Monday, December 22, 2008

The Postman Arriveth: Twice

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.

Michelle (Me!)
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 . . .


  1. Michelle, this was a wonderfully amusing post. I am still laughing.;)) Although I am sure it was anything but funny to you at the time.;)
    I so recognize this; packages send to me has been lost here as well, the postal service has problems everywhere. And just like you, I have also received the same package twice.;))) ALSO around Christmas. I guess that is what happens comes Christmas right? More packages.;))
    I hope your Christmas will be lovely.;))

  2. So, did you get one CD free? You should have, as it would make up for your bother.

    Great, funny (if irritating to you) stories.

  3. I affectionately call our postal service here in LA The Gator Express.

  4. Hi Michelle, I have a gift for you on my blog and as you're having trouble with your postal service you may want to pick it up

    Though, it might sort your postal service out once and for all if I did send it to you...;-)

    I hope you like your prezzie.

    Have a great Christmas, Michelle.


  5. You should try working for the company.

  6. Protege: Yes, but it happens EVERY YEAR where I get the same package twice. Why, oh why, Postal Gods!? lol!

    Suldog: No, I had to send one back or get charged twice. But at least shipping was free.

    Angie: Now I will have dreams of gators in postal suits who will snap your arm off if you forget to give them cookies for Christmas. Thanks. lol!

    Annie: Why, thank you Annie! And a Merry Christmas to you!

    Travis: I get the feeling you have some interesting stories of things happening from the other side of the postal counter. I would love to hear them. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. other than to say the name is the same to ... a race of women warriors in Greek mythology.

    You buy music from Lesbos? Well, dang. I learn something new every day. ;-)

    (Yeah, OK. There's that lil problem about the Brazilian river, which I just chose to ignore.)

  8. I love the stories of your experiences! Thank you for the grins and giggles!

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

    Small Footprints

  9. so you had to send one back? too bad! i'm not sayin' nuttin' about the postal service.... wouldn't want to jinx things! fun story.

  10. hey, send ME one, michelle ;) lol

  11. Hey Michelle...wishing you a very Merry, Merry Christmas. Miss you. xo

    A Playful Stitch...:)

  12. Buck: HAHAHA! You are a fun guy!

    Small Footprints: You are welcome! Thanks for being a reader of this humble blog. Happy Holidays!

    Chris: Yes, don't jinx yourself. It's safer that way. :-)

    laughingwolf: Sorry, I would have sent it if I knew you were into this music. Alternative rock: A Perfect Circle.

    Sandra: Miss you too! I've been wanting to stop over by your blog, but I am having problems with my browser. Every time I click on either of your blogs, I get booted out of the Internet completely. I've been trying to fix the problem for awhile now.

    Merry Christmas! *hee-hee! I had to post the story, A Playful Stitch. It's too happy to keep hidden.*

  13. That sounds really irritating. Solve that problem next year by having your brother order it for you. It'll come to your address instead of his. ;)

  14. Hilary: I would have to keep my fingers crossed that it wouldn't then get redirected to my sister's place. Haha!

  15. Have you ever seen the test one has to take to get consideration for employment in the USPS? If so, then I think it is perfectly understandable why they have so many problems! That test has no bearing on common sense type applications that would be at least helpful to have when sorting mail and such so how could we expect them to do a great job then?
    I was going to tell you to take the first CD that finally arrived via USPS and sell it on E-bay until I realized you had to return it or get a double-charge. Rats! The best laid plans of mice and crazy old ladies I guess.
    Merry Christmas Michelle and Hope you have a great New Year too! (ANd you get only your own mail and bills -not your brother's!

  16. Jeni: I sooo thought about selling the other cd. But the company has my credit card on file, so it was a no-go on that one.

    Merry X-mas!


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