Post Office Meltdown: Customer Flips Out On Video At Brooklyn Post Office

This camera phone video clip is from last December, but the post office where the incident occurred has been drawing some sharp criticism in recent days. Could it be the worst post office in all of New York City? From the Daily News:

“Get the manager over here!” screams the unidentified customer to a postal employee behind a counter window. “I want the manager. We’ll see how long you have your job, sweetie.”

After several minutes of the customer’s rant, three police officers respond to the scene, but the 5-minute, 43-second clip ends too soon to see what happens next.

A Police Department spokesman told the Daily News that the man was released after he was given a verbal warning, but there was no record of his name because he was not arrested.

It’s unclear what tipped the customer over the edge.

“Who the hell do you think you are?” the employee is heard yelling at the male customer as others look on.

“I’m the customer, you stupid bitch,” the man responds.

As crazy as this guy seems, from what we hear about this post office, he may have been under-reacting. —MEGHANN MARCO

Online vid shows post-office meltdown
[Daily News via Gothamist]

Comments

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  1. bossco says:

    Regardless on what was wrong, no employee, private or government, should ever be called the names this jerk was doing. Obviously this guy was “going postal”.

  2. Brnin8r says:

    I live in Williamsburg, another part of Brooklyn to those of you don’t know, and I went to my local post office today. I had a letter I wanted to mail, but I knew I needed more than the regular amount of postage. I got there around 45 minutes before closing time (6:15 p.m.) to see the line over halfway to the door. I looked around to see how many people were working behind the safety glass. I saw one register open. I figured, “What the hell, might as well.” Around 6:45 p.m. I had worked my way up to only third in line. The line behind me had grown to at least twice as long as it was since I got there. They finally had someone come out to handle the pick-ups. That helped out a lot. By the time I got up to the safety glass, it was 6:57 p.m. The guy, Edward, refused to use the mic and tried to talk to me through the money slot in a tone of voice I would have had to strain to hear if we were the only two in the room. I understand this guy’s frustration.

  3. patoco12 says:

    I suppose he got the Postmaster’s number from The Consumerist! Another job well done.

  4. cedarpointfan says:

    Watch out for the gays! Haha

  5. Skylar says:

    Flaming retard ANGRY!

  6. infinitysnake says:

    I feel for the guy, even if he did screw up by calling names. I recently stood for twenty-five minutes at the head of the line at my post office, with twenty-odd people behuind me, while postal workers drifted in and out of the room, fiddled with registers, and left. Not once did any of them speak to us or even attempt eye contact. When one guy finally lost his cool, everyone else stood behind him- we all refused to step up to the register until they brough out the supe. he requested. Haven’t been back, either- I go to the UPS store now.

  7. homerjay says:

    “I’m the customer, you stupid bitch,”

    and with that we have the winning slogan for the new Consumerist tee shirt.

    What do I get? :)

  8. reykjavik says:

    This is my post office and I have to agree that it is by far the worst post office I have ever used. There are at least 15 windows available for workers and I’ve never seen more than 4 people behind them at any given time.

    The people behind them are so slow, apathetic, and obnoxious its really kind of funny. The greatest part about that post office is that they try to push you off on to the automated machines, but there are never any express or priority boxes available and your only hope of getting one is if the people behind the counter have one. So you have to wait on line (for 30 minutes minimum), in order to use the automated machines!!! Classic brooklyn ghetto style!!

  9. emax4 says:

    Eh, after reading the story, I kinda feel bad for the guy, but he lost his cool. No matter how bad the service is, you don’t call someone a stupid beotch. If you were on the other side of the glass having to deal with the customer, would someone calling you that name inspire you to work harder or service the customer better? It may get the job done quickly, but you can bet that if you won’t be back, you’ll get worse service the next time. Keep in mind that the postal employees can look up your address. So if the guy in the video did get the person’s job, you can bet the fired employee would indeed “go postal” on the customer.

    I think this needs to be in the Consumerists library under “How NOT to get better service”

  10. FezMan88 says:

    It sounds like some sort of discrimination/being passed over for something.

  11. enzo says:

    Honestly, I don’t care how bad the service was. Unless the employee raped his mother and pissed on his cat, he has absolutely no right to act like that. Take your business elsewhere, don’t act like a subhuman.

  12. Stepehn Colbert says:

    i think he was just overly joyed about the forever stamp.

  13. govkid201 says:

    wow. and thats whats wrong with people today.

  14. Scazza says:

    Look, even the service to get the manager out was bloody slow as hell… If a customer asks for a manager, they need to get him. The guy is just eccentric… Look how they handled it, horrible people who work there.

  15. Rajio says:

    @enzo: its the post office …. the government. where else is he supposed to take his business?

  16. mac-phisto says:

    why is it that every post office has a dozen windows & only one person working?

    3 cops to respond to a disturbance call. wish you could get that kind of service for a mugging.

  17. WhatsMyNameAgain says:

    Hahahahahhahaha!!!! I know that guy!!!!! He certainly is crazy. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that he did this. He’s really really nuts. I know him… Well enough. More than I’d like to, we’ll say. His name is Richard.

  18. aRrr-k says:

    @Rajio: FedEx. DHL. UPS. etc. All of which are happy to deliver anything you pay them to, and unlike the Post Office, will provide you a tracking number that actually works.

  19. Helvetian says:

    @aRrr-k: You are limited with those courier, such as ground mail, lower rates, PO Box shipments, etc. As far as the customer, I am sure he was impugned or antagonized to the point of him getting hostile. USPS is horrible, the employees are often ill-informed, lazy, and rude. They can be very condescending when explaining how to mail things and forms, etc. I’ve seen so many of these types that talk back, vilify and belittle customers at the windows.

    When asked for the manager, they should have complied. The postal employee handled the situation very unprofessionally. Rule #1 is to never engage in an argument with a customer, it’s never good and you’ll always look bad doing so. I was stunned to see her refer back to him several times. Typical horrible USPS – not surprised.

  20. youngatheart says:

    WTF ?? This is nothing compared to the DAILY dealings at the Forest Hills branch .

  21. Havok154 says:

    @Helvetian:

    It’s a government job, they don’t have to try.

  22. karmaghost says:

    I work in a customer service position and am pretty mad at this particular office after watching this video. I’d make some harsh comments, but I don’t feel like losing my gawker commenting accounts.

  23. hop says:

    i guess i’ve been lucky with the postal service so far….except for one postmaster that had been promoted to the job that was way out of his ability to handle, the postal people have been a-one around here……

  24. LetMeGetTheManager says:

    At the very beginning, when he starts saying “Get the manager over here, I want the manager”, it almost sounds like Governor Arnold is demanding to see the manager.

    Just wish the person behind the counter could have kept their cool a little better, but when confronting with something like that it must be hard.

  25. faust1200 says:

    “Dear Diary, Today some people were mean to me at the post office. I went there to mail my grandmother’s angel cake recipe to Charles and Bruce. They were very insensitive towards me. How dare they, who do they think they are? I think I will go sleep kicking and screaming and biting my pillow. And one more thing wait this pen is running out of ink, how dare you pen!!!Who do y…..”

  26. LuvJones says:

    @Mac-Phisto

    It WAS a disturbance at the POST OFFICE just be glad they didn’t bring the SWAT team!

  27. numberoneshaqfan says:

    Judging by his speech patterns, this guy is obviously has some sort of mental issue going on.

    From the customer service point of view though I see both sides of this. As someone who works in retail, we have a woman that goes off like this every few months complaining about someone for the stupidest things and everyone, worker and customer alike laugh at her and then the managers come out and laugh at her too. It’s quite amusing.

    On the other hand, I actually attend to customer needs and everywhere I’ve worked it has been my specialty. And I can see how people could get mad at someone if they just didn’t care. It’s very annoying. Especially with something as important to the USPS. I’m in Brooklyn and I can attest to them doing absolutly nothing to help a situation.
    I’m so disenfranchised by them that I recently had to mail a VHS tape overnight and paid $50 at UPS just because I trust them more as a service.

  28. gardencat says:

    Not knowing the complete story, I still think that no matter how verbally abusive this customer was, the employee should have tried to respond to this angry man in a more professional manner instead of fuelling the fire with her counter abusive comments.

  29. p2502 says:

    Theres’ just no reason to conduct yourself in that manner. and for his efforts and sheer obnoxiousness i hope this asshat get raped to death with a road flare.

    this “i’m a customer, treat me like a sacred cow” bullshit is so pathetically juvenile it’s sickening.

  30. superlayne says:

    Watch out! He might disgruntle the postal workers! D:

  31. dantsea says:

    OK, everyone involved in that exchange is out of bounds. The customer had no right being abusive, and the employee was wrong for reacting.

    That said, I can really identify with the frustration with obnoxious or rude customer service experiences that eventually led to him screaming “I’m the customer, you stupid bitch!”

    But not with the Seattle USPS employees. They’ve always been very nice and helpful.

  32. Justinh6 says:

    Quite a creepy guy.

    He obviously didn’t have much to do that day, ranting for five minutes in a busy post office.

    I think he’s a bit mentally challenged.

    Anybody know why he was so irate?

  33. popeivory says:

    I know. That’s my post office and they are HORRIBLE there. I imagine that sort of thing happens pretty often in 11218 but people just don’t always have their cellphone video recorders at the ready. Our neighborhood just had a meeting to try and figure out what to do about this particular post office (I didn’t go).

  34. raceroh says:

    Head line should have read:Loose cannon or flame thrower?

  35. a says:

    I know someone with Aspbergers Syndrome, and he has almost the same inflection as this guy (minus the lisp). From what I understand, Aspbergers affects an understanding of how to react in social situations.

    And, well, even if it’s not that, I think this guy is a few stamps short of a stamp book, if you catch my drift.

  36. MikeWas says:

    @p2502: “Raped to death with a road flare” – no, he’d have to a U-Haul customer for that.

  37. OnceWasCool says:

    Why didn’t the big fairy just kill her with his evil eye, or just sing the liar liar pants on fire.

  38. Trai_Dep says:

    Ironic that the three policemen arrived quicker than the time it took for the supervisor to walk 12ft to speak to the customer.

    Dealing w/ irrate customers isn’t that hard. Lots of nodding, listening then working out something that’s amenable to both parties. PaTHEtic that they called the police for some shouting guy.

  39. Outtacontext says:

    It’s a government job, they don’t have to try.

    @Havok154: As a government worker (who works hard) and a former postal carrier, I think that’s a bit unfair.

    And, may I add I speak for all government workers, except those Republican appointees in the Bush administration. They may work hard but not in the way I want them to.

  40. billybastion says:

    the thing thats so fascinating to me about all of this is the fact everyone else is just quietly standing in line going about their postal business.

    how did they not punch him in the face?

    im all for complaining and making sure people do their jobs well and right, but after a while it seems like someone making such a fuss (even if they were right) would get really annoying.

  41. Namilia says:

    I used to work as a USPS customer service rep (call center) and customers being treated this way was a VERY common complaint for me to hear, some were like this guy demanding the person’s job (and sometimes mine too since I was customer service and I couldn’t give them what they want over the phone) and it really is a sad thing. Even with the call center all they do is write up a report and forward that to the post office, where it is often discarded. Lovely system, isn’t it?

    I feel really sorry for this guy, although I believe he went overboard not only when he started calling her a derogatory term, but her entire generation (I’m assuming it is a younger clerk). I kind of see his behavior from both perspectives, both from the clerk’s as well as from his. They both were out of line, I think.

  42. ironchef says:

    no matter how bad the service, you have no right to call any one a bitch.

    Seriously.

    Postal workers aren’t your slaves. Extend a little courtesy. The system’s screwed but taking it out on a person rather than the postmaster who understaffed front lines is flat out wrong.

  43. Buran says:

    @aRrr-k: UPS/FedEx/DHL/etc. can’t deliver first-class mail. The USPS has given itself a monopoly on that business. So, if you have to mail a letter, you have nowhere else to go.

    As for this guy’s attitude… I haven’t watched the video yet but you shouldn’t ever respond to an angry person. It just makes things worse.

    But for the guy to get that angry, the USPS must have done something really bad. Think about that — horrible servikce and no competition. Of course people are going to get upset.

  44. Zweites says:

    “She’s losing her job!”
    “I’m having her fired.”
    “Right now! She’s lost her job!”

    Seriously… who the hell DOES he think he is? I’m pretty sure he’s not the manager, because he keeps asking to see her. Honestly, I think she handled it badly… but I think that guy’s directly out of his god damned mind.

    What they “did” to him in this case was as follows, he went up to the glass in a hurry, and told her that she needed to open up more windows. She responded that they didn’t have the staff for it on hand. He asked her why not… and it escalated when she was unable to make these workers materialize out of her ass. I believe she eventually was belligerent or said something that he construed as rude.

    Frankly though, I have always been amazed by the petulance of some people. They want satisfaction here and now, and will terrorize the first person they see, regardless of whether they set policy or have ANY ability to truly address the complaint.

    I’m sure there’s two sides to the story, neither one good. But this guy’s behavior is beyond ridiculous.

  45. cheviot says:

    There is a problem in America today, and that problem is customers with a sense of entitlement.

    You know the ones.

    The guy in front of you at the return desk who wants to return something he bought six months ago because it doesn’t work. When he’s informed of the two week return policy he rants and raves for a manager and complains at that manager until they do take it back, raising the prices everyone pays for products.

    The customer that calls a store repeatedly, pretending they’ve never called before, trying to find someone who will tell them what they want to hear regarding a return… so they can come into the store and be that first customer I described.

    The customer that tries to return WalMart merchandise at Target and demands to speak to a manager when they won’t do the return, even when shown the other store’s tags on the merchandise.

    They scream and rant and shout, all under the banner of “But I’m the customer” the implied “and I’m always right” hanging in the air.

    The worst place for a person like this is the post office, or a final clearance sale, or anywhere a customer can go where the management frankly doesn’t care if you don’t come back.

    Oh, they may pretend they care. They give you face time and apologize, explaining to the customer why they were treated as they were and how they hope to keep you as a customer. But we all know the truth. We know that if they haven’t remedied the problem you complained about after a month, they simply don’t care to or don’t need to. The management knows that the problem either won’t stop people from coming in or don’t care if it does.

    You might be amazed, but many managers in retail stores specifically tell cashiers NOT to call them in situations like this, unless it’s to call the police. They give their employees instructions as to what to call them for, but none of those situations directly come from a customer requesting a manager.

    This customer’s actions are typical of such an emasculated customer. One who has realized. if only a tiny bit, that the business they’re shopping at simply doesn’t buy into “the customer is always right” and won’t bend to customer requests for a manager. The manager already decided some complaints are unimportant before you ever come in… and when some customers realize that, either through management inattention or employee reactions they become unhinged, like this fellow.

  46. SpyMaster says:

    Brings new meaning to the old “going postal” phrase.

  47. Sonnymooks says:

    Thank God I didn’t work at that post office (though it does look very farmiliar to one near me). I probably would have come out and beat that guy senseless and been arrested.

    He is a jerk, she was wrong to comment or respond to him, but alot of folks would have actually responded back with violence (me being one of them).

  48. Very disappointing to see all the homophobic comments on here.

    It just looks like a case of two people mutually overreacting to one another.

    That said, you would hope the person with the job would try to act more professional – but then again, it seems like these days “government job” has become synonymous with “uneducated and unqualified to work at any competitive job.”

  49. Helvetian says:

    Despite everything, the USPS employee should NOT have antagonized nor further engaged the customer in an argument. She’s on the clock and should conduct herself more like a lady and professionally.

  50. Frank Grimes says:

    Even when the USPS fubar’s attempts to do something right, like install the new automated mailing machines, which are fantastic when they work. So I go to use it today (Sunday), get my packages all set and go to place them in the bin, which is locked!? WHY have a 24/7 machine when you can’t then mail the packages you just stamped.

  51. hmanonymous says:

    Well, is it ever a good idea to post video of someone doing something shameful? Especially if it’s something almost everyone has done (lose your temper)? What he did was wrong. It’s my strong suspicion that people who lose their temper in public unfailingly regret it.
    What if he:
    1. Had just learned that he lost his job for poor customer relations, or
    2. Had just discovered that he had cancer, or
    3. Had just seen his dog get run over.
    Would we feel that losing emotional control would be more justified in those cases? Do we know that there was no justification in this case?

    I’m sorry for the times I’ve lost my temper with Verizon, Comcast, etc, etc.

  52. crayonshinobi says:

    Gee, talk about out of context. The video doesn’t show us what started the incident or how it ended, just the ranty meaty middle. So feel free to jump to any conclusions you care to…

    Personally, and no offense Outtacontext, but in almost every experience with every form of government service, DMV, Post office, Immigration, etc, I’ve felt like this guy on the inside…just never snapped like he did and let it out.

    This is a great example why the government should not be involved in health care… Hospitals and doctors are bad enough, imagine if postal employees worked them.

  53. Pelagius says:

    Is it too late to stop production on those Consumerist t-shirts? If “I’m the customer, you stupid bitch” isn’t the perfect catchphrase, I don’t know what is..

  54. bambino says:

    @permissionmag: I have to unfortunately agree. Take your gay-hating elsewhere, bigots.

  55. valet_of_the_dolls says:

    @crayonshinobi: No, this is not a great example of why government should be involved in healthcare; this is just a video clip of a couple of people behaving very poorly in public.

    @permissionmag: Agreed. It’s kind of fascinating to see people proclaim their supposed superiority by using slurs and insults…

  56. valet_of_the_dolls says:

    …should not be involved in healthcare…

    Fixed.

  57. zaky says:

    Is that Woody Allen?