04 September 2008

Religious extremism, United States Postal Service edition

An open letter to the USPS (which I also sent directly to the VP of Consumer Affairs and to the whole damn Board of Governors for good measure):

To the USPS:

I wish to bring to your attention a disturbing display of unprofessional behavior on the part of a postal worker that I experienced while conducting business at a USPS location in Montana. I appreciate your time and your willingness to ensure that this problem is dealt with in the appropriate manner.

On Monday, August 11, 2008, at approximately 3:30pm, I visited the Grant Contract Station (1 Grant Village, Yellowstone, WY 82190) to mail a postcard. The name of the teller who worked with me is Ms. [blocked out]; Ms. X and I were the only people in the room at the time of this encounter. In the course of our transaction, Ms. X initiated ordinary small-talk with me, asking what was in the news that day. I mentioned the death of Isaac Hayes and Russia's invasion of Georgia, but was not forthcoming with any further information. Ms. X then lamented, in a general and inoffensive manner, the violent nature of human history (in reference to Russia's actions), with which I casually concurred.

At this moment, as I was preparing to leave, Ms. X suddenly asked me, "Are you a Christian?" Being rather taken aback by this unexpected question, I reluctantly answered, after which she asked me the follow-up question, "Do you believe in God?" When it became apparent that I did not share her personal religious beliefs, Ms. X asked me whether she could give me some literature to read. She reached behind the counter and handed me a copy of a tract published by the Watchtower Society, entitled What does the Bible Really Teach? She then pulled out her personal business card, wrote her personal cell phone number on it, and told me to let her know what I thought after I had read the literature in question. I have enclosed both of these items for your reference and examination.

Here, I come to the point: it is deeply inappropriate for an employee of the federal government to use her office as a personal pulpit for the dissemination of her religious beliefs. It is unacceptable that I should have been asked by a postal worker, in the course of a professional transaction, anything at all about my religious beliefs – to say nothing of having religious propaganda foisted on me.

I trust that you share my deep conviction that offices of the federal government are no place for religious proselytizing, or any type of unsolicited discussion of a religious nature. The postal service has been so vital to the smooth functioning of our society, from the time of Benjamin Franklin to the present day; it is regrettable to see it so abused by an unfettered agent leveraging her office toward the advancement of private objectives. I am grateful for your work in advocating on behalf of consumers, and I thank you for dealing with this matter in accordance with whatever disciplinary procedures your office deems appropriate.

I remain

Sincerely yours,

Donald Rump


Pepper said...

Here here! Well written, sir!

I had a similarly frustrating experience at a post office in Washington, DC two days ago, although it was tremendous rudeness and personal affront that was foisted upon me, not religious inquisition and print media.

iWant said...

Great post. Finally. Not to say the preceding posts weren't great. Just too few of them. You started out 2008 with a bang. Are you all reading "A New Earth" or some other self help shit book? I can't wait on another postal worker in Montana to piss one of you off, so please start being a little bit more emo.

mollie said...

wow, that is insane. good for you! let us know if you get a response...