An oxymoron is "a combination of contradictory or incongruous words," according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Think of the phrases "open secret" or "working vacation."
This week, the oxymoron that came to my mind was "government competency." I went to my local post office to mail a book to a friend. When I got there, the lobby was open, but the service desk was closed. The self-service mailing equipment in the lobby (scale for mailing and computer to figure out postage requirement) was not working. There was a sign hanging from the glass in front of the service desk that said, "Will Return at 2:15," which was 30 minutes later. I had to mail the package, and it would take at least 20 minutes to drive to another location, and who knew if that would be open, so I waited and walked around the shopping center to pass the time.
When I returned and stood in line, I noticed a piece of paper that was taped to a side of a box that had been placed on a counter in front of a window where a postal clerk was seated. The paper said:
Due to staffing &
this location will be subject to close at:
3:45 p.m. Mon-Friday
Thank you for your patience!
Have a safe day!"