Posts Tagged ‘post office’

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." - unknown (photo: Reed)

How often do you sit down with pen and paper and write someone a letter these days?  My guess is that if you are reading this blog you are more likely to send an email.  I still try to send at least one hand written note each month, but often times I fall short of that goal.  It is so much easier to send an email, text message or update my Facebook status.  Have you ever wondered how this has affected people who depend on the mail for their livelihood? 

Meet Harold, a 22-year veteran of the US Postal Service.  I met him in front of my apartment and decided that he should be my person of the day.  I have tried to give my ten dollars to other postal workers and have succeeded once on Day 12 and failed on Day 254.   This time I succeeded.

photo: Reed

Harold is a letter carrier – and letter carrier is the proper title if you were wondering.  He took a few minutes out of his busy day to chat with me as he organized the mail from his van. 

“Things have changed a whole lot over the years,” Harold tells me.  “Mostly because of the internet; less volume.”  He says that advancements in technology have clearly benefited him in many ways in his personal life, however, professionally it has come with challenges.  “Job-wise it’s killing me,” he says explaining that his hours have been reduced due to the reduction in posted mail. 

We walked and talked briefly as he moved through the neighborhood.  He keeps moving pretty good too. 

He said he was going to give his $10 to his wife.  “That’s what I do with everything else,” he says smiling.

Harold has worked for the Post Office for 22 years. (photo: Reed)

He was busy and I didn’t want to be responsible for the wrong letter winding up at the wrong address so I let Harold go on his way.  Support your local letter carrier and send a hand written letter today.  You’ll be surprised how good it feels and the recipient will be ecstatic to receive something personal rather than bills and junk mail!

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The day after Christmas.  It’s always a bit bitter-sweet.  I am always a tad disappointed when I wake up on December 26th and am not greeted with gifts neatly wrapped in colorful paper waiting to be claimed.  It’s kind of like the last day of a wonderful vacation.  Sure the vacation was great, but it’s painful to accept the return to reality.  

Anyway, my father and I got up and went out to run some errands.  Along the way we went to the post office to send my health insurance provider a check for $5.40.  Somehow THEY sent me the incorrect invoice last month and then adjusted it leaving me owing them (adjustments somehow never end up in your favor) $5.40 by Thursday to avoid “termination of the participation in the Plan.”  

The post office was quite empty.  I for some reason expected it to be rather busy.  We were greeted promptly and helped to send our letter: Priority with Delivery Confirmation.  The post office has become rather confusing.  There are all these different types of envelopes, small forms to sometimes fill out, and options to decide.  If I am sending something other than a regular letter, which I do so infrequently now, I have no idea what I need to fill out to ensure that it gets there, not necessarily the fastest, and that I get some type of confirmation.  Let’s not even venture into the area of if I want insurance or not on the value of the contents contained.  For these reasons, I urge our current Post Master General, Jack Potter, to simplify the process or have one line that is just for questions, because I often wait in line for 20 minutes only to find out that there is a small yellow or white piece of paper that I didn’t fill out.

So, I got everything resolved and decided why not give my $10 today to the nice man who helped us at the Post Office.  I would list his name and basic things about him as I normally do, but I don’t want him to somehow get in trouble for any reason for taking my gift.  I have heard about crazy things happening at the post office, so I am not taking any chances.   We’ll call him “Phil.” 

Phil said he was going to use the money to grab some lunch.  It was just before noon, so my $10 came at the appropriate time!

Thanks for participating Phil.  I hope you had a great lunch.

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