I have a confession to make: I hate mail.
Because I pay my bills online, I rarely get any important mail, so when I come home, I throw my mail into a rather large box, to be sorted through some day prior to the turn of the next century.
When I moved into my first apartment, I was thrilled to have my own key to a mailbox–my OWN mailbox– in the wall of mailboxes in the lobby. My mail in those days consisted of an occasional supermarket coupon. Nowadays, my mail consists of an occasional legitimate piece of mail, and enough junk mail to fill a thirty-gallon trash can once a week.
Let me insert another confession here. I also hate retrieving the mail, which will then be thrown into the large box that my heirs will have to painstakingly search through, to retrieve elusive important documents, upon my death.
I have lived at my residence for over 27 years. I used to pick up my mail, daily. Everyone on our street had their mail delivered to a standing, locked unit at the mouth of our street. I would stop briefly, retrieve my mail, and continue up the hill to my house.
Enter new people moving into the neighborhood, stage left. It was suddenly determined that our standing locked unit was too conspicuous and unsafe. It’s convenient location was deemed to be too inviting for mail tamperers. The locked unit was moved to a location up the hill, way beyond where my section of the street turns off into a cul-de-sac.
Seriously? I must have been in the bathroom when everyone agreed that this was the best place to put the unit.
I work late, and I rarely want to travel up the steep hill, do a three-point turn while avoiding driving off of a sheer cliff, to then back– uphill–into the neighbors driveway, in order to retrieve my mail; praying all the while that the parking brake on my car, now pointing downhill, is holding.
Did I mention that it is pitch black at night in these foothills, and there are things, like coyotes, that like to go chomp in the night?
I work so much that I do my shopping online, and as a result, my mail carrier, most likely in desperation from all the undelivered junk mail obscuring their vision through the windshield, used to bring my mail to the door with my packages.
I realized that something had gone awry the other night, when I saw that there was a message on top of the rubber-banded roll of mail on my doorstep. Scrawled on the back of a piece of a catalog, not unlike a ransom note, was written,
“You need to pick up your mail more often.”
That was the last mail I ever got.
The next time that I risked life and limb to retrieve my mail, I found one lone pink slip in my empty mailbox stating that my mailbox was too full and I would have to retrieve my mail at the Post Office. I haven’t gotten any mail or packages since.
I am in mail purgatory.
This got me to thinking. How come my mail HAS to be delivered to a receptacle up the hill, rather than at my home, which is closer. Everyone I know has their mail delivered to their homes.
What am I? Chopped liver?
I started making calls. When my local post office finally picked up the line, I voiced my complaint about being shunned by the United States Postal Service. The Supervisor of the Post Office did his best to be helpful. He suggested, since retrieving my mail was proving to be so difficult, I should purchase a post office box, for approximately fifty bucks a year. Of course, the post office box would be located, —wait for it — at the post office, the very place I was attempting to avoid going, and where I could at this point, still pick up my mail for free.
He also volunteered to give me a list of phone numbers that I could use to contact the junk mail people, to ask them to please stop sending me all of this junk mail; the very junk mail that I never actually requested for them to send to me in the first place.
When the Supervisor of my local Post Office finally listened and caught on to the fact that I wasn’t going to purchase a post office box, he gave me the phone number of the official consumer complaint department of the United States Postal Service.
When I asked the consumer complaint representative why I couldn’t have my mail delivered to my door LIKE EVERYONE ELSE I KNOW, she stated that my mail could not be left outside my door with my packages because it would be considered leaving my mail in an unsafe, unsecure location.
Apparently, the thousands of sheets of supermarket ads, and the old Penny Saver flyers, require a higher level of security than the $100 headphones that I ordered from Amazon, which were left sitting outside my door.
She stated that the postal delivery was moving away from delivering mail to individual homes, and my mail delivery location had already been pre-determined, which was postal code for: when pigs fly.
I think I am beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. I am going to have to take time out of my work schedule to go to the post office to retrieve my ten pounds of junk mail to get the one legitimate portion of mail that I need: my car registration tags. Time that I could otherwise spend saving lives, damn it!
Ok, maybe not saving lives exactly, but I do put everything I’ve got into convincing people to quit driving while under the influence.