Friday, December 07, 2007

Hacking the Post Office


Quick tip: If you want to send me into a screaming, flailing rage, please send me something which requires a signature on delivery.

We get a vaguely-worded note from the Post Office about how they are "holding our package" (and I take a brief break here to giggle like a 5th grader) and will be waiting for us to drive down to the office to sign for it, then we need to find a time to make that trip during the hours the Post Office is actually open.

No "Sign this card and leave it". No "Mail this card at your own cost and we will try to deliver again". No "Email us your work address so you can sign there".

Just an all too plainly stated "We've got you by the package -- See you soon".

In this particular case, in December when more people than I knew actually lived on this side of town all queue up frantically still stuffing live animals and gel and fireworks into boxes in the Post Office lobby to get everything delivered before the gift-giving mood evaporates on the 26th.

You've been to the Post Office. You know standing in line that you are the only one in the room who has ever mailed anything -- Or at least that is a pretty safe assumption given the stupid things everyone in the front of the line is trying to do.

And no one behind the counter hurries. Ever. Postal employees wear their steady pace like a vintage hoodie.

Here is the work-around for that:

Our Post Office closes at 5pm. Hard closes. The lobby is locked and if anyone inside can hear the frantic pounding on the doors they mask it like they were born to performance.

We chose to show up at 4:59pm, push past the strolling Postal Worker in the act of closing those doors and then take our place in the fastest moving line ever witnessed in the history of mail.

Apparently, the need to go home is strong in these brave Federal employees. And after 5pm, they don't care about the size of the air holes punched in the boxes of the people in the front of the line. They don't care about boxes with corners seeping blue goo. They don't care about envelopes that smell of sulphur and are on fire.

They just want to go home to play with the Nintendo Wii, have some Mac and Cheese and sleep the sleep of the "Guaranteed Retirement in 1,275 days" set.

This is your key to fast mailing any time of year.

I've gotten a few emails (surprisingly enough) about what I'd like for Hanukkah this year.


Guys, Hanukkah gift-giving is really more about children. Adults don't care so much.


It is a time for children to open gifts and for grown-ups to reflect on the miracle of light in dark times.


It all comes down to community. When we light candles every night we are a part of a global ritual of remembrance.


However, if your holiday traditions include gifts to bloggers then it would be hurtful and wrong of me to deny your right to celebrate in whatever way brings joy to you.


If that is the case, I'm sure you will be able to think of something.

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