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I am writing regarding an appalling situation I encountered at the Main Post Office on Queen Street last Friday evening.

I entered the Post Office just before 5 pm and joined the line-up.  Ahead of me were 5 people and there was no customer service agent behind the counter. After maybe five minutes, when we could hear much banging around in the back sorting office, the young man, who had recently been the service agent, appeared and apologized to the first customer for the delay and said they were short staffed in the back. This lady was quickly served and she left.

The next customer was one of four black men, all of whom I believe were offshore workers from the farms. His first request appeared to be dealt with and then he asked to send a Moneygram.  After a couple of minutes the Agent picked up the phone and then he disappeared in the back. At some point another postal worker had been outside to clear the mailboxes. Several minutes after the Service Agent had disappeared this other worker came out and told the six of us (another gentleman had joined the line-up behind me) that we could not be attended to today. They had too much work to do in the back and it would mean they would be staying too late if we were attended to, and we could come back on Monday to be served.

At this point I stepped forward and stated that I had been hoping to send my package and envelope off today. He noticed the envelope already had a stamp on it and said he would put that in the mail. We were then all asked to leave and I believe the time was 5:22 pm.  I understand the official closing time is 5:30 pm and five of us had been there since before 5 pm.

This situation was a slight inconvenience to me, a retired woman, but maybe causing real hardship to the families of the four black men, all of whom I assume were wanting to send money home to their families. These men all stood patiently and silently and just one of them commented that the Post Office was supposed to be open (for business) until 5.30 pm.

Those offshore workers are not in a position to complain and it is on their behalf that I am really angry. People who work in our Crown Corporations are far better paid and live in better circumstances than these men, that is why they, the postal workers, can be so picky as to what they are willing to do.

Valerie Cowling
Cobourg resident

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