Through an evening of waiting in line, begging for stamps, asking where to mail their envelopes and checks, last-minute tax filers found a surprising camaraderie at the post office Monday night.
Outside the Santa Ana Processing and Distribution Center on Sunflower Avenue, some taxpayers brought coffee for the postal workers accepting envelopes from "drive-by filers," said Mike Campbell, a postal worker on the job until midnight. Some people were so grateful for a post office open late, they offered to wait in the traffic line again to bring workers a pizza. "I'll get you double cheese and pepperoni," one filer yelled out as he drove away.
Guy O'Ffill of Orange took pity on a man who had no stamps. He reached into his back pocket and offered him postage, advice on where to mail his return, assurance that "everything's going to be OK."
"We're all in this together, so might as well try to be nice about it," said O'Ffill, 38.
This year's tax day--the deadline for filing state and federal returns--was typical, postal officials said, with neither more nor fewer people than usual in line. "It's the same every year. People just wait," said Melissa Basco, area manager at the Santa Ana office. "But it is fun too. We get to get out and be with people."