All I needed was a single 39¢ stamp.
So on the way to work, I decided to stop by the Post Office because I know they have a machine that sells single 39¢ stamps.
Only the machine is out of order.
I check over in the customer area and amazingly enough there is no line! Suspicious that it might be another holiday I approach, and lo', it's not a holiday! And there are two customers already being helped.
This should only take a minute or two, I think to myself as I get into the non-existant line.
The customer at the far end is talking to the clerk, who makes a dash back into the bowels of the Post Office, only to come back, talk some more with the customer, and dash back into the bowels.
The customer closer to me is patiently waiting while the clerk applies special postal tape to the package, then afixes labels to the package, then fills out said labels, then stamps a whole mess of official looking documents, afixes yet more tape and labels while filling out even more official looking paper work.
Meanwhile, the far customer is still talking to the clerk, who keeps dashing back into the bowels of the Post Office.
A line starts to form behind me. The clerk nearest me finishes wrapping a cacoon around the package, and then I see the customer has two more packages.
So much for it taking a minute, I think, about five minutes later.
Ten minutes after I started waiting, the far customer finally berates the clerk over some small detail, then leaves. Now I can finally buy the single 39¢ stamp.