Friday, May 17, 2024

Me vs USPS

Thursday I nearly got into a fight with the local postal manager/supervisor. As she antagonized me in the post office, I kept Wilson's USPS experience in mind. I don't need a nasty gov employee telling lies about me making threats I didn't make.

But I was getting angry.

First, a little backstory. This is a small town. No stoplights and no home mail delivery. If you are to get your mail, you must go to the post office to pick it up. The post office insists that every piece of mail have your P.O. Box number in the address. If not, they threaten to send it back. Many companies say they can't send things to a post office box for "security" reasons. Thus we have a problem. If I get it at all, and unless UPS or Fedex drop it off on my porch, it will come through my P.O. box, no matter how much those companies don't like it.

We have the additional problem that sometimes UPS drops off our packages at the post office for them to deliver. And if UPS doesn't put the box number in the address, the Post Office will snap. On us, not on UPS.

For years, the post office has nagged local residents about telling everyone who sends us mail to put the PO box number on the mail. We do, but it often doesn't work. Often, even if I put the number in my address, the sender will drop that part. I can't control that.

I also pick up the mail for 3 households, meaning it isn't in my control what others do with their addresses.

Which brings us to Thursday.

My parents had a slip in their box saying they had mail to pick up at the counter-- 4 packages. I took the slip to the counter, gave it to the woman, and told her the box number I was picking up the packages for. 

She got them off the shelf and as she carried them to the counter she started complaining because the packages only had the street address on them. I said I was sorry. She asked if I knew how long it took her to look up the box numbers? (I guess she's unable to use a computer database.) She said she has other things to do and looking up addresses takes time she could be using for other things.

I said I was sorry, but this was my parents' mail, and that I have also had trouble with businesses that won't put the box number in the address. I said I do keep trying, though.

She stepped it up a notch. She said "Everyone else manages"-- which I know isn't true because I've talked to, and overheard, many people having the same issue. I was trying to stay civil and said I understand, but sometimes companies don't listen, and that a lot of times, no matter how many times I've added a box number to my address, it doesn't get added on the address label. She just got ruder.

She started lecturing me on how to write the address so that companies will include the box number.

I already do this-- I write it like 123 Street St., Box 321-- because I've noticed that if you include "PO" anywhere on that line, it will often get left off. Or outright rejected. So she told me you can also list your name like John Smith 321, because "you can use anything for a name".

The trouble is, my parents' packages were medication, and the insurance company sent it to the name on their records. You can't just add numbers and expect them to be left in place... if you can figure out how to add them in the first place.

She was getting more hyper about it, and I noticed her apprentice/helper had stepped out to watch the interaction.

Through it all, I kept saying I understood her problem, but that I have no control over what address format companies use, especially not for mail sent to my parents. That I do my best, but it doesn't always work.

She just got ruder and ruder. Kept telling me that if mail doesn't have the box number on it, it will just sit on the shelf for 20 days and then she'll send it back. I said "Go ahead." I was done with her rude attitude. I was starting to shake a little due to adrenaline, and I'm betting she could hear it in my voice.

My thought was that this is her JOB, and if she doesn't want to do her JOB maybe she should find a different one. I didn't voice this opinion, but I was thinking it rather loudly.

As I walked out the door, she said "Have a nice day", but with contempt in her voice.

Government employees can be the absolute worst, because there are no consequences.

When I got to my parents' house with the mail I told them what happened, so they called the online pharmacy to have the box number added to the address. They supposedly added it to my dad's address, but said it was already part of my mom's address (but it wasn't on the label). They claimed they will make sure it's part of the shipping address from now on.

We'll see.

And if not, we'll see if postal cow changes her attitude next time. I think I have a package coming in the next few days. That will be a joy.

I filed a complaint. too. This sort of thing has gone on too long. So, if I get SWATted...

Thank you for reading.