Please, Mr. Postman!

imageI’m really reluctant to jump on the haters’ bandwagon against the USPS. But honestly, our postal situation has gone from bad to worse in the last year or so.

Our usual carrier, who’s been delivering for us for about 20 years, is absolutely awesome. Friendly, competent, professional, never a mistake, And he always looks the part – very smart in his blue uniform.

But Doug is away fairly often. I believe he trains newbies, which makes sense because he’s so darned good at what he does. So over the years we’ve had a lot of subs. We always know when Doug’s gone because mistakes are rife in his absence.

Recently it’s gotten much, much worse. Our old friend has been gone for a couple of weeks, and his replacement looks for all the world like a thug gangsta. The first day I saw him traversing yards across the street, I kept a close eye on him, thinking he must be up to no good. Saggy sweat pants, enormous, hoodie, untied Converse, and stocking cap. I was only slightly reassured when I realized he was actually delivering mail. (Question: Can the USPS no longer afford uniforms? Or is no one looking at the carriers when they go pick up their loads in the morning?)

At some point I remembered that we had this guy for a while last summer, too – he was just slightly better dressed. That was the time when we didn’t get mail for three days, and then our neighbors, who had been out of town during that time, delivered it for us. The sub carrier had been giving them all our mail.

Same song, second verse:
We’re in the habit of sending packages to our darling Oldest who has lived at least ten hours away for the last five years. We always send her packages by priority mail, which is supposed to be two-day delivery. Now that she’s in Baltimore, it’s regularly taking two WEEKS for her packages to arrive.

Same song, third verse:
Last year we had to send Oldest a computer monitor, overnight. Long story, but it was urgent. Deliberately paid for overnight shipping, and stipulated that it should be left at the apartment office, without her having to sign because her schedule didn’t allow her to be home much.

Result: We received email notification that the package was left, including a picture of where she had signed for it. Red flags: She wasn’t supposed to have to sign, and it WASN’T her handwriting. After much digging, we discovered that the carrier had LIED, signed her name, and didn’t leave the package. Oldest had to walk several blocks in the Chicago wind to pick up the package, and then carry a large monitor in a box back to her apartment. After a long phone tussle with the USPS, The Husband did finally get a credit to our account to make up for the “mistake.”

I love getting mail. I want the USPS to continue. I don’t know the ins and outs of all their financial problems, nor what the best solution would be. But seriously, something – lots of things – need to change.

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6 thoughts on “Please, Mr. Postman!

  1. No matter how advanced technology gets and how instantaneous virtual correspondence is, there’s still a charm to reviewing good old fashioned snail mail :p I hope your service gets a little less erratic though!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!

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    • I’m with you – there’s something special about real mail. And we got a pleasant surprise last evening – the crocheted afghan I’d made for our oldest actually arrived at her house in Baltimore, only three days later than it should have. It’s a small success, but I’ll take it!

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  2. Our posties (that’s what we call them) usually ride little motor bikes up and down our footpaths. In rural areas, the posties have vans/cars to drop off the mail. Postage has just gone up (again!!) here in Australia and it now costs 70c to deliver a letter within the country. Sheesh!!

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  3. Our mail carrier doesn’t even have a “regular” mail delivery vehicle. At first, it was an old station wagon, now it is a jeep kind of looking vehicle which should have retired many years ago. However, we are in the rural-ish south. 🙂

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