Monday, July 8, 2013

Come Monday...Going Postal (Almost)

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of, or commentary about,  websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time.  Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.”  This is subject to change, however.  In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while.  For rants promote change, and change can be good—right?  Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

Around a month ago, I found myself in quite a tizzy over what I considered to be more poor service by our local mail carrier.  No, it was not the first time, and what was adding all the more to my constipation consternation was the thought of not being able to get in contact with anyone to hear my grievances.

You see, the main post office for Springfield, Missouri has made it rather difficult to just give them a call when there is a need to for quite some time, and if you have ever tried negotiating the USPS website maze, you should have some idea why there are very few answers to be found there.  That is, of course, unless you have a problem that exactly matches one of the millions of options given, and you do not mind making 19,237 steps to get to an answer.

In all fairness, it has been a while since I last tried negotiating the USPS website maze.  For once was more than enough for me, and it may be a whole lot easier now.  Yeah, I still like being an optimist from time to time.

Speaking of such, I started ringing numbers that were listed for anything even remotely related to our local post office(s) after finding that the main listed number is now to an automated service with instructions on how to obtain a passport, which could sure be considered as encouragement on leaving this country while the getting is good to less than patriotic sorts.  Lo and behold, a real person answered on my third or fourth try, and he kindly gave me the number to the office that handles customer complaints in the area!

It was without further ado that I dialed the number, and I was quite shocked to hear the lovely voice of real lady (in every sense of the word) asking how she could help me.  I then proceeded to tell her, and I must say that I should be highly commended for the amount of restraint I employed.  For Arlynda had already threw a blanket over me to keep the foam coming off of the corners of my mouth from soaking everything within 20 feet of my chair, and I was quite prepared to hear black helicopters hovering overheard before I finished expressing my concerns.

Anyway, the main thing this time was not finding the really cool laminated card I had made to put on the outside of our mail box to let our mail carrier know when we had outgoing mail.  For the mail box that has been by our front door since we bought the place does not have a flag/swing arm to indicate having outgoing mail inside, and I made the card after our mail carrier failed to check for outgoing mail a few times in the past.

Now, I have found my precious card lying on the ground several times, but this time, it appeared to be gone for good.  Since we have had 5-6 different mail carriers lately, I felt compelled to make it clear to the nice lady that I could not be sure which one had actually took off with my card, and it was around then that it was pointed out to me that it was lying on top of our two outgoing letters on a shelf next to my chair.

It is at this time that I would like to point out that our Heavenly Father could have been a lot more helpful with defusing the situation long before He did.  For it was not until after He showed me where my precious outgoing mail card was that He explained that my mother-in-law had went out to bring in the mail a good two hours before our mail carrier usually comes by, and that she had simply brought back into the house what I had put out a few hours beforehand.

Be assured that I started apologizing profusely to the nice lady at the post office when it was all made clear unto me that our mail carrier was not involved in any heist of my precious outgoing mail card, and she was very gracious in expressing her understanding.  Then she told me something that shook me to the core, which is that urban mail carriers are NOT required to pick up outgoing mail from residential addresses.

Be assured that it literally left me reeling.  For I have spent most of my life out in the country, where residential/business mail boxes have a flag/swing arm on their side to be put up when one has an outgoing piece of mail to be picked up by their assigned mail carrier.  In fact, I cannot recall ever having a piece of outgoing mail not picked up until we moved to our present address, and we have lived within the city limits of Springfield for the past 15 years or so.

As it was explained to me, the most likely reason why our past outgoing mail had been picked up was on account of us having incoming mail, along with the kindness of our mail carrier at the time.  For they can pick up outgoing mail from residential addresses if they want to.

Oh, I just had to tell [Adullamite] about this.  For he is a retired British mail carrier, and I was quite sure that he would get a big kick out of learning something else to poke fun at America about.

Well, the joke was still on me.  For he informed me that British mail carriers are not required to pick up outgoing mail from residential addresses—regardless of where they may be!

Come on now, am I being unreasonable to expect mail pick up to be an essential part of postal service?  Yes, I can see where it would not be a big deal for those who can get out and about.  In fact, there have been times when I have felt much better about dropping a really important piece of mail off at the post office or one of their established drop-off locations, but now that we are both practically housebound, doing so poses quite a challenge at times.  Yeah, my appreciation for email has grown by leaps and bounds.

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  1. The important difference is that Royal Mail letter boxes, them big red things, are found within 'reasonable' distances from most homes. Even outlying villages have such and these are emptied at least once a day, six days a week, by the postmen sent out to do so.
    Individual postmen will no doubt collect mail from outlying homes, these are usually regular men which helps, and invalids and old folks will usually find the postie helpful (not counting the old bat at number 12 of course grrrrrr!).

  2. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Adullamite!!! Yes, that would be an improvement over the way we have it. For the closest big blue mail box to our location is at least a quarter of a mile away, and would require the crossing of several streets and two parking lots with fairly heavy traffic.

  3. well, i was laughing at the snafu and your frothing at the mouth. but i am surprised that they're not 'required' to pick up mail!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, my dear RDG!!! Yeah, it makes no sense to me. For I would think that they are losing lots of business on account of it being just too much trouble to mail things at times, and the carriers are right there to begin with!

  5. I didn't know about this. Not only have I left mail in my box to be picked up but my daughter used to leave mail with no stamp but the change to pay for a stamp and all the carriers here have taken it.

  6. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Ann!!! Maybe not requiring urban mail carriers to pick up mail from residential addresses is a new thing? Alas, I can remember the days when there would be a note left in the mail box about owing postage on a letter that they had went ahead sent on its way. I also remember it being standard practice not so very long ago to write on the outside of an envelope that the person it was addressed to no longer lived there. Whereas, we received a rather terse note informing us that it was illegal to deface mail the last time we did that at this address. Sigh.

  7. I would think that if they want work that they would pick up your letter. Heck, how many do they actually have these days?

    If the mail came 3 times a week, with less junk mail, I'd be fine with that. I don't get much "real" mail anymore, so why bother?

    Good to hear that you got someone nice to deal with. The post office I use is good too, but there are still some where the workers have attitude. What for, I don't know.

  8. I have to admit that our postal service here is very good. Only today, I was standing at the ATM waiting for my turn when a youngish man came up to his hand were two padded envelopes held together with a rubber band.

    "Excuse me," he said, smiling and pointing to the name on the envelopes. "This is you, isn't it?"

    "Yes!" I replied in surprise because I'd never seen him before in my life.

    "Good!" Said he. "This saves me stopping!"

    I smiled and thanked him and asked how the hell did he know it was me!

    "I saw you pull in and I recognised your car." He replied.

    I can believe that! My car is very recognisable. I think it's the oldest one on the mountain! Once seen, never forgotten! ;)

  9. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Lin!!! We don't even get all that much junk mail anymore.

  10. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Lee!!! You certainly need to keep him around, but if he ever mentions something about it being his dream to deliver mail in America, please send him our way.


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