Kensington’s going ‘Postal’ over poor service

The Brooklyn Paper
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Sometimes, griping gets things done.

That seems to be the case with the Kensington post office on McDonald Avenue. Long a nightmare of lines and unpleasant service, customer complaints prompted Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Park Slope) to demand — and get — improvements from postal poohbahs.

Trained “lobby directors,” who will help customers pick from an often-confusing menu of postal services (what is the difference between registered and certified mail, anyway?), are now dispatched when the lines grow too long. A video monitor in the lobby also allows post office workers to keep tabs on the crowd up front.

“We’re working with the employees to get them to handle more people more efficiently,” explained Postal Service spokesman Tom Gaynor.

DeBlasio had specifically requested the improvements in a Jan. 25 letter that mentioned “numerous calls and letters” that his office had received about poor service at the Kensington station.

But a visit from The Brooklyn Paper on Tuesday afternoon suggested more work needs to be done. Only one window was handling customer business, and the line of antsy patrons stretched to the door. Complaints were plentful, as was contempt for a video that extolled the virtues of the Postal Service. A lobby director did emerge from the back — after a reporter spent several minutes chatting with patrons on line.

“It’s like this every time,” said customer Paulette Dauteuil. “One day, I was here and the line was out the door and around the corner.”

“I never come here without a book,” added Hilarie Goodenough, a hardcover sprawled over her package. “It’s very Kafka in here.”

Assemblyman Jim Brennan (D–Park Slope) will host a public hearing on postal issues on March 1, 6:30 pm, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary School (3002 Fort Hamilton Pkwy. at East Third Street). For information, call (718) 788-7221.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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