Going Postal

Last week I received a gift card in the mail from a good friend from the Nanny Days. She had sent this to me as an engagement present. On both sides of the envelope, in extremely legible (if legibility can ever be extreme) handwriting, she had written, “Do Not Bend.”

I have never seen an envelope so bent in so many directions in my entire life. (And yes, the card was bent, too.) It looked intentional, and although I partly thought it was hilarious, it is also contributing to my mail-carrier-paranoia. I know mail delivery people are just that–people, too–and that people make mistakes. But I also don’t personally know any mail carriers, and although I really like the people behind the counter at the post office near Now Church, they aren’t the ones who remove the post from my mailbox or put it in, either. These two facts make it really really easy to imagine that the people hired by the government to deliver the mail are either lacking some IQ points, or else a little passive-aggressive. I suppose if I were really honest, I would admit that my tendency to suspect the latter might also be at least tenuously related to the fact that when I worked at Starbucks, we used to give decaffeinated beverages to customers who we thought were jerks. Or who never tipped. The customer may always be right, but the purveyor of the service doesn’t have to like it–and quite often doesn’t agree.

All this makes me kind of suspicious about the book I eBayed to a guy in California–twice, because it got inexplicably sent back once and delayed both times. Also when it rains all day and I’m not home and a parcel is delivered to my doorstep but not in a plastic bag as it’s meant to be, or I get the mail of my next two neighbours and have to deliver it myself, I wonder what I or they ever did to irk our postal carrier.

Has anyone else ever experienced such postal-traumatic-stress? Or has anyone ever worked for the USPS to make a rebuttal . . . or tell stories about weird or obnoxious postal receivers?



2 thoughts on “Going Postal

  1. Former ten year veteran of the USPS here, and I have to say for the most part the standards and ethics for most carriers is quite high! Granted, there may be a degenerate few carriers who reflect poorly on the whole, but, frankly by and large the postal service is a convenient scapegoat for a larger portion of people with somewhat lower standards. Another misconception is that the postal service is a government agency. It once was but has not been for many years now, I believe since the late 70’s or early 80″s. There is oversight and the payroll is processed through the treasury, but it is by and large a non-profit that is required to operate on a budget generated by it’s own revenues. I guess I still feel pretty strongly about the the postal service, where else in the world can you post a letter and with a pretty high rate of consistency, get it delivered anywhere else in the USA for less than half a dollar.

    • Thank you, JT–this is just the kind of comment I was going for!

      I’m sure you’re right; and I’ll have to say that with the exception of the one eBay almost-fail, the USPS has conscientiously delivered everything else I’ve sold . . . and bought, too. It is kind of an amazing system. But I also feel like I’ve had an unusual number of weird mail occurrences. Then again, if I didn’t, I’d have a whole lot fewer Jenn Stories . . .

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