Tuesday, April 04, 2006

You just can’t make this stuff up

Back at the local branch of the United States Postal Service on Saturday. I needed to mail a CD (spring break pictures of the EAC and BFG – that’s the Eldest Aardvark Child and the Boy From Georgia for those of you who may not have been keeping up) to the EAC because she simply Can. Not. Wait. Another. Day. Actually, she’s been pretty patient. It’s just taken me longer than usual to burn them as I seem to have a glitch on the CDRW drive at home. (I haven’t figured out whether it’s a hardware or software problem yet, mostly because I don’t have time at the start of the day nor the patience at the end of the day to diagnose it. It’ll wait a little while longer) Which meant I had to RE-load the pictures back on to the camera and take it to work to have TheGuys® burn it for me. (TheGuys® are our PC support staff – some of the best I’ve ever seen, offering not only an air of friendliness and esprit de corps, but a heaping dose of competence as well. Truly a rare combination) Anyway, the CD had to be mailed Saturday. Or else.

Leaving the semi-gimpy missus and the YAC in the car to bask in the joys of automotive AC, I decided, the task being somewhat basic, that I could, indeed, handle it without supervision. I stepped out of the car and turned to make my way into the building, thereby, coming too near to the truck parked next to me. You know, the big one with tinted windows, the front one of which was down about three inches? It’s really hard to see big, black dogs when they’re behind tinted glass. “ROW ROW ROW ROWLL ROW ROW!!!!” Which, loosely translated from the native Rottweiler means, “Fresh meat! Tasty snack! Come closer! I shall bite you, Large Ugly Squirrel!” I think the jar of my feet making contact with the pavement after a two-foot drop must have re-started my heart. I WAS relieved to see that I wasn’t (relieved, that is - probably only because I had gone just before leaving the house). I should have realized at that point that this little sortie wasn’t going to go the way we had planned it out back in the bunker.

I made my way into the Post Office proper, got a padded envelope off the wall and took it to the table to address it. That done, I got in line where there was just one person ahead of me - a young mother with her approximately 15 month old daughter. (Okay, technically that’s TWO people, but they only took up ONE spot) We flirted for a while – the 15 month old and I, that is, and then they were beckoned to the open window. It being a small Post Office, I couldn’t help but overhear.

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, Ma’am. I just moved here a little while back and I haven’t been getting my mail. I was…”

“You haven’t been getting your mail?”

“No, Ma’am. And I know people have been sending me things because my employer mailed my paycheck three weeks ago and it never arrived.”

“Did you put in a forwarding order?”

“No, Ma’am, but that wouldn’t make any difference in this case. I’m not talking about mail that hasn’t been forwarded…”

“You should have put in a forwarding order.”

“I know, Ma’am, and I will, but I’m talking about mail sent to my CURRENT address not being delivered.”

“Well, how long have you lived at your current address?”

“About four weeks, Ma’am.”

“And where did you live before?”

“Where I lived before has nothing to do with why I’m here. I’m not getting my mail that’s addressed to where I live now.”

“Oh, I see. And you didn’t put in a forwarding order.”

“That’s not the problem. My employer sent my check to my current address and it was never delivered. I have yet to get ANY mail at my current address.”

“You’re not getting mail now?”

“No Ma’am.”

“But you were before?”

“Not at this address.”

“And you haven’t told us to forward your mail?”

“It’s not mail with my old address that’s the problem. It’s mail that’s being sent to my current address. I haven’t been getting it.”

At this point, the Post Office Lady, seeing that the young woman just didn’t understand the importance of putting in a forwarding order, grabbed a pad of yellow Post-Its.

“Ok, give me your name. Uh huh. And what is your current address. Okay. And what was your previous address?”

“My previous address? I had someone send me a package last week to THAT address (pointing to the sticky note) and I haven’t received it yet. Ma’am, can you just go in the back and see if you have any mail for me back there? I was hoping it might just be here somewhere.”

“Oh. They sent it last week? Well, your mail may be on the carrier’s truck to be delivered. I don’t know where he is on his route, though...”

“Could you check NOW to see if there’s any mail being held for me?”

“Oh. Yes. I’ll check.”

And the Post Office Lady disappears into the back, yellow sticky in hand, for three or four minutes, only to reappear empty handed. Well, except for the sticky note, that is.

“There was no mail in the back for you. Let me get your phone number. Ok, I’ll give this to the manager when he gets in. He’s not here yet.”

The young woman eyed the yellow sticky dubiously. If she was thinking what I was thinking, her odds of winning the lottery were greater than the odds of that Post-It ever making it into the manager’s hands.

“Is there a number where I can reach HIM?” she inquired.

The Post Office Lady froze.

“UuuuhhhhI’ll just give this to the manager and he’ll call you, okay?”


“All right, Ma’am. Thank you.”

“Have a nice day!”

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