I am starting to lose my faith in the U.S. Postal Service. I’ve been a proponent of the U.S.P.S. for a long while now — I used U.S.P.S. to send holiday packages and birthday gifts long after everyone else made the switch to the more effective FedEx and UPS. I still send handwritten cards, and I still buy stamps at least once a month. My siblings and dad still send letters, cards, and gifts to me through the U.S.P.S., and I am one of a dying breed of people who has experienced the joyous thrill of opening a just-because, handwritten letter from a loved one, recounting their day.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that for the majority of Americans, the U.S.P.S. is pretty much obsolete; a junk mail delivering, lumbering behemoth of yesteryear. I know it’s bloated, underfunded with overpaid workers, and inefficient compared to FedEx and UPS. I know that; but I’ve kept quietly rooting for the underdog, kept utilizing their services, and kept following the news about them.
But I’m starting to get a wee bit annoyed at how they don’t deliver certified letters. I mean, they do — spottily. I don’t really understand what’s going on with this, honestly — I’ve had it happen four separate times, in two different counties. Down in Centralia, the mail usually arrived about the time my husband left for work, so I was always home when it was delivered. Three separate times, I received that little orange certified mail slip saying, “This is your final notice. We have attempted service on this 3x. Please pick up your mail at the ______ Post Office.”
Irritates the crap out of me when that happens, especially when I know for a fact that as a stay-at-home mom with no car, I’ve been home when the mail truck has been through. Nobody ever attempted any personal service on any freaking certified mail. I even called the Post Office once to complain. They had me call the distribution center, and the distribution center said it must be a mistake, but I could pick up my mail at the post office. What. The. Eff. For reals?
Well, it just happened up here. The mail usually comes through right about noonish, and John and I are usually home. For the past week or so, we’ve actually seen the mail truck arrive and gone out directly after to fetch our mail. Added to that, John’s been home with a broken jaw, and (remember) I’m a stay-at-home parent. Our car is broken down, so we are literally stuck at home pretty much all day. We’ve been out of the house a few days for day-long bus rides to the doctors. Well, apparently the post office must have attempted to deliver this freaking letter on those specific dates and times we were out of the house (wait, that doesn’t work — those appointments were in the afternoon, so we boarded the bus around 2 p.m. for each of them — after the mail is delivered).
Today, in our mailbox, was that familiar orange slip. “Sorry We Missed You! Your item is at the _____ Post Office.” According to this slip, this is the final notice, and this letter was sent on 11-7. I can definitively state that no mailman has come knocking on our door to deliver any freaking certified letter. I am starting to suspect that some — not all — some lazy postmen use this little slip as an excuse not to deliver certified letters. I mean, the whole thing must run on the honor system, right? It’s not like they can afford cameras and whatnot, so the postman must just look at the letter, be like, “Ah, fuck, I have to walk to the door? It’s raining . . . fuck it, I’ll just tell my supervisor no one was there. They’re probably at work anyway.”
So then the next time the postman is out, they’re like, “Dude, this again? I have a ton of junk mail to shove in these boxes and I don’t really . . . fuck it, I’ll just tell my supe they weren’t there.”
And so on, until one day I get a little orange slip in my box saying, “Hey! Come to the post office and pick up the letter I couldn’t be chuffed to deliver!”I have no car, but the mailman not only has a vehicle, he is paid to deliver this letter. That is his job, and he can’t do it. One assumes a certified letter must be an important bit of mail and that an adequate effort must be made to properly deliver it, but instead my junk mail (oh, another catalogue from Bed, Bath, and Beyond!?! Your store triggers an allergic reaction from the perfumed air, you think these catalogues go anywhere but the recycle bin?) is delivered rain or shine while the mailmen apparently expect me to trot down to the post office and pick up the letter on their schedule.
At the very least, could you start writing who these damn certified letters you refuse to deliver are from? Is it a creditor I’m trying to avoid or is it a check I’ve eagerly been awaiting?