Friday, November 18, 2011

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor BLAH BLAH BLAH. . ."

I don't know about your post office, but there have been some noticeable changes at mine. I'm not talking about the longer hours for no extra pay, or fewer mail carriers. I'm talking about the service. Not that I would deign to suggest that there's a link between less people, more work, no additional compensation, and worse service. Not me. 
          Regardless, in September I noticed that my mail was suddenly being delivered after four in the afternoon. Or later. So far, the latest delivery has been after 6:00 PM. I don't know exactly when the mail arrived, but I left at six and got home at eight, only to discover mail in my mailbox. That's not just late, that's tomorrow. 
          However, I figured I could cut the PO some slack because of the belt tightening. Plus all the old mail carriers had been replaced by a bunch of different ones, a ragtag bunch, if you ask me. Like one of the movies where there's a difficult mission that could end in death, so they choose all the misfits for the job. That bunch. 
          So even though they are trained professionals and my neighborhood is laid out in a perpendicular grid that an idiot could figure out, they might not be familiar with the routes yet. Assuming they care. 
          Along with the late deliveries, I also noticed there are days when I get no mail at all. In the thirty years I've lived in my town, that's never happened until now. Except on holidays, of course. Usually there's enough junk mail to load up my mailbox any day of the week. 
          Then mail began to disappear selectively. In September I was expecting a refund check from The Lock Up. But it never arrived. On the other hand it was never cashed. So another check had to be cut. Since that one wasn't sent to my house, I got it. 
          In October I just found out another check was sent from a different company. I never got that one either. They told me they will be sending a second one today. It should arrive on Monday or Tuesday. Maybe.
          A couple of days ago I got a whole bunch of mail intended for someone else. It included catalogs and letters, about eight in all. Over the years a single letter or magazine might get delivered to my house by mistake, but not the entire delivery. The number was correct, but the street was wrong. 
          Today I called the post office with my "concerns". As soon as I told the new postmaster what was going on, he had me talk to the supervisor in charge of delivery. I told her about the late deliveries, the days when there was no mail, the mis-delivered mail and the missing checks. I told her I was concerned that someone may be targeting my mailbox. 
          What I'm really concerned about is incompetent or even integrity-challenged new mail carriers. Mail carriers who aren't delivering the mail, but dumping it somewhere. Or delivering it to the wrong address. Or just taking the mail, although no attempt has been made to cash my checks. There's also the possibility that someone is getting my mail by mistake and throwing it out, or worse. 
          So I did something I shouldn't have done. I told the delivery supervisor when the check is supposed to be delivered. Any bets on my chances of getting that check now? She said she would put a watch on my mail. I wonder how that's done? 
          "Okay, everyone -- watch out for Mrs. Linklater's mail. She's expecting a check." 
Update to follow.    

UPDATE: Check arrived unscathed. Other checks still nowhere to be found. Also, mail is arriving BEFORE noon. And something comes every day. Hmm, I guess it pays to call with complaints.         


Donna said...

I've read stories over the years about bags full of mail from years ago being found stashed, just because some mail delivery person didn't want to work so hard.

Judith HeartSong said...

Our mail man was delivering mail in the dark with a flashlight the other day.... he was understandably bitter about his ever longer route and working conditions of delivery in the dark.....

I hate going to my local post offcie in Rockville because they are so rude.... I go to the tiny post office in Glen Echo near my studio.

And by the by.... thank you. It goes two ways.