lucy back.

Posted by: linda Ippolito | Mar 9, 2006 9:05:16 AM

Linda, you can email or call the USPS to lodge a complaint. They actually do respond.

Posted by: Krys O. | Mar 9, 2006 9:13:23 AM

Time for the USPS to tune-in to their customer base or more folks will be heading to FedEx and the UPS Store!

Posted by: Franklin | Mar 9, 2006 10:22:51 AM

I called their Consumer Affairs office at 973-468-7047 and lodged a complaint. I encourage you to do the same.

Posted by: Cassie | Mar 9, 2006 10:59:24 AM

and - instead of clearing out the walls and counters - they should be supplying the post office with 1 ( one) cent stamps - since the postage went up on post cards - you'd think they could be ready to market those items!!!
there were none a few weeks ago, and still none......

Posted by: adriana otoole | Mar 9, 2006 3:29:14 PM

Have you been to a Fedex lately? They're starting to act an awful lot like the USPO. Better to send email.

Posted by: walleroo | Mar 9, 2006 3:41:42 PM



Posted by: Franklin | Mar 9, 2006 5:28:31 PM

what did happen to Fedex? I used to get misty eyed at the mere mention of their name (they saved my butt so many times).

Now, they are awful. I can't stand them. Not to mention I have had many "guaranteed packages" arrive late.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 9, 2006 5:34:40 PM


If your anecdotal tale is true, someday Fed-Ex will be history.

Once you start to talk your customers for granted the competition will move in.

Posted by: Franklin | Mar 9, 2006 5:48:55 PM

Compaints can Be made At usps.gov or District Office's in Newark... I believe the district Manager is a Mr. Diglio

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