Archive for January, 2006

Going postal

Friday, January 13th, 2006

First, a little bit of background… I live in San Francisco, but I still have some stuff at my parents’ house in Hawaii. I made it clear that I didn’t want any of my belongings thrown away. Among my belongings were stacks of pictures, letters, and other memories that I would like to keep. My sister and parents decided that if they couldn’t throw my stuff away, the next best thing would be to store my cardboard boxes outside while Hawaii suffered through torrential downpours of rain. They decided that the best time to pull this maneuver was two weeks before I came home for Thanksgiving, so that everything could be ruined more effectively before I would have a chance to mail any of it to San Francisco.

Their nefarious scheme was fairly successful, and a large number of pictures and other memories were destroyed. I dried off the surviving items, scraped the mold off as best I could, and mailed new boxes to the mainland. Since I’m a cheap bastard, I told the post office to mail my boxes in “the cheapest, slowest way possible.” And that’s what this MeMail was supposed to be about before I got distracted.

I just received one of my boxes today, a month and a half later. It was in pieces. Apparently, the post office decided that shipping my box by slow boat wouldn’t be slow enough. Since I brilliantly requested the “slowest” delivery possible, the post office decided to cross out the zip code I wrote on the box and add their own random zip. After the delivery to this first imaginary zip code failed, they tried a few more fake zip codes. There were several papers taped on top of the box saying, “Not zip code xxxxx, should be xxxxx.” On the final paper they reposted the original zip code that I had written in large print on the box (and it was still clearly legible even though they crossed it out). I think my box went all over the country because they decided they know my zip code better than I do!

I guess the moral of the story is to avoid specifically requesting the “slowest” delivery possible. What was I thinking?! However, I’m actually extremely happy that I received the box at all. When I was at Stanford, postal employees were fond of throwing away mail and verbally abusing just about everybody. I’m not exaggerating. Campus postal employees were caught on camera throwing bins of deliverable first-class mail into a dumpster. When questioned about this behavior, the employees stated, “We do things like this to save time.” Hahahahaha, how awesome is that?!! And by awesome I mean completely absurd.