May 1, 2018 by phicks2012
Until fairly recently, I really never had a major problem with the US Postal Service. Sure, I’ve had bills and Letters (remember those?) go astray, and years ago when my mailbox was in a row with four others they routinely gave me other people’s mail and gave mine to other people, but the latter issue was easily solved by sorting through our respective mail and shifting items to the correct mailboxes. No Biggie.
I lived at the castle for 17-years without any really egregious mail delivery issues. I’ve even had some very nice and friendly mail carriers, and neither UPS nor FEDEX have even given me much reason to complain (let alone to rant and rave). But recently (over the past 8-months or so) I’ve had chronic problems with mail and parcel deliveries handled by the Post Office.
If I didn’t check and empty my mailbox every single day, the mail carrier would shove new mail into the box and shove older mail out the back onto the shoulder of the road — and make no attempt whatsoever to avoid doing this or to pick up the mail he or she scattered, even if it was left literally (and obviously) floating in the ditch or drifting along the highway.
In addition, they would refuse to bring parcels all the way to the house. Instead, and regardless of the weather, they would leave them in the middle of the driveway a good 20-30 feet from the house — which might have served as an open invitation to Porch Pirates if I didn’t live quite so far back off of the road. So, thank God for small favors!
I’d complained about this previously, but in early March it happened yet again. I got an email from Amazon.com saying that an “unsuccessful attempt” had been made by the USPS to deliver an item I had ordered, and that if I wanted to reschedule a delivery I should follow a provided on-line link. Like THAT was going to be helpful!
Furious, because someone had been at home all day the day before when this supposed “attempt” had been made, I nevertheless followed the link, only to discover that the Post Office’s on-line form required me to fill in blanks that were greyed-out and could not BE filled in. Wonderful!! Obviously they really wanted to be helpful and user-friendly. <Note Sarcasm>
Increasingly frustrated, I requested an on-line chat with Amazon to let them know what was going on, and they said they would contact USPS themselves and instruct them to deliver my package that day, and to leave it the hell on the front steps. Excellent, if I’d been certain it would work. I had faith in Amazon.com, mind you, but precious little in the Post Office. Can’t THINK why!
In fact, my distrust of the USPS was such by then that I also called the local Post Office to make a formal complaint. After being shocked that I actually got through to a living human being with a pulse, I gave them the tracking number, and after being put on hold for nearly 5-minutes I was asked if the package might be in my mailbox. Well, not bloody likely, I told her, since it was a 5-shelf metal utility shelf weighing probably 30-pounds. So, I was put back on hold for another 5-minutes or so, and then the lady came back and said the package had apparently been “sent back to the main office”, but that they hadn’t yet received it and that it “might be currently in transit to them”. She then further complicated matters by telling me that my regular carrier had not been on duty the day before, and that an unknown substitute had been on the route — but that my regular carrier was, in any case, “not allowed” to deliver large, heavy packages because she apparently wasn’t equipped to lift them.
Okay, I’m all for equal opportunity hiring, but I have problems figuring out just exactly why anyone, male or female, would be hired to deliver parcels they were unable to lift. However (after I stopped grinding my teeth), I made it clear that if the carrier had only made an even half-assed effort the day before to ring the doorbell we would have gone out and HELPED with the package. I added that (on the day I called to bitch) we would be at home all day, and that if the parcel were brought back we would bloody well assist in getting it off of the truck if needed — as long as the carrier could figure out how to utilize a freaking doorbell!!
Suffice it to say that when I hung up I was not exactly brimming-over with optomism or with the milk of human kindness.
Jason figured the carrier (whomever he or she is) was afraid of the house, because even small parcels (if delivered by USPS) would wind up being (basically) shoved out of the truck (as I mentioned before) into the driveway well away from the house — and that definitely had NO relation to their size or weight. Possibly the Post Office is into hiring “Fear Factor” rejects, but why risk asking?
In any case, USPS would have been coming perilously close to losing my patronage (i.e. business) entirely were it not for the unfortunate fact that there really weren’t any other options (that I’m aware of) for sending and receiving regular hardcopy cards, letters, invitations, and postcards (they do still make postcards, right?). If there were options, after all of these “creative deliveries and non-deliveries”, the Post Office certainly would not have been my “preferred” delivery method. I’d probably have been better off using the Pony Express or carrier pigeons.
They did, however, eventually deliver the parcel, but the carrier rang the doorbell and virtually sprinted for the truck afterwards. By the time I ran to the door he or she was already halfway down the driveway again, so Jason just might have been right. Maybe he/she did think the place was haunted, or that the alligators in my (non-existent) moat would eat him/her, or that I had other freckless postal carriers shackled in my (non-existent) dungeon being fed bi-weekly on gruel. Or maybe it’s the six Rotweillers.
What do YOU think?
Just lately the doorbell is again being rung and things are finally being left on the steps again, so either they gave our carrier a serious come-to-Jesus talk or we have a new carrier. I’m betting on the latter. 😉