Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Decline of My Local Post Office Branch

Maybe I should say decline, improvement, and decline of my P.O.

When we first moved here in 1997, the mail was okay. Then the mail carrier who'd been working here steadily moved routes, and we ended up in mail hell. Packages rightly addressed sent back to vendors. Mail missing. Bills arriving, but one or two weeks, or one or two months late. I made two contacts to the manager of the P.O. to find out what the heck was up.

Then it got better. For years, just trifling things.

Now, this has been the year of calling the P.O. to find out why the heck the neighbors are getting my mail and I'm getting theirs. (Most cases, I got theirs, they DIDN'T get mine, so where's mine?) Then, in the past 6 weeks, one cd lost, one hardcover novel lost--and I'm being generous, when my inclination is to say STOLEN-- bills arriving weeks lates, meaning one or two days before "due dates".

I even got attitude from the USPS person who took my call about the missing book. You know, that tone of voice that says, "Why are you bothering me? I really don't give a damn."

Before I moved to this house, I had one incident with the P.O. in 37 years. I used to shake my head at P.O. jokes, because I'd had no trouble getting or sending my stuff, no more than usual, ya know?

But I've moved into the United States Post Office route run by the aliens from Planet Doofus, apparently.


Next time we move, I may check out the neighbors of our intended mail route to see if they have Doofusians overseeing their mail, cause, really, that would be a deal-killer for me.


Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'm so thankful that I live in the country. It's a little place like Hooterville...LOL..mail service is fabulous. I've even had the mail lady come up the driveway and put packages on my porch when it was raining.

There was a story on the news the other night about some mailman in Florida that died, and when his family cleaned out his house they found years of mail that he never delivered!

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Frazen has an essay in his "How to be Alone" collection about the Chicago post office that is a real eye opener. I played postal chess for years (25 years ago) and never lost a move. The infrastructure is weaker now.

A lot of publications still won't accept email subbing. And even those that do I've been told often just ignore these. I HATE snail mail subbing. It's like some sort of rite to prove your confidence and desperation. And a SASD--wtf? What's wrong w/ just my email address?

Mirtika said...

Bonnie, lucky you. Peace and quiet AND good mail service.

Snarky, I totally don't get why we can't email subs. First, it saves trees. Second, it's immediate. Third, with tracking software, editors can comment right on it just as they do on hard copy, so you can still get good feedback for revisions.

We do everything electronically at DKA, and it's easy for short fiction and poetry. I'm guessing it can be manageable for electronic, too, plus a publishing house can set it up that notices can be sent (ie like tickle file reminders) to editors when something has not been attended to in the standard, policy interavls (3 months, six months, whatever).

I think it's about time we stopped wasting paper and many dollars in postage.

I think of the contests I've judged. Wow, how much money those contestants would save if they didn't have to Priority mail all thos pages...And how much more funds the contest sponsors would MAKE (most contests are fundraisers) if they could just email back the results. And if they were lost..easy as pie to resend. And the judges wouldn't have all those piles of stuff on their desk. :D