I have a love/hate relationship with the postal service. It has gone on for the past three years. Oh, I have no personal hatred for the workers. I admire such individuals who brave the harsh elements to make sure that all packages arrive at their destinations in a timely fashion. It is only that, for some reason, the postal gods seem to have it in for me.
Situation 1: Mistaken Identity.
Three years ago, like any responsible mover, I filled out a C.O.A (change of address) form to have my mail redirected to my new address. It was nothing to get worked up over, right? Wrong.
I started to get piles of mail from someone else. My brother. He does not live at my address. He does not live in my city. Yet here I was, getting his mail delivered to my mailbox all because someone who worked for the postal service could not read our full names on the letters.
Michael (My brother!)
So, someone working at the mail facility kept reading our last names and ONLY the first four letters of our first names and assumed all the mail went to the same address. They slapped on the little yellow sticker for the C.O.A and shipped everything my way. This meant I had to either drive the mail to my brother’s house or rip off the little yellow sticker and write “WRONG ADDRESS” on the envelope.
The first few weeks this happened, I chuckled at the problem. By the second month, my chuckles ended and I placed a copy of my C.O.A form in the mailbox with a note to let the postmaster know to not confuse me with my brother. When the certified letters came in during the third month, I sent an email to the official United States Postal Service(USPS) website letting them know of the problem. After the utility companies began to change their computer records to indicate that they should send my brother’s bills directly to my address (and after a call to the companies where they claimed the post office had notified them of the C.O.A), I spoke directly to postmasters at both city facilities.
Four months of redirected mail all because someone could not take the time to read a full name. ARRGHH!
Situation 2: UPS versus USPS
I placed an order for a music CD back on December 3. I will not tell you which company other than to say the name is the same to a familiar river in Brazil and a race of women warriors in Greek mythology. Anyway, I placed the order with the full knowledge that I would receive my Christmas present for myself before Christmas: 5 to 7 business days ground service through the regular postal service.
Two weeks passed and no package.
I tracked the shipment through USPS: Arrival scan in California, arrived at carrier facility in Canada, shipped back to California, shipped again . . . to different facility in California, and another arrival scan to (yes - you guessed it) California.
Obviously, my package liked vacationing on the West Coast.
With no assurances that my package would want to leave those sandy beaches and beautiful weather, I contacted the - warrior women living by the Brazil river - company and they shipped me another CD FOR FREE. They even upgraded the delivery for 2-day air through UPS (United Parcel Service) FOR FREE! WHOA!
So, on one fateful rainy day, I received this from a dark brown truck and a smiling gentleman:
On that same fateful rainy day, about fifteen minutes BEFORE the big brown truck and the smiling gentleman, I found this in the mailbox:
Two packages. The same CD.
Sigh . . .