Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The US Post Office and ME

Okay, you are all aware that the United States Post Office can be a pain in the butt neck! Obviously nothing has changed since I went there last. I still don't know how to mail stuff.  Why do I think you have had that experience too.

It seems that a Christmas card I sent in early December had $.83 due on it and my son did not go to pick it up and pay the $83.  So it came back day before yesterday (January 31). The people at the PO were not sure why but it was finally decided that the envelope was not standard size.  I am not sure if the guys that process the mail knew that but at any rate they sent it, then sent it back using twice as much fuel and time than they needed because I am suppose to be smart enough to know that a card will not go through the mail. But wouldn't it stand to reason that the some envelopes won't ship because they won't go through the machine. Maybe, just maybe someone knew right then that the letter should not go. In all truthfulness, I think it was my fault.  I forget what era I live in and assume that the postoffice is run in such a way as to catch our mistakes.  That just isn't not the way it is.  I had to buy a new envelope and pay the postage again.  It only took me three trips to my car because I was not smart enough to ask the right questions.  First I needed more money.  Then I needed a new envelope.  Then I didn't have a pen and they didn't offer one. No one was going to keep me from mailing this *&^%$ Christmas card!  I am such an idiot and I was cranky for the rest of the day.

This morning a flat rate box I had picked up at the postoffice, purchased postage online, glued the label/postage on and mailed at the postoffice was returned to me. I thought I had read all the fine print but obviously not.  Same went to the destination and was returned to me even thought the label and postage was wrong when it left Tucson (something I learned today).  It cost me a lot to have the parcel returned and then I had to buy more postage to have them try it again. Really, I did not realize what an idiot I was.  I asked the clerk if people ever yelled at him and he said sweetly "Yes, sometime."  Then I asked him why they actually transported a parcel when they knew it would just come right back.  "I think they assume you should know what you are doing," he said.  Oh my goodness, it was a test.

Oh, and did I mention that the package was smashed flat and a letter was attached to the back stating that "it had been lost".  I am not sure if that was in a truck or an airplane.  I didn't read the letter because I just wanted to go home.

Here is what I have learned:
  • Be sure to talk to a clerk at the postoffice if you have anything that might be questionable.  You will save yourself a lot of time and money in the long run.  
  • If you are not an experienced present sender, learn what the heck is going on or use a carrier that will help you.
  • Remember...just because Hallmark sells it does not mean it will ship.  The size of the envelope can be a problem.
  • Take your ID with you when you go inside the PO.  They want to know who you are.
  • If you are buying postage that you can print online try to find our what the size of the package is in inches. I am sure it says somewhere but I did not see it. Pictures don't count.
  • Postal workers are trying to keep you happy but sometimes fall short in their communication skills.  
  • Keep your cool.  While they are not going to spit in your food they can make your life miserable.
  • Here in Arizona there are small postoffices in retail stores.  They can tell you whether it is cheaper to send your package flat rate, by weight or even using UPS.  I will go to one of those next time.
I take full responsibility for not being "US Post Office" smart.  I don't think I ever will be.  What do I do all day?  I'm just try to stay ahead of the learning curve.  In some cases I am failing miserably.


  1. Oh, boy, do I know how you feel. I've had a time with the post office this winter - all because my dad didn't want his mail forwarded to FL. aaauuugggghhhh

  2. The Postal Service is broke and falling into irrelevance. Saturday deliver will soon be a memory, as well as the 3200 local post offices being closed.

    Any business that lets a customer make a mistake, then spends more to prove that customer wrong, and expects that person to continue using it is simply suicidal.

    They have the arrogance of bureaucrats with the business sense of the government. A winning combination!

  3. I don't like the postal service and I try hard not to use them but sometimes there's no way around it, like when my daughter comes to visit me and leaves a box (or two or three) for me to mail to her in Maryland so she doesn't have to carry them on the plane. Then I have to use them. I'm usually okay with them and other than long lines and not enough parking spaces, I don't have too much to complain about. However, my son recently mailed a scarf to my daughter, one she had forgotten on a trip to Seattle and she needed it in Baltimore so she could get credit for the class in which she made the scarf. My son took it in to the post office and paid for the two day priority mail for it. When it arrived in Baltimore, instead of delivering it to her apartment, they sent her a postage due notice and she had to go get it at the post office in a not so nice part of town. And the postage due was $38! For a knit scarf! She freaked. I told her to pay it and get a receipt and my son or I would deal with getting a refund. So when she went in, the Baltimore post office looked at it and could not figure out why there was postage due on it so they tore up the notice and just handed her the package. See...they don't even know what they are doing!

  4. Thank you for the comments. This subject is like opening a can of worms. What I always wonder is why do I feel so dumb when I leave and realize later that postal employees must go to school to learn how to make me feel that way! They seem like such nice people.



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