True stories with a twist!

Posts tagged ‘POST OFFICE’


They want to close it. I understand the “why,” but how about the “how?” How could a town as large as Morristown be left post-office-less?

The letter came in the mail and included a survey. We were asked to answer all the questions that would help decide the future of Morristown’s Post Office. Can it be that citizens actually have a voice in Post Office decisions? Can it be within my power to stop the close-happy powers in their slimy tracks?

I will help save this needed facility. I will protect the jobs of all the employees working there. I’ll let the survey senders know how valuable the post office is to our town.

Here are some of the questions they asked to determine whether this post office is necessary: all I have to do is check the column of uses as “Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Twice a Year or Never.”

The questions on the questionnaire looked easy enough: do I buy stamps there, “yes’’.   But daily? monthly? once in a decade? I buy stamps when letters bounce back warning, “needs more postage.” If they would stop raising the price of stamps by one penny I’d have stamps with the right postage.  

But then came the nastier, trickier questions.

1) Buying stamp-collecting material. No. I have never been attracted to the sedentary style of this hobby. I much prefer walking, swimming, or hot-air balloon riding. Therefore I do not buy stamp collector materials here or anywhere. I had to check the “never” box.

2) Entering permit or bulk mailings. Could they mean the birthday present I send Aunt Gertrude every April 28th? That’s probably not what the P.O. means at all. Since I don’t do bulk mailings I had to check “never” again.

3) Obtaining federal agency forms like selective service or duck stamps. OK: I give up; what are duck stamps? No, I’m afraid I’ve never asked for one, since I don’t know what they are. Selective service? ME? Nope, not that either. Get ready for another “never.”

4) School Bus Stop: What does that have to do with the post office? This is getting silly.

5) Community gathering place: I can see it now: “Friends of Night Crawlers’ Association” will meet at the post office for our annual meeting.”  Ridiculous. Of course nobody uses the post office as a gathering place. Must I check another “never” box?

If these are the kinds of activities the Morristown Post Office sponsors, and so many “never” boxes were checked, maybe they’re right.

Now I wonder why post offices were invented at all.

Send It, Tend It or End it

Send it, Tend it or End it

I finally understand what the postal service has been doing all these years.The function of the US Postal Service is clear. It is not what you assume, not what you think and not what you ever thought. Bringing bills, annual holiday cards and junk mail to our homes is what we always thought was their mission.

Not so.

After years of paying attention and becoming aware of Postal techniques I began to realize that the hidden mission of the Postal Service is to do everything they can to create reasons for people to meet and come together. Postal workers have developed a clever way to achieve this goal.

It’s a little known company policy known as DWMWP, or “Deliver the wrong mail to the wrong people.”

This policy is implemented with the Post office’s low tech answer to Twitter. They don’t tweet: they send messages inconspicuously. Nobody knows about their secret methods, or even that they ARE methods.

Did you really think it was a coincidence that so many envelopes addressed to other people living at other addresses somehow arrive regularly in your mailbox?

The mail personnel count on most people making the effort to track down the true recipients of the mail. Then the person receiving the wrong mail calls the intentionally wronged party to say,

“The mailman brought me an oversized envelope with your name on it, containing personal financial information and a special notice from the IRA. Would you like to see it?”

The wronged party and intended party then make arrangements to meet and exchange mail or to meet and decry the terrible state of mail service these days. But they will meet, and that’s the point.

I received a package from Chico’s addressed to someone several blocks away. I looked up her phone number on “” and called.

“Hello, June. We haven’t met, but I’m a neighbor of yours. The postman delivered a package from Chico’s addressed to you.”

“Oh, I’ve been waiting for that package. Would it be alright if I came right over to pick it up?” She was at my front door ringing the bell almost before I could hang up the phone. Before she came inside she removed her shoes.

“I have been trained by my new Japanese daughter-in-law,” she said. “Yoko insists that I take my shoes off before entering her house.” June was a delightful woman with a charming British accent. “I have worked at AT&T for sixteen years but now I’m nervous. We’re all waiting for an announcement of another massive layoff. None of us knows whether or not we still have jobs.”

Considering the dire news she was contemplating she was cheerful and positive. I would welcome her as a friend.

Another time I received a package clearly addressed to “The Reverend Daniel J. Kim” His address contained the same house number as ours, but on a street around the corner. I called his house and spoke to his wife, who said, “Please come over.”

I did, and thought, when else in my life would I have an opportunity to meet a Korean minister?

I was impressed with the calm, serene aura they exuded. Their home had gentle, peaceful music playing that relaxed me the moment Mrs. Kim opened the door. “We do not know many neighbors,” she said. “Everyone is in such a hurry.” I understand that comment very well. My busy life needs more of their influence.

Then, on the oppostite spectum of misdelivered mail, was the Party Planner. But that’s a whole other story leaving me with the question, “Are all party planners outspoken, overpowering, and opinionated?

And how many romances have developed from postal “mistakes?” The numbers, if revealed, would probably put “” to shame.

“My birthday card had mistakenly been delivered to him and he came over to bring it to me. It was love at first sight.”

“I was deep in thought writing a summary to a term paper, when the phone rang and I heard that voice. She told me about a mistake in a mail delivery. Is that what my horoscope meant when it predicted that something special would happen today?”

Testimonials abound.

The next time you receive a parcel or envelope addressed to someone else, wink back at the postman and say,” I ‘m onto your secret mission and I understand the covert operations of the U.S. Postal Service.

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