In the wee hours of Friday morning, I found myself in need of a stamp. Sadly, the Post Office half a mile from my house mysteriously removed their stamp machines some time ago, so I’ll have to turn elsewhere.
No problem, I think, the US Bank (an account I’ve kept open for no reason other than occasional fee-free ATM usage) is just as close and the ATM sells stamps. And so, off I go. After I go through the dozen or so steps necessary to purchase stamps the ATM informs me that my card has expired and asks if I want another transaction. Another transaction? WTF? No, thank you, just give me back my useless card.
So, I return home to search for the ATM card which I assume came, unnoticed, in the mail. No luck. If the card came, it apparently made its way, unnoticed, into the trash. OK, plan B. I can use the debit card for my primary account, pay a fee to everyone involved, and get my stamps. I return to the ATM, only to discover that neither of the possible PIN’s which come to mind will work so I’m thwarted once more.
Dejected, I turn for home and when I’m almost there I realize Fulmer’s (the very conveniently-located grocery store which I hate and never shop at) is open 24 hours and sells stamps. I turn around, zip over to Fulmer’s (which looks suspiciously dark) and head for the door. As I approach the doors a man inside meets me and indicates that they’re closed, they don’t open until 6. Huh, apparently they are no longer open 24 hours.
So after all of this, I head to the Kroger across town where I normally do my grocery shopping, which I know for certain was still open 24 hours as recently as last week. It is open. Victory is mine! Naturally the only cashier working is taking her break, and naturally, the guy filling in for her is unfamiliar with the stamp selling protocol, but after a few false-starts I finally have my stamps.
I place a stamp on my envelope, drive back across town to the Post Office right by my house (you know, the one where they took out the fucking stamp machines) and drop it in the mail. A mere 2 hours after I started this little adventure, I was safely back at home.
And that, friends, is how hard it is to buy stamps.