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Thursday, April 22, 2021

80 Minutes of Observation

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Ken Grant
Ken Grant
Ken Grant has spent most of his life in Delaware, loves being in all three counties, works for the only U.S.-based manufacturer of Thin Layer Chromatography Plates, is married to an incredible woman who is willing to put up with his antics and is the father of two teenagers who have agreed to wait at least another 20 years before writing the books about their “adventurous” childhood.
So, I just spent about an hour and 20 minutes at the Newark Post Office, taking notes on the lines. Here’s some of the basic information:
Time of arrival: 11:20 AM
Number of Customers in line at arrival: 7
Number of Postal Workers at Counter: 2
Number of customers who got in line between 11:20 AM and 12:40 PM: 55
Number of people who walked in, but left before being served: 15
Average number of Postal Employees at Counter: 1.3 (normally just one handling postal matters while another handled passports and occasionally another would call out for anyone who did not have to pay for anything)
Average number of people in line: 11 (as few as 7, as many as 15)
 

I know, why would I spend an hour and 20 minutes at the Post Office gathering statistics like this? And why do I plan on doing it again?

Here’s the background:

I live and work in Newark, Delaware.

According to my Foursquare check ins, I’ve been to the Newark Post Office at 401 Ogletown Road more than 140 times in the past couple of years (mostly checking the P.O. Box for work).

The plaque on the building says that it was dedicated to public service in 1975.

So, here’s the thing:

It seems like time comes to a screeching halt for people who have to get help at this post office.

Here’s a couple of recent examples:

Newark Post Office- Jan 2 2013
Newark Post Office- Jan 2 2013
Newark Post Office Jan. 3, 10:34 am
Newark Post Office Jan. 3, 10:34 am

I started thinking – can’t we do better? Shouldn’t we be able to get through a line at the Post Office about as quickly as we can get through a line at WaWa or the Library (to name two random places within walking distance of the Newark Post Office)?

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