Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Further Experiments with Postal Karma

Ok, so in our last episode, I had delivered the movie-less Netflix mailpiece to the already upset postal customer Mrs. V.
A few days after that adventure, I came face to face with the usually not-at-home Mrs. V.
She was picking up her blue recycling bin from the curb when I came into her yard.
I offered her a sunny HELLO and in turn receiver a big fat nothing!
Two days later, she got a card mailed back to her that she had sent out with a non-existant street name on it. I knew the person she was mailing the card to ( a very nice teacher of mine from high school).
I was faced with a moral dilema.
1) Do i smugly stuff the letter back in her box and say to myself "See Mrs. V..sometimes it's not the dear old PO that screws up..."
2) do i dig deep and listen to my higher angels, bring the letter back to the PO, correct the address and send it on its merry way?

I went for option #2.
Now I am waiting to see if that secret act of kindness will be able to magically turn this embittered customer around.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another day, another baggie

Just when i thought i was out of the woods with Mrs. N's chewed up bill,
I get the front only of a Netflix envelope..no movie ! Beautiful!
And doesn't it figure it has to be delivered to another doubting customer.
i don't have very many unhappy campers out there ..really..it just sounds like i do.
This lady wasn't getting a bank statement for weeks on end...and somehow..this was my fault???...even though my boss told her that the bank in question was screwing up LOTS of people's statements for some reason.
So i had to shove the Netflix lable in a damn WE'RE SORRY bag.
And then i had to hold my breath, drop it in the box and hightail it outta there.
which is exactly what i did.
so far...no call to the boss............
does this crap happen to other people, or am i just a crap magnet?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why did it have to happen to HER?

Yesterday as i was pitching my mail, I came acrossed a piece of chewed up mail that had been placed in a "We're Sorry" baggie. The thing has been totally destroyed. All that remained of the envelope was the very corner where the return address was. So i was tasked with returning her little corner to her. God knows what happened to the other 98% of the bill she sent out. Don't ask me how.. I just know it was a bill.
If this happens to any customer, it's bad.
But when it happens to one like HER, it really sucks.
She has the misfortune of living at a number that often gets confused (by subs, of course, not by me!) with the same number on another street.
She is not a customers that needs any more amo against the USPS or another axe to grind.
Today, her mail from yesterday was still in the box, so happily i got a reprieve.
And just to make me even happier, Mrs. B got her freakin' DAILY WORD! It's more like a Bi-Monthly Word..but what's a few months among friends?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Data Drop

one of my fellow carriers told me of a phenomenon she calls "Data Drop".
Data Drop is when you bid off of a route and have been off of it for a short while, and another carrier asks you info about your old route like a no such number, or if a certain customer from that route is UTF.. and you have absolutely no idea. Out of sight out of mind. It's like you never carried the thing.

i used to think it was funny when i would see a customer on the route, talk to them, and then see them off the clock somewhere in my civilian clothes and they would walk right by me like they couldn't possibly recognize me unless i was wearing blue polyester.

well, the reverse just happened to me..several times in one night.
i was at my son's curriculum night at school.
i deliver in the same zip that i live in and lots of customers old and new have kids in school with mine.
so at curriculum night i had two families come up to me and ask why i wasn't there mail carrier anymore. i recognized their faces, but had a complete data drop as to their names and where they exactly lived..and i was their mail carrier just a year ago!
another lady told me "you're my carrier!" and i swear to God i couldn't even place her.
i did a total data drop on her and i'm still her carrier... i guess i need people to be standing in their yard or i have no idea who they are!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Quiz Show part 2

i had 11 days off.
i came back from vacation the day after the labor day holiday.
needless to say the mail was backed up to the rafters.
i took two hours OT in the office and still left 7 feet of bulk behind.
i had huge bundles.
i was trying to hustle.
i was hoping that just for this one day, i wouldn't have to stop and explain:
1) where i've been
2)why they got their mail at 5 pm while i was gone
3)why i was so late.

i made it through the first half of the route nicely.
a few customers said it was good to see me back.
a few bitched about the service in my absence.

then i got to mrs.B.
while i was gone she had left subs 2 handwritten messages wondering where her Daily Word was.
she didn't receive one in July or August!
i was hoping that i could quietly deliver her mail without having to confront the Daily Word controversy. i knew the conversation would take more time and patience than i had.

but that wasn't to be.
she was doing a stake out.
she wanted me to know that this had never happened in 40 years and that someone at the PO told her that it was being returned to sender.
and the Daily Word said they sent her a second copy and she STILL hadn't received that.
"I'm sure it's not your fault...but...."

Any other day i would have felt capable of handling this..but not after a vacation, after a postal holiday, and not when i'm running 2 hours late.
I tried to keep it short and sweet..but it went on and on and on...
my one small victory was that i didn't say any of the Amazing Kreskin comments that were floating through my mind.
after much discourse and many, many minutes i walked away and realised
that all of the peace, and relaxation i had built up over the past 11 days was now officially gone.
somehow i managed to make it through the rest of the week.
and no, the Daily Word still hasn't shown up.
God help me. God help Mrs. B.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quiz show

I hate it when customers try to stump me with the old question
"How much does it cost to send a first class letter to Khazakistan?"
I feel so inadequate. I guess i should know all this stuff off the top of my head, but lately i feel lucky if i remember what day it is.

Last week, a kindly oldish customer wanted to know the denomination of all these stamps from the past that don't have their value on them, just the picture. i stared blankly at the Tulip, the Bird, the Heart...yeah, i've seen them all before but do i have a clue what their values are? i stalled for time while in my head i was cursing the person that made the executive decision to create all of these "priceless" stamps. i had to admit that i was stumped but told them that i could find out.
i wanted to say " why don't you just slam a few on there and hope for the best?" but i held my tongue for the 8,0000th time.

which reminds me of the classic .."Do i have enough postage on this ?"
how many times have i wanted to put my hands out to imitate a scale and then "weigh" them carefully and then thoughtfully throw them some totally random number like ..$1.62"..just to see if they could tell that i was BS-ing them.

it's like ground hog's day..this crap just keeps happening.. and i'm never ready for it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

search for the ultimate postal ring tone

about two weeks ago, my 20 year old pal jessie stopped by for a visit.
i hadn't seen her for quite a while and we were catching up.
at least we were trying to.
her cell phone was ringing every two minutes.
instead of being annoyed,
i was actually getting into it because she had such a cool ring tone
that every time she got another call, i wanted to get up and dance.

i have a pitiful tracfone and up until my meeting with jessie, an equally pitiful
pre-programmed ring tone.
after jess left, i summoned my techno-savy 11 year old son and told him the time had come for me to cough up the cash and buy my first ring tone.
he scanned through the menu and we listened for just the right song...
one that was cool, yet meaningful.
one that made a loud statement about my life.
after much searching we found it.
i believe this should be the official ring tone of mail carriers across America.
every time your boss walks by, blast your ring tone...
mick jagger belting out Beast of Burden !
it's so much more subtle than Take this job and Shove it.
and, oh yeah, i can dance to it.