Diminishing returns from my post office lady...

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Summary: I used to have a postman that knew me by name and was fairly conscientious with packages and stuff. The new[ish] woman? Well. Not so much.

BLOT: (13 Jun 2011 - 06:41:46 PM)

Diminishing returns from my post office lady...

My previous mailman, an older fellow that worked this street ever since Sarah and I have moved here, was a sweet old man. Sure, he would chain smoke while delivering mail and sometimes that would cause things to stink a bit, and once or twice he got mail mixed up, but overall he was a good guy to have. He knew me by name, would take good care of our packages, and if I had a question would often taken time to answer it without taking too much time. Once his truck broke down (or mail cart, whatever you call those little things) and he came by to ask to use my phone because our apartment was familiar to him. Eventually, though, he got sick a few times and after an extended absence, came back only to leave again a few months later. In the interim, we had one of the worst mailmen I have seen. He would shove mail into the box in ways that would destroy things. The new mailwoman isn't that bad, but I have to say, I am frustrated with how she delivers packages.

The first "trick" she would pull would be to not deliver the package at all. Just put a note in the mailbox. If the apartment office was open, she would leave the package there. If not. We would have to go pick it up from the post office. Annoying, but I suppose it did guarantee that our package was always left with someone. Except, she did this automatically. She wouldn't try and deliver the package and then go back to drop this note off. She changed that over to dropping the package off at the door. Again, no knocking. She just comes up and drops the package off. If I am sitting there watching TV or playing games I will hear it. If I am in the backroom, I won't. I will just see it when I go outside (often, appropriately, to check mail). I am mostly fine with this. I could see it sucking if we are out of town for a couple of days and some rather important package gets left outside for them, but in general I would rather risk my used books being stolen (which I don't think will happen) than have to go down and stand in line for half an hour to pick them up.

Except twice now, and this last time with three packages in the shipment, we simply haven't gotten anything. No note. No slip. No package. The tracking number for the first said it was in the sort room at our local post office. I finally got the hint that it was waiting for me to pick up. The second one, though? Lots more fun. The three packages (each, interestingly, containing one book that was an omnibus edition of three novels) with delivery confirmation were marked as delivered. Which meant that I couldn't even contact the seller and ask for help there because it would simply look like I was lying to get free stuff. I tried calling the post office, and since the packages were on record as being delivered they wouldn't really help besides to say that I should ask my carrier if she remembered them. They said I could call an agency whose name currently escapes me and file a claim, but who knows how long (and ultimately unproductive) that would be? I went down to the post office itself and played dumb. Just said that here is my address and I think there is a package for me. And there it was. All three of them. Not a one had any markings on it whatsoever (when they try and deliver them, they often initial and make a note of the date). Which means it apparently was never even walked up to my door. Just stamped "finished" and taken back to the room.

The time of day they were marked as being delivered was about the time that she would normally run, maybe a little later. I wonder. Did she overlook them and not want to run back along the route? Did she scan them as delivered when she first got there and then forgot because she was running late? Did she simply not feel like filling out a note or walking them up to my apartment? I don't know. I do know it means I'm going to have to actually sign up for tracking alerts more, though, just in case. If a package without a tracking number disappears in such a way, there won't be a whole lot I can do but take a couple of shots in the dark.


Written by Doug Bolden

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