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Confidential

Standing in Line for Mail a Bad Way to Start the Day

March 16, 2000|BOOTH MOORE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

It's dumbfounding that post offices and banks have so few staff members working when they open in the morning. Don't they know that most of their customers stop by on the way to work because the post office closes in the middle of the afternoon?

I walked into the Oakwood branch of the post office on Western and 3rd the other day at 8:34 a.m. In the four minutes the place had been open, seven people had already queued, waiting to be helped by a measly two clerks who were on duty.

One of the windows was for Express Mail only, which some guy who breezed in after me explained means "no waiting" as he walked right up to the clerk. That left one woman to help the rest of us pick up packages, buy stamps and mail letters. I felt my blood boil as the guy proceeded to announce to the rest of the people in line that if they had Express Mail envelopes, they, too, could jump to the front.

I looked at the people cutting ahead of me. Some were professionals who were clearly on their way to work, others looked like students, and some were older, retirees perhaps. Which made me vow: When I am retired, I swear I will not hog working people's line time first thing in the morning. I promise not to step foot outside the house until 10 a.m.

My turn finally came at 8:52.

*

Which brings me to my next gripe.

I had no clue what was inside the parcel placed in my hand, and, frankly, I didn't really care anymore. I sliced the package open with my car key and found a jumble of straw inside. For this, I waited 18 minutes?

Groping farther into the box, at last I found the goods: one solitary compact of blush. My order from the beauty Web site, Eve.com. Why is it that everything I've ever ordered online has required me to make a trip to the post office? And furthermore, what a waste of packaging. The environmentalists should jump all over these dot-coms.

The other two products I'd ordered, the invoiced noted, were on back order. So it looks like I'm going to have to wait again for a single eye shadow, and then for a lipstick, too.

I could have gone to a department store and bought all three in less time than it will take to retrieve them from the post office. If you ask me, the whole thing is a dot scam. I'll take my mall over my Mac any day.

*

While I'm on the subject of scams, Darva Conger of "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" fame surfaced again on the "Today Show" Wednesday. You may recall, last month she told Matt Lauer of her plan to return to her normal life. "I never wanted the publicity," she said.

It would appear that she can't get enough. On Wednesday, she divulged that life has not been so great in the aftermath of the wedding-that-wasn't. Her brother died recently, she has had a benign lump removed from her breast and lost her job as an ER nurse at the Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center.

She also told Lauer that she has been besieged with offers to pose nude. (Don't choke: She'll consider only proposals that are "tasteful." Why doesn't she have a problem with nudity? As Conger explained to Lauer: "My father was an artist.")

Who could have guessed? Turns out Conger and Rick Rockwell were a match made in heaven.

Booth Moore can be reached at booth.moore@latimes.com.

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