When did we become such a litigation nation?

Leave a comment

My trips to the Post Office are more frequent in the summer months. Most of my time spent in that small building revolves around sending back items guests have left behind at the lodge and yesterday was no exception. Usually, my visits are perfunctory and painless but yesterday I walked in and witnessed the exchange between the Post Master and a cottager determined to have a post office box to receive her summer packages.

I live in a small town and the number of mailboxes we have available is very limited. As our Post Master attempted to explain the boxes are reserved for year-round residents, the cottager was clearly becoming more agitated. She was told by the Post Master she could have her packages mailed to general delivery and, as long as she picked the parcels up within two weeks of their delivery date, the post office would be able to accept and hold them. This resolution was not well-received.

I could feel my eyes rolling but thankfully the woman in question had her back to me and could not see my look of disdain. She was offered an easy fix but would not accept that solution as one that would satisfy her delivery requirements. Her histrionic behavior then turned from a one-on-one discussion to the threat of getting her lawyer involved.

I’m not sure which part of the situation was more disturbing – the fact that a feasible solution was rejected by her or the fact that she was so quick to present the threat of seeking legal representation for something she was unwilling to easily attain. She was offered a free service to have her online orders delivered to the same building in which she was standing and yet she was willing to pay a ridiculous hourly wage to a well-educated lawyer who would garner the same result.

The life I remember as a child is unrecognizable. We used to be able to solve differences without the threat of litigation, but that life has changed. I can only hope this woman has gone home to her summer residence and realized what a mountain she created from a simple molehill.