Standing in line at the Onondaga post office, in the outer Mission in between Mission and Alemany I experienced an amazing moment of humanity this afternoon. I had just entered and was standing in the back of the line. A white guy around 35 years old, was yelling expletives at the post office teller, complaining that they did not have the correct size box. He was trying to mail a new skateboard deck and it did not fit in the standard size boxes. “What the fuck! We are living in California. No fuckin’ skateboard boxes. What the hell is this place? Give me a fucking box that will work!” At that moment a woman in line told the guy “Please stop swearing and treat the postal worker with some respect.” The guy then sort of softened and confessed that his best friend had recently died and that he was in a real bad way. He then tried to shove the skateboard into the box that was too small. Eventually, using two boxes and getting help from two people in line, they got the skateboard packed up. The woman, then at the teller expressed her condolences in a kind way. “ I am sorry for your loss.” “Yeah, it has been really hard.”
San Francisco. A place of many people. Asian, black, white, arab, latino all standing in that post office line, and at that moment the very fabric of society was at stake. Do we as a society accept the concept of people being rude and abusive to one another? Is this a form of entertainment? Do we think that acting like a two year old when you are an adult is adequate? At that moment, the character of San Francisco was on display and we moved forward one small step. Civility and empathy these days seems to be in short supply but I witnessed it there in the Onondaga post office.
A big thanks and shout out to Sandy Cressman. She was that woman in line at the Onondaga post office bringing some humanity to the situation.