I trust by now you’ve watched yesterday’s vlog post, yes? If not, go there. Watch it. Join me in my ‘ZOMG WTF WHO DOES THAT?!?”-ness. Then come back here. I’ll wait.
There’s more to that story, of course, but there’s only so much you can cram into five minutes… which is an unfortunate euphemism.
I’ll be writing up the whole experience soon because I want to experiment with the telling of the same basic story but with two mediums and the differences there. In the meantime, though, I want to talk about my mail.
Not long after I moved in here, a check from one of my clients went missing in the mail. They insist that it was mailed, their bank gave me the tracking info that said it was delivered but…no check. They cut another immediately when I alerted them to the problem (luckily the first hadn’t been cashed by whoever got it) and I chalked it up to a random mail mishap. They happen sometimes. Annoying but, ultimately, not a big deal.
Over the last few months we’ve had some issues: the mail carrier delivering a neighbor’s mail here and our mail to people down the street a few times (always someone different). Again, annoying but the benefit of this particular neighborhood is that everybody knows everybody so the mistakes were quickly corrected. We’d get no mail for days and then a huge stack with weeks old postmarks mixed in with current postmarks. I chalked it up to just one of those things that happens sometimes….over and over again.
Last month J’s boss swore his paycheck was mailed (they outsource payroll so checks get delivered via regular mail) but it still hasn’t showed up. Like with my situation his boss simply stopped payment on the first check and issued a second.
These problems are curious-making and irritating but ultimately with a few exceptions it looks like everything gets delivered eventually so…whatever.
Then today a single piece of mail arrived in our mailbox. For someone IN VIRGINIA.
Let that sink in for a second. Not only is it the wrong state it is the wrong damn coast. Beyond that, there is nothing similar between the person’s address on the envelope and my address. Still, there it was. This piece of mail so clearly not for anybody who had ever lived here before us because it was addressed to a different address in a different state on a different coast of the country.
Here’s what I don’t get: I know that things happen. Humans make mistakes. It’s entirely possible that whatever got put through whatever machine wherever this was processed actually was addressed to us and this went through too quickly to be caught. There are still several other human check points between the initial mailing sorter and here, one of which is my human mail carrier. How does the human mail carrier not look at the one piece of mail he was delivering and not see that “hey that address is absolutely and completely not this residence I’m standing in front of! I should get this corrected!”? How does this one piece of mail get delivered here? I’d understand if maybe it was stuck to something else by accident but it wasn’t. It was the only piece of mail that arrived today. FOR SOMEONE IN VIRGINIA.
I know that the USPS is having serious financial troubles and they are short staffed and things happen but…but…VIRGINIA. To a residence IN OREGON.
I’ve called the USPS to alert them to the problems we’ve been having, this one in particular, and am waiting for a call back. In the meantime that piece of mail is sitting on my coffee table, one stamp’s worth of WTF, sitting there until the person handling my “case” at the USPS tells me what to do with it (I want to put it into an envelope and mail it to the intended recipient but when I called today the initial report taker said to wait until my case worker gave the okay for that so I wouldn’t get in trouble for mail tampering).
It makes me wonder: where is the mail that is meant for me ending up? Are those people just as flummoxed as I am?