Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rant #1,264: Snail Mail

Remember last week when I managed to find money and an old keepsake photo that I thought was lost forever?

Well yesterday, something else related to my family was found, and this time it was courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.

And I am not happy about it.

Earlier this year, an invitation to a wedding was mailed out to my home. It was for my daughter, and it was mailed to my home, and not hers, because those mailing the invitation did not have her correct address, if I remember correctly.

It was an invitation to my nephew's wedding, slated for late May.

The invitation was mailed in early March, March 5 to be exact, for a late May wedding, over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The same invitation was mailed to our family, at the same address, at the same time, and we received our invitation within days of it being mailed.

But my daughter never received her invitation.

This provided a lot of consternation between the sender and us and my daughter, and we wondered where the invitation was all of this time, because she never got it.

The wedding was held, everything was hunky dory, but the invitation never came, and we basically forgot about it.

Until yesterday, when it was delivered to us via the U.S. mail, more than five months after it had been originally mailed.

Look, the U.S. Postal Service is being attacked on all fronts. It is inefficient, losing ground to electronic mail, or email, it is bloated with too many employees for what it does, offers these employees over-bloated salaries and benefits for what they do, and also provides incredible retirement benefits.

But to the general public, it may simply be antiquated for these times.

Everyone enjoys email, but there are certain things that simply must be sent via regular mail, and a wedding invitation is one of those things.

I cannot understand how such a letter, with proper postage on it, can take more than five months to reach its destination, sent out from one end of Long Island to another location on Long Island.

It boggles the mind.

A few months ago, my wife and I mailed out a bill, and it was very swiftly returned to us. We could not figure out why, because there were no markings on the envelope, so I took it to the post office.

They told me that for whatever reason, their machinery read the return address as the destination address, and that is why it was returned to me.

I was fuming, because this was a bill--it was time sensitive. They took the envelope back without questions, and the bill arrived to its destination, barely on time.

Look, the post office is not what it once was. My grandfather worked for the post office during the early part of the 20th century, and it gave him a steady job during the Depression and afterward.

He was a postal inspector, was generally looking for bootleg liquor being sent through the mail, among other things, and he carried a gun.

He rarely spoke about his time with the post office, but my grandmother used his benefits until the day she died, decades after he left the post office and even decades after he passed away.

I am sure he was proud of his work, and proud of the mail, where supposedly no matter what, the mail gets through.

But in 2014, evidently, that is not the case anymore. The mail is horrific--we have had other recent incidences where letters should have gotten to their destination on time, but evidently haven't, including bills--and I don't have the confidence in the U.S. Postal Service that I once had.

And if anything, this latest incident proves my point.

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