May 29, 2009

My Goddamned Mail: The Rest of the Story.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:13 pm

This is a follow-up to the post below.

This morning, as promised, shortly after the local post office opened, I was standing before the special place where one must stand to get “held mail.” It is not manned by anyone; rather one must push a button for “service.” (The section of the post office where the regular walk-up windows are is locked until 10:00 a.m.). The morning hours for “service” at this window are 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. Good thing I was there about 8:20.

I pushed the button, and a voice came from a speaker saying, “Can I help you?” Fortunately, I had mentally rehearsed a super-condensed version of the facts, as I knew I would not have anyone’s attention for very long. It sounded something like this: “MymailwasheldwhileIwasonvacation; it was supposedtobedeliveredonSaturday; itwasn’tdeliveredthenanditstillhasnotbeendelivered,despitethreephonecallstothe800numberandonecalltothispostofficeyesterday!”

After I made my run-on speech, there was no response; the speaker box was silent. I felt as if I were in Oz asking for an audience with the Wizard.

To my surprise, a person (the source of the voice) actually appeared and listened to my story.

“You did this online?”

“Yes, I did. Apparently the communications sent to the local post office from the 800 number don’t register here.”

He said, in a very nice way, “It’s better if you deal directly with the local post office. Who knows what kind of red tape they have there.” He then said, “You’ll have to talk to the Carrier Supervisor, but he won’t be here for another fifteen minutes. Would you like to wait, or do you want to call later?”

I said, very calmly, “I’ll wait. In fact, I am not leaving until I get my mail, or someone tells me exactly where it is and when it will be delivered.” I pointed out that I had already spoken by phone with a person who was identified to me as the “Carrier Supervisor,” and his name was “Jim.”

“Nah, he’s not The Carrier Supervisor. His name is ‘Tom’.”

I asked, would he please tell “Tom” as soon as he arrives that I am waiting to see him. He assured me that he would. He then asked for my address, and wrote it on his hand with a ballpoint pen. Then he asked me my name. That, he didn’t write on his hand, apparently having committed it to memory.

The promised fifteen minutes turned into twenty-five minutes, and the guy who was supposed to direct “Tom” to me, apparently took pity on me, because he appeared again and said, “I’m going upstairs to check on your situation myself.” (I guess “Tom” plays loose with his hours.)

About four minutes later, he appeared with a large box full of mail. “Here’s your mail. I went directly to the carrier [who obviously had not started on his route yet]; he knew all about it.”

After a bit of questioning on my part, it seemed clear that the carrier was aware of the start date of the mail-hold, but didn’t know of the end-date, or was given the wrong end date. The latter is more likely, because my new post office friend asked if I wanted my mail delivery resumed.

Did I want my mail delivery resumed? WTF? It’s difficult to imagine how anyone could have listened to me and concluded that I didn’t wan my mail delivery resumed. It was an “Alice in Wonderland” moment.

Still, I was so happy to have a box of mail in my hand, I simply thanked my new post office friend and motored off to work.

Here’s the clincher: When I arrived home from work, there was a message on the answering machine with a timestamp of 4:41 p.m. “This is the So and So Post Office. You made a complaint? You can call back at [gives phone number].” The monotone-speaking drone was obviously calling as a follow-up to my call to the 800 number made on WEDNESDAY!~ (I hadn’t given the Thursday 800 Number Lady my phone number). Here it is Friday goddamned evening and this idiot is calling me based upon a call I made Wednesday morning.

One thing is for shit sure. Had I not gone to the post office myself today, there would have been no goddamned mail delivery again today.

I have no plans to return the monotone-speaking idiot’s call. I’ve spent enough goddamned time on the phone trying to get my goddamned mail.

The next time we go away, I will personally deal with the mail carrier and follow-up by filling out the appropriate form at the local post office.

Then again, maybe I’ll just ask a friend to pick up my mail.


  1. been there and done that….and now I have someone pick it up for me.

    Comment by GUYK — May 29, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

  2. What GUYK said – a friend/neighbor is the best route (pardon the pun); a Real Live Human Bean that you can deal with.

    Comment by Dave Merriman — May 29, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

  3. Hell, Jimbo. I’LL pick up your mail. And I live in Indiana! It would STILL be faster. Jeez a lou!!!

    Comment by Jerry in Indiana — May 30, 2009 @ 12:25 am

  4. Just have it fowarded it to me and I’ll UPS it to you 😉

    Comment by hammer — May 30, 2009 @ 1:31 am

  5. I had an idea for my day job of having someone from USPS as the guest speaker at one of our conventions, explaining the management protocols the US Postal Service employs. Except, we would prior to the conference tell all of our attendees “the keynote speaker is going to outline everything you should NOT do at your business, so listen to it as an opposite-land presentation.”

    Comment by joe budzinski — May 30, 2009 @ 1:55 am

  6. Man, you need some BACON VODKA. I checked at my local l.s. today — no luck. The minute I see it, though, I will send a fifth. How would you prefer that I ship it? Sorry I asked.

    Comment by Cousin Jack — May 30, 2009 @ 3:37 am

  7. “After I made my run-on speech, there was no response; the speaker box was silent. I felt as if I were in Oz asking for an audience with the Wizard.”

    Perfect analogy for postal inquiries, in general. That time I tapped on the local Postmaster’s door I had the same feeling — was I being ignored? Would I be sent away on some trophy-gathering errand? I lit the scarecrow on fire and got instant service.

    Comment by dogette — May 30, 2009 @ 8:02 am

  8. Your experience is proof positive that today’s mail service loathes modern technology. How freakin’ hard is it to get the dates correct when posted on their own freakin’ on-line form?

    Comment by joated — May 30, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

  9. Jeez, you could have had your mail forwarded to The House Off 287 and I would have brought it down to the House By The Parkway when you returned. 😉

    Comment by Jerry K — May 30, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

  10. They are farooking aliens…………Am I the only one who beleives Men in Black II was a true story…….

    Comment by Brian "Proud Air Force Vet" — May 30, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  11. Your government is working hard for you.

    Comment by Kevin — May 30, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  12. Plan on visiting that Chevy dealer soon?

    Comment by Cappy — May 30, 2009 @ 7:51 pm

  13. …. I suggest you do the “friend” route… that’s what we do down here in the sticks……..

    Comment by Eric — May 30, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

  14. Perhaps someone should inform President Obama about this situation.

    Comment by Kevin — May 30, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

  15. I can’t do the friend route here. We always did, the neighbor, and then one day he told me that he just does it online, and has the USPS hold their mail. I took that as a subtle hint…

    Our other neighbor is in a spot of trouble, I’m waiting for the Sheriff’s office to throw them out of their home, so… I’m stuck online.

    Good grief I hope we don’t have these issues…

    Comment by Bou — May 30, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

  16. As a former employee of said institution – I gotta tell you the reason the guy asked you if you wanted delivery resumed. You may think it’s obvious – you just got home, you want your mail delivered. There are a lot of people who keep their mail on hold indefinitely, picking it up if they pass through on their way somewhere else. They don’t want their mail delivery resumed – they just want to pick up their accumulated mail. So, it is a logical question.

    And your experience is pretty typical. There is no accountability at the USPS.

    Comment by Jeffro — May 31, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  17. Scary, but it sounds like it was written by Uncle Billy.

    It was like the time years ago that an oil delivery truck being driven by a musclebound Teamster was pumping oil into a neighbors home heating tank on a day where plowed snow covered the rest of the street (Cortland Alley) so that no other cars could pass. Uncle Billy was stuck behind the truck in his car, and was beeping his horn like the world was coming to an end. When the truckdriver ignored Billy and continued pumping, Billy backed his car out of the street, snuck up to the side of the truck and stole the keys out of the truck’s ignition. He threw the keys down the sewer, and came up to my bedroom to peek out the window at the problem he caused, giggling like a monkey the whole time. If that truck driver ever got his hands around Billy’s neck, it would have been murder.

    A similar response as to your mail…

    Comment by cousin gary — June 1, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

  18. Gary,

    You forgot to mention the part where Uncle Billy (who never considered himself to be fat – ha!) was very put out when he heard from a neighbor that the irate truck driver was knocking on doors trying to find out where a “fat guy with glasses” lives.


    Comment by Jim — June 1, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

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