Friday, December 19, 2008

Jenny vs. The Puddle

Ok, administrative stuff first:

For some reason, the recent comments widget I use on Blogger has randomly decided to break and display comments that are almost six months old. They are obviously not recent. I'll give it another day or so to sort itself out, but after that, it's coming down, and I'll figure out some other way to track who has been saying what, and where.

Onwards to the post title!

Today I went out to do errands. This often happens. I had an appointment somewhere, and then I went on to Target, thus acquiring much gift bows, gift tags, and holiday cards. I am in full Jenny-holiday-mode now. I was gone for perhaps two hours, maybe a little less.

I returned home to find a package on my doorstep. What joy, a package!

Except, you see, the new mailman had left my package (which contained a book), in a puddle on my doorstep. In fact, in the only single, solitary puddle on the entire doorstep. This is not a small doorstep. It is made of concrete; it could house several plants, comfortably, and still allow people to walk in and out of my front door with ease. There was a large amount of space on the doorstep that was completely dry. Yet the package was sitting in the puddle, as if it had been placed there on purpose. I can only assume that my substitute mailman (my beloved mailman, Andy, is on sabbatical for a year) put it there that way.

I ran into the house with the package and the shopping. The entire envelope was soaked through. But somehow, thanks to whatever miracle manilla envelope bubble padding that Simon & Schuster had used, the book inside was dry.

I was relieved.

More than relived because this had been an entirely unexpected present from an editor, and it's actually a book that looks *really* good.

But after relief, comes anger, at least in my case, where books are concerned.

So I called my local post office and spoke to the supervisor for about ten minutes. And I lodged a formal complaint against the substitute mailman, who had been getting progressively worse for the last few months. Little things, like giving my neighbors my mail, and giving me my neighbors' mail. Or completely ignoring the green rubbermaid bin that permanently lives on my doorstep, for the express purpose of putting packages in. But the package in the puddle was really the last straw.

I hate to complain about postal workers, because sometimes they have a tough job. But seriously, I pay your salary with my tax dollars--don't leave my packages in puddles. Enough said. =)


Justus M. Bowman said...

It sounds like you have a new adversary!

ryan field said...

Thank you for this post!!

I live in New Hope, PA, my mail box is at the end of a long driveway across the street, and there's a new sub carrier almost every day because I'm on the outskirts of town. I've missed important, time sensitive mail, I've received neighbors' mail by mistake and I've had books dumped into the ditch next to the mail box. But most of all, I depend on the mail for checks and I'm constantly worried.

I've complained, but it doesn't do any good. So I'm thinking about getting a PO Box in the next town (some post offices are excellent; mine isn't) and having all money sent to my paypal account. I hope your complaint worked, but I wouldn't count on it.

Jena said...

Our passive-aggressive mail carrier's favorite trick was leaving a "Sorry we missed you!" note in our box, which meant we had to go to the postal outlet at the mall and pick up the parcel -- or in this case, a registered letter in a regular business-size envelope. And the carrier had "missed" me half a dozen times now.

Missed me? How could she miss me when (a) I work at home, and (b) I have a dog that goes nuts when the doorbell rings? (Somebody rang the doorbell once when I was in the shower, and the dog pushed open both the bathroom door and the shower door to get me.)

When I called Canada Post to complain, they tried to tell me I must not have heard the doorbell. "Just a second," I said, and leaned outside to ring the bell. On cue, the dog went ballistic.

I got my apology, and a promise that the carrier would be disciplined if it happened again.ers

Don said...

Actually, just as an aside, your taxes don't pay for anything at the post office: While it's a government agency, it is required to capture all of its costs through postage and fees.

Elissa M said...

The USPS is really an amazing thing, when you think about it. Millions of packages, letters, magazines, bills, checks, etc. delivered six days a week just about anywhere in almost any weather. But all of it hinges on the guys and gals who work there. Like any organization, there are the occasional lazy, incompetent and/or stupid employees who mess up the whole works.

Anyone with a good delivery person should let him/her know their efforts are appreciated. We don't have home delivery where I live and have to go to the Post Office for mail. But the workers there are really nice, and our packages can't ever be left in puddles. Except by UPS, but that's a whole different story.