Friday, December 16, 2011

Dear USPS: We Need To Talk ...

Oh, Post Office. I like you. I really do. I don't want you to go away. I try to be on your side, I really do. You got a bum deal, having to fund the future at the detriment of your present. And it's still a damn bargain, forty-four cents to move a piece of mail from one end of the country to the other.

But I need more from you. I need to know I can count on you. Don't make me turn to UPS.

Yes, you have me over a barrel when it comes to standard mail. And I know I don't mail as much as I used to. I pay bills online. I do. It's just easier. And maybe that's left you feeling a bit neglected.

But I still send Christmas cards. Hell, that's 80-some pieces of mail right there. That more than makes up for all the bills I don't send trickling through the system all year long, right?

But about those cards, for a minute. On Tuesday, the 13th, Moo let me know that my cards had been "dispatched" and shared a tracking number for me to check. So I've been checking it. And there have been no updates since the 13th.

Today's the 16th, kids. No updates? Nothing? So is my package sitting in a sort facility, lost? Is it making its way to me? Will it arrive today? I have no idea.

I'm having flashbacks to the year I sent a package to L.A. Dave. It took three weeks. Three weeks? From Chicago to L.A.? Once it finally arrived – a little Christmas tree and ornaments just doesn't have the same impact and oomph in January, by the way – Dave noted, somehow, that it had arrived in L.A. a couple of days before Christmas. It could have been delivered on time. But it sat in a facility for two more weeks?

And what about that book I sent to Australia some years ago? The post person asked me if I wanted to send it via air. Really, I asked? Did we still put things on ships and send them across the ocean thusly?

Apparently, we did. So I ponied up the money, in a year that began with a 2, to send the package via airmail. About $25, as I recall. Not overnight shipping or anything crazy like that. Just not the "slow boat to Australia" rate.

And do you know how long it took to get there?

Ten weeks.


For those playing along at home, that's two and a half months.

As in "just shy of three months."

As in "nearly a quarter of a year."

Much more recently, there was the day that I was sitting here, and heard someone on my porch, talking. I looked outside. It was one of my sometimes mail people, a woman, chatting away on her phone. She riffled through the stack of mail in her arms. dumped some in my mailbox, and went on her way.

I retrieved my mail. Only it wasn't my mail. Not most of it. Seven pieces were for the house next door.


I get that sometimes a piece gets mixed in here and there. I'm happy to walk it over to my neighbor's or pop it back in the mail when it's for some addressee nowhere near me.

But seven?

I called the postmaster. I don't often complain, but come on.

He knew exactly who I was talking about. Perhaps he'd heard a complaint about her before?

And just now, a friend on Twitter posted about her trials of trying to renew her passport. She wasn't happy to hear the words, "We don't get paid to do that."

Well, at the rate you're going, pretty soon you won't get paid to do anything.

I purposely wait in line to interact with a person at my post office. Yes, that machine in the corner is handy, but I don't want the people at my post office to be automated out of their jobs.

But I'm going to need you to try a little harder to show you care.

And I'll try to send more cards and letters.

But I'm going to need you to deliver the cards to me first.

I can tell you they were in Rhode Island on the 13th.

Beyond that, I have no clue.

Update: OK, post office, credit where it's due. The cards sat in a sort facility for all of Friday but managed to get to me yesterday Saturday. And I had a package to ship, so I ventured to the post office on the last shipping Saturday before Christmas, expecting a line out the door, but was in and out of there in 15 minutes. But my faith isn't fully restored just yet. I put a Delivery Confirmation on the package I mailed. I'm watching you. Let's keep up the good work.


Blogger Kristen said...

Good post, my dear. When I got home from my passport ordeal, the first thing I did was check my mailbox. I almost burst out in tears at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation when I realized there was a package in there was too wide for me to get it back out of the box (it had been sorted in through the wider opening on the back).

~ Kristen

12:52 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I drove by the post office on the beginning of my errand run. It was around lunch time. Ooh, too many cars.

So I went as I was heading home from the errands. Ooh, even more cars. I left the parking lot and vowed to come back closer to closing time. Having a good day. Don't need to spoil it by a line out the door at the post office.

2:17 PM  

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