Community Voices: Are Peachtree City post office woes waning?

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Ongoing complaints about service and upkeep at the Peachtree City post office prompted a recent meeting between city reps and postal officials. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

For a lot of folks in Peachtree City, the P.O. might as well be called the pee-yew.

Years of complaints about the city’s post office came to a head last month after Mayor Vanessa Fleisch wrote to U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan about ongoing reports of long lines, rude staff and spotty deliveries. A meeting between city and state officials and U.S. Postal Service reps on Sept. 7 resulted in a pledge of better employee training and service.

It can’t come soon enough.

Google reviews of the Peachtree City branch are a string of single stars longer than the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Facebook comments decrying “rudeness, lies and laziness” and carriers who refuse (but claim they tried) to deliver larger packages are common. Some customers say their neighborhoods don’t get any delivery at all when it rains. And when birthday gifts and Amazon orders get delayed or lost, the ship(ping) gets real.

There are rumors that the eagle logo at this branch might be replaced with a buzzard, since the building is where time goes to die. I have on many occasions stepped inside, seen the line and turned right around and left. (May I say, however, that I have a wonderful carrier, from a county branch.)

Part of the problem is that Peachtree City, despite its size, has no postmaster of its own. It shares one with Fayetteville (whom Fleisch called “unable or unwilling to address the ongoing problems”). Having no such priority male or female on site could be a big reason why customer service in Peachtree City has been lax. We’d order a replacement if we thought he or she would be delivered before Christmas.

In fairness, postal employees — like anyone else who must deal with the public daily — also find themselves on the receiving end of rude behavior. Years ago I was at the post office when a male customer at another counter started shouting at the clerk and made a derogatory racial comment to her as he stormed out. But before he could reach the lobby door, virtually every person in line behind him yelled back in a chorus of reproach.

Plus, a building that dreary can’t be a positive environment in which to work. Not even the steam coming from the customers’ ears can clean off those gray walls. It needs work: Fresh paint. Warmer lighting. Benches or chairs. Art. A parking lot that isn’t a hopscotch of cracked concrete. Even the U.S. flag out front got so worn it looked like a relic from Iwo Jima. It has now been replaced — a good omen!

Customers have been forwarding themselves to other postal locations, including branches in Tyrone and Senoia that, despite their smaller size, get higher marks for service.

Benjamin Franklin, our nation’s first postmaster general, once noted that “Well done is better than well said.” Let’s hope the efforts of our elected officials can help lick this problem.

If Peachtree City’s post office can regain prompt, friendly and reliable service, it would certainly get everyone’s stamp of approval.

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