Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Post Office Hates Me

 This is very definitely a WTF Wednesday post! 
We live in a town where we still get mail delivered by mailmen and mailwomen in those white boxy truck things, like in the old days.  We have 3 post offices for this one town that is divided into 3 villages (sort of).  Now that the USPS is in a bit of a pickle, I'm distressed.

Because my post office has grown to hate me.

We have a very confusing situation, here on the compound.

First, we have a campground which means that in the summer, we sometimes get mail for people staying here.

Second, about 20 years ago, they realized we had 3 streets of the same name in town, so rather than renaming the streets, they added numbers to our address.  We went from 98 to 698.  That was when I lived in my parents' house, the newer one they built when I was in high school.  The house next door, which is where I live now and where I grew up, went from 88 to 688.

Yes, I am literally 50 yards from the next house but I am a whole 10 numbers different.  But did I go and question the postmaster over this weirdness?  Of course not.

Third,  I'm not married, so I still have the same last name as my parents.  There are some bizarre pieces of mail that come and still have that address as mine.

Fourth, we also have a car wash here at the compound and it's on a different road, but the post office knows that all mail for that should go to my parents too.

Are you following all of this?

And fifth, I went through a phase where I wanted to get mail for things but didn't want to give my real name, so I made up a name and still get mail for that very name to this day.  Lulu Lepou has been sent offers for loans, credit cards and most often, the New York Times at a great rate.

Add to all of this that I get mail for the ABWA scholarships here, the Run for the Arts for the Cultural Center and often things with my school name because I might have registered for a conference that way.

I don't  know why there would be any confusion, do you?

Here's an example of the kind of mail my parents get when they go away for just a few days.  This is in January.  When no one is even in the campground! 

Anymailbox, the mailcarrierpeople have always been able to keep it all straight, delivering most of my parents' mail and the car wash and campground mail next door, and all of my mail and k-ster's mail to me. 
Except for some phone bills because the technical address for the campground is my address and when people want phone lines, the phone company uses this for their land address.  
Seriously, why would anyone not be able to keep all of this straight?

For.e.ver., we had the same mailman, day after day.   And he would steadily come around the same time each day.  Every so often, he' dramatically change the time of day, but then it would become regular at that time, and so on.

Then we noticed that we weren't getting the same mailman.  And we weren't getting mail at the same time on any.  8am one day, 4;55pm the next, etc.  Not really a big deal, we were still getting mail.

Then I noticed that a few times, I'd put up my little red 'I have mail to go out' flag, but they wouldn't come!  I'd hear them go whizzing by.  BUT I HAD MAIL TO GO OUT!!

So, I went to the post office and asked.  They said they don't have to stop if they don't have mail to give you.  Well, then why waste the time making the plastic flags if they don't have to be noticed???

One time, I caught a mailman as he was delivering and I asked why we get mail at all kinds of crazy times.  He said that this road is not really on anyone's route, so they just kind of grab it at random.  Strange, because this is kind of a busy road.  Mail trucks will drive up and down this road several times before and after bringing us the mail.

So, about a year go, the post office's clear dislike became apparent when they left me with this.  I kind of ignored it and no one cared.

Then, I noticed that I'd hear the mail truck, back and forth, back and forth, but I wouldn't get any mail.  The next day, a piece of mail would have the words "box blocked" written on it.  It seemed that my vehicle was blocking the easy access to the box.  Like they had to get out of their vehicle to go to my box.  Except that they had two options to get to my box and one of those options wasn't blocked.

Neither wind, nor rain.....

We had a guy for a while who would park out on the road and walk the 100 feet in to put my mail in.  I'd even shovel a path out to the road when we had crazy snow.

Then that stopped.  And repeatedly, when the "box was blocked" we wouldn't get mail.

We got another nasty note, looking as official as the last one, saying that the box was not in a safe area and if they can't safely access it, they can't deliver.

Now, I don't know what they mean by safe.  We have no dogs, so that can't be it.  It's not on a hill or mountain.  It's safely off the road, so no one is going to drive over them as they put the mail in the box.  We don't have a meth lab in that barn back there.   He has to simply drive around this island and put the mail in the box.

So, instead of moving it out to the street, I wait.  I'm kind of stubborn like that.

Since we don't have the same carrier every day, not everyone cares.  Some will come into the driveway even if The General is parked right in front of it.  During the summer, when it's more of an issue because I'm home more, I will run out to meet the mailman so he doesn't have to get out.  And he never says a word about it.

So, who is this mailcarrier that doesn't like us?

Saturday mornings are the biggest issue because we are usually home.  It's now become normal that I park on the lawn or over by the barn so that the mailman can "safely" get to the box.  K-ster has a habit of parking off the driveway, but from the road, it looks like he's on it, so they sometimes won't come in.  So they give us the mail the next time with the note, again on a piece of my mail, that says "box blocked".

Nor sleet, nor snow...

Now, here are some of my questions:

Is the post office allowed to WRITE ON MY MAIL?   EVER?  We used to have a guy who would put boxes inside one of the trucks in the yard if it was bad weather.  And he'd write "package in truck".  Really???  What if that truck wasn't one of ours????  And can they really write on my mail?

Is the post office going to use some of their bailout money to fill in the hole they create every day?  They peel out every day and there is now quite a hole.  It makes it dangerous for ME TO GET MY MAIL!!  There's no danger in the delivery, unless they are worried that they will never get out of the hole.  That they created.

Does it matter that I taught and enjoyed both of the kids of one of the people who brings my mail?  And they liked me?  Shouldn't I have an "in" there? And get my mail every time I'm due?  Like there they are, all of the mailmen standing around waiting for the mail to be ready and they are like "oh, have you been to that unsafe house?  The one with the BLOCKED BOX? "  And she'd be like "Oh, give them a break. She was the best teacher my kids ever had!"

When they 'accidentally' give me mail for other people on this street, should I bring it to the post office and get nasty and rub it in their faces?  We are all busy and live with pressures at work and make mistakes.  But since the nasty notes have been left in my box, I've noticed a surge in the amount of mail that is definitely not for us.  Sometimes, we get our neighbor's entire stack of mail because it was just behind ours.  But, I say nothing because I understand the confusion of my parents' mail.

And then there was day that k-ster was getting a new phone by mail.  He tracked it online and it said was to be delivered that day.  The mail came and went, no phone.  So he called the post office and they contacted the driver.  He said he hadn't been here yet and came back within minutes with the package but no "forgotten" mail.  Hmmm.  Curious, no?

So, like the character in that Adam Sandler movie that perpetually wants his "$2", I just want my mail.  And I want the mailtrucks to stop taunting me.  And I don't want my mailman writing notes on my mail.
If you are a mail carrier and you do your job well, I apologize if I have insulted you.  
If you are a mail carrier and you suck as much as ours do, well then SUCK IT.


  1. I thought that being a mail carrier was kind of a strict gig, but maybe not where you are! What's funny is that if I get something addressed to my maiden name, they circle it with a big question mark. But they pay absolutely no attention to the gobs of mail that we get addressed to people who are not even listed on our mailbox (we have a community mailbox), even though we've lived here almost 6 years!

  2. Mail carriers suck in general... propbably why they are losing money and going to shut down the post office another day... I used to be the nice person that would take my neighbors their mail because I get it all the time. Including people on the street behind me. Now i just shove it back in the box and let them deal with it.

  3. We live rural so our mailbox is about almost a half mile away. If we get a package and the mail lady actually has to make the drive down our road to deliver she gets all pissy and lays on the horn until we come outside. I'd says she is pleasant compared to yours!

  4. Hmm, I feel this isn't the point, but I kind of feel sorry for your mailman. Mine is dyslexic. And also drives an old school white truck. Did I mention he can't read numbers good? Yeahhhh.


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