A sour mail-female relationship

The U.S. Postal Service has had 232 years to hone the craft of delivering mail, but in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, residents are nearly as likely to get their neighbors’ missives as their own.

Or, as Clinton Avenue resident Lois Spangler put it, the mail service is “A-bys-mal. Atrocious. Horrendous.”

“I’ve lived in various parts of Texas and South Carolina, and I briefly lived in Jersey,” said Spangler. “I’ve suffered rude treatment but decent service, and poor service but reasonable treatment. But never poor treatment and poor service.”

She’s not the only resident sending verbal mail bombs to the post office.

“We’re in a three-family building, and every once in a while, we’ll go three days without a single piece of mail for the whole building — not even junk mail!” complained Nathan Gendzier, an Adelphi Street resident.

When Gendzier does get mail, at least twice a week, it’s his neighbors’. And then there’s that one time he received a letter intended for Nebraska (both states do start with an “N,” after all).

It probably goes without saying, but the laundry list of complaints also includes a few about rude post office workers.

“One time I went in at 8 am — purportedly the time the post office opens — and was told, after standing in line for 10 minutes, that though the post office opens at 8 am, the counter doesn’t open till 9:30,” recalled Spangler. “[There was] a complete lack of sympathy.”

Spangler no longer trusts her neighborhood postal workers; she uses the post office that services her work address instead.

Fortunately for Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and the rest of the borough, the U.S. Postal Service is taking action.

Spokesman Tom Gaynor said the USPS is forming a “Brooklyn postal advisory council with representatives from each of the community boards” — one of only three citywide. “They will meet monthly with postal officials to address postal issues.”

Even better, “We recently put an automatic postal center at [the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene post office], which can do about 80 percent of transactions.”

To see the new service in action, I ventured to the Myrtle Avenue station, between Grand Avenue and Ryerson Street, to mail my little sister her birthday gift (she’s turning 19! Isn’t that sweet?).

Things are looking up. I used the new automatic machine to pay for the postage on my package, and a nice (!) post office worker actually helped me navigate the new system. I was in and out of there in five minutes.

Whether the package gets to Maine by Friday remains to be seen.

The Kitchen Sink

They are politicians, and they want less money. You read us right. Assemblymen Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene), and Karim Camara (D–Crown Heights) announced that they will voluntarily restrict fundraising activities in Albany while the legislature is in session, prohibit contributions from individual employees of organizations that receive member item funding; ban “soft money” contributions; and decline donations from Assembly employees. …

Brooklyn’s natural side has inspired a series of artworks by local artists, now on display at St. Joseph’s College in an exhibition called “Brooklynature: On the Gallery Walls.” For information, call (718) 399-6755 or visit www.sjcny.edu. …

Foodies, mark your calendars! On March 31, Pratt Institute will host its annual International Food Fair, with delectable cuisine from Guyana, Iran, and Colombia, not to mention live entertainment. Tickets cost a mere $1 per plate — a bargain. The chowing down begins at noon in the ARC Building on the Pratt campus (200 Willoughby Ave., between Hall Street and Classon Avenue). For information, call (718) 636-3674 or visit www.pratt.edu.

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