By Post

So for the second time in just over a week, the postal service has misdelivered a package that was addressed to ME. I’d like to add that these are the first two packages in the history of ever that I’ve cared about when they arrived. Still, USPS is normally on their game at getting packages to me. I’m not sure the last time I expected a package that took more than a week to get to me, nor do I recall tracking information that was as jacked up at what I’m getting for these two, shy of stuff I got “free” shipping on.
The first one was labeled “delivered”, yet there was nothing in my grubby little hands. After two days, I called USPS. They seemed to think it was a legitimate concern, but said that someone on the local level would have to give me a call in one business day–the following Monday. I was called and lied to outright. The man told me that “delivered” just meant that the package had arrived at the sorting facility, but that they’d gotten “hundreds and hundreds” of packages over the holiday weekend, so of course there was backlog. I told him that language was confusing, but I just mentally wrote it off that someone accidentally marked the package received while logging it through their system.
Not so. The package arrived two days later with “Misdeliver” written on it.
Now, I have a package with the slowest tracking in the history of the world waiting out there. It appeared to have taken the weekend to travel from it’s origin to New Jersey, then six days to make the trip from Jersey to Ohio. And then it was marked “missent” after it left, and after two days.
If the misdeliver happened locally again, I’m lodging so many complaints. I don’t even receive that many packages, but I know this is more than a little effed up. One of the mail carriers that handles our apartment already admitted to just LEAVING mail in my box because someone in the complex, somewhere, had my last name.

3 responses to “By Post”

  1. Oh the post office … a huge source of mixed feelings for me.

    I worked for the federal gov’t for 12 years. In addition to giving me carte blanche to say whatever I want about civil service, my tenure there taught me a lot about how very very large organizations work. The short answer? They don’t.

    From what I’ve witnessed, I’ve decided that humans don’t perform well when amassed in large quantities. The combination of too many opinions and the inertia of coordinating that much communication ultimately cripples the project. Humans also don’t perform well when they have no accountability, when there’s no external feedback mechanism for their performance. Combine the two and you have a machine that’s superbly geared towards incompetence. The only thing that can temporarily overcome these two powerful forces of entropy is a huge, overriding, urgent, short lived mission that everybody in the vast organization inherently understands the value of. ( Think D Day in WWII. )

    So the fact that the post office delivers anything anywhere within any time frame is nothing short of a miracle to me. Believe it or not, they are in fact the best example possible of a gov’t organization. I mean, what would FedEx deliver for 45 cents? Absolutely nothing. And that 45 cents? Is a real 45 cents. It’s not subsidized by me in some other way.

    But… they are still a gov’t organization and in other ways FedEx and UPS kick the pants off them. Just look at the tracking system. Both FedEx and UPS’ tracking systems worked almost flawlessly the second they were launched, what? 12 years ago? 15 years ago? A long fucking time ago. USPS is still struggling with this basic functionality.

    Another weird thing about the post office is that in my experience ( and now yours too apparently ) the local service is the worst part. In one housing tract I lived in the carrier refused to use the package boxes next to the mail boxes, forcing all of us to visit the actual post office during its M-F unfriendly-to-working-people hours of 9:30 – 4:00. Usually big organizations are worse as you go UP in the chain. Usually the small groups at the bottom are “better”. Somehow the post office has found a way to defeat that axiom.

    Well.. whew! Apparently I had a lot to get off my chest! LOL… thanks for “loaning” me your blog!

  2. UPS just left our brand new phones between the screen door and the front door of our house. Luckily my husband happened to be home and heard someone come up the front stairs. When he opened the door our $700.00 package was sitting there and the UPS guy was walking away. Trent looks on line to see who was supposed to have signed for the package, “Dr.Mailbox” is listed as the person that signed for it. How about that one?
    We had a similar situation with a light that we ordered on line. Again, Trent had come home on a lunch break to find our light fixture sitting out on our front porch in a large box marked Home Depot, it was a special order and not a cheap one. We don’t live in the very best neighbourhood but apparently we are very lucky or it is not as bad as we thought.

    1. Dr. Mailbox! If I saw that signed for one of my packages, I’d throw a fit, then fall into fits of laughter. I don’t even know which the the correct response there…
      I know, I know, I know it’s a tough job. But the “no one home to sign for this” procedure is really there for a reason.
      Then again, we’ve had it go the other way. My boyfriend once had a mail carrier who wouldn’t bring ANY packages to the door–she never knocked, she just left notes in the mailbox to pick packages up at the post office.

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