Before we left for vacation, I used the United States Postal Service website to place a hold on my mail. I have done this several times in the past, and it worked flawlessly.
Not this goddamned time.
The accumulated mail was supposed to be delivered on Saturday, May 23rd. By around 4 P.M. that day when the mail had not arrived, I called the 1-800 â€œCustomer Serviceâ€ number printed on the confirmation of my mail-hold. After several waves of robo-prompts, I reached a human, gave her my mail-hold confirmation number and described the problem. She apologized on behalf of the government and said she would be sending a notification to my local post office of the problem and asked if I would like a follow-up call. She explained that our local post office was closed and that, because Monday is a holiday (Memorial Day), our mail would not be delivered until Tuesday. She provided me with a confirmation number of our call.
Annoying, but OK. Things sometimes happen.
Tuesday, May 25th rolled around. The local post office called Mrs. Parkway early in the day. The local guy obviously didnâ€™t read the â€œnotificationâ€ as he said only â€œWeâ€™ve been notified that you have a complaint.â€ After she said that it was more of an inquiry than a complaint, she explained that the mail wasnâ€™t delivered on Saturday as it should have been pursuant to the dates on the mail-hold.
He left the phone to check. He returned to the phone and said, â€œThe mail is not in the bin, so it must be on the truck. I will probably be delivered today.â€
You guessed it. The goddamned mail was not delivered on Tuesday. I again called the 1-800 â€œCustomer Serviceâ€ number and, after re-suffering through the robo prompts I gave the new lady my previous confirmation number and explained that my mail still had not been delivered. She proffered the canned apology for my inconvenience and sent yet another â€œnotification, this time â€œFor Immediate Attention.â€ She said that I would get a follow up phone call and my mail delivered on Wednesday, May 26th.
Wednesday, May 26th â€“ No goddamned mail delivery.
I was too angry to suffer again through the 1-800 â€œCustomer Serviceâ€ prompts, and I vowed that the next day I would call the goddamned local post office directly. It was then I learned that there is no goddamned way for me to get the goddamned phone number of my goddamned local post office. I donâ€™t know if this is true all over the country, but I tried 411, Google and my goddamned local phone directory. They all provided the goddamn 1-800 â€œCustomer Serviceâ€ number.
This morning, I made my THIRD call to the 1-800 â€œCustomer Serviceâ€ number and re-re-suffered through the robo prompts. When I got yet another new lady, I explained that I had already called their number twice and I still have not received my mail. She asked, â€œWould you like me to document that?â€ which meant yet another useless â€œnotification.â€ I explained that their â€œnotificationsâ€ obviously mean nothing to my post office and that I was tired of making phone calls. All I want is my mail.
She asked, â€œHave you called your local post office?â€ Staining to keep a civil tongue in my mouth, I explained that there was no way for me to get the phone number of my local post office. I thought she might have known that, but maybe there is something particularly secretive about my local post office.
She replied, â€œI can give you the phone number,â€ and she did. She said, â€œItâ€™s best to call directly,â€ and she asked if I would like someone to call me. I said, â€œNo, I just want my mail.â€
I called the local post office, and Joe Postal Worker answered the phone. Knowing this was the first time he would be hearing the story, I calmly explained that my mail delivery had been held for delivery until Saturday and, here it is Thursday and I still have no mail. I explained that I had already made three calls to the 1-800 â€œCustomer Serviceâ€ number.
He took my name and address, and I thought, â€œAt last. Someone will find my mail.â€ Wrong.
He said that he would transfer me to the â€œCarrier Supervisor.â€ Sweet Jesus Christ!
The Carrier Supervisor came to the phone and, of course, I had to explain the entire saga yet again. He put me on hold while he went to â€œcheck.â€ He returned to the phone and said, (Are you ready?) â€œItâ€™s not in the bin, so it must be on the truck. It should be delivered today.â€
I said, â€œWait. I was told that on Tuesday and my mail was not delivered.â€ He said, maybe your carrier was out for a few days? I thought, What? The â€œCarrier Supervisorâ€ doesnâ€™t know whether a particular mail carrier was out? And, if my mail carrier is out, that means I get no mail?.
I asked, â€œWhat should I do if the mail is not delivered today?â€
â€œCall again,â€ was his response.
I said, â€œNo, my next call will be to the Postal Inspector.â€ He wasnâ€™t impressed.
Guess who didnâ€™t get any goddamned mail today? Yes, that would be me. In sum, the post office failed to deliver the mail on Saturday, on Tuesday, on Wednesday and on Thursday.
Tomorrow I plan on driving to the post office and telling them in person to find my goddamned mail. I donâ€™t want to hear any shit about it â€œnot being in the bin.â€ I donâ€™t give a shit where it isnâ€™t. I want to know where it is and I want to know NOW.
Your goddamned tax dollars at work.