Sunday, June 12, 2011

USPS: Mistakes? We Got 'Em. We Don't Care.

by Leann

This past Monday, my husband and I had our anniversary. One of those big, big, can you believe it? number of years married. But because of his recent surgery, we couldn't go out and celebrate. No cards, no party, no real anything going on. We did receive a giant size floral arrangement from our kids. Beautiful, really.

My daughter, however, said to be looking for an express mail envelope. With the loss of my beloved cat and the lack of family around to help us celebrate, I was pretty glum. But I looked forward to getting whatever my daughter had sent us. However we checked the mailbox starting Saturday June 4th, even Sunday June 5th, and nothing was there. But the big day was Monday, the 6th. And guess what? No envelope. Nothing. I didn't want to say anything to my daughter. Since it hadn't arrived, maybe it got hung up in NYC. After all, I'd sent my son-in-law's birthday card there two and a half weeks ago and he still hadn't received it.

But when I went to put outgoing mail in our box on Wednesday morning, June 8th, there was the express mail envelope. All by itself. No other mail. Inside was her handwritten note. I will treasure it forever, the tribute to our marriage was so beautifully said. But half of the tears I shed were for how late this had arrived. For $18, that envelope came in the same amount of time as if she'd just put a regular stamp on the envelope.

I think the lost birthday card to my son-in-law, the fact that several times I've put mail in the box only to have them toss delivered mail on top and not take the outgoing mail added to this latest screw up finally got to me. First I fired off an email online to USPS and then I called our local post office. I got the Post Mistress on the line. That's when the excuses began, but she did say she would look in to it.

She called back later to say that the express mail had been scanned on June 4th. Was delivered. No it wasn't, I told her. Then she told me that when the carrier delivered our mail on Monday morning (day of our anniversary) the express mail envelope was in our box. No it wasn't. Because when I got our mail, it wasn't there. And it wasn't there Tuesday either. It suddenly appeared Wednesday morning. See, somehow, she said, it ended up back at the post office and the carrier then delivered it (supposedly again). Her words were something to the effect that this was so bizarre, it had to be true. Huh? That's your excuse? That, of course, was also laced with implications that we missed this important piece of mail somehow. (Really, it was our fault.)

I am still boiling about this. Whatever happened to, "Someone on our end screwed up. We're sorry?" I actually might have understood if those words had been said--and they offered to refund my daughter's wasted $18. But no. Guess that's not the way the world works these days. Blame someone else, make up a story, lead with excuses and cite rules. That's how it goes. It makes me angry, sad and disappointed. The best part is that I DO have that note from my daughter, it wasn't completely lost like my son-in-law's birthday card.

How about you? Has the post office let you down lately? I'd love to hear about it! :-)