Refusing To Go Postal

humor, US Postal Service, delivering the mail, Modern PhilosopherI’m a creature of habit, Modern Philosophers.

Every Sunday, I pay the bills.  Since I’m old school, this means sometimes putting an actual check in an envelope and sending it out into the world via snail mail.

On Monday morning, I put the outgoing payments in my mailbox, move the red flag to the upright position, and head off to work.

When I return to The House on the Hill Monday night, the red flag on the mailbox is down again, and my letters have magically begun their journey to my creditors.

It’s a simple routine.

Except when it’s not.

This Monday, the red flag was still standing at attention and my check to the heating oil company was still hanging out inside the mailbox.

I quickly checked to see if it was some sort of government holiday.

It was not.

I mentally recited the United States Postal Service Creed, and it still said that thing about nothing standing in the way of my mailman’s appointed rounds.

So why was the letter still in my mailbox?

humor, US Postal Service, delivering the mail, Modern PhilosopherLet me also point out that I am a supporter of the US Postal Service.  As you might have noticed from my numerous running selfies, I wear a USPS hat when I run.

I decided it was just a fluke and put it out of my mind.

Until I got home from work Tuesday and the damn red flag was still up and taunting me.


Wait a minute, Mr. Postman.

Your job is pretty clear cut.  You put mail in the box, and take mail out of the box.  All part of the delivery process.

So today, I called the Post Office to complain and to inquire as to when I might expect that letter to disappear from my mailbox.

The response I received was not what I expected.  In fact, I’m leaning towards finding a new running hat.  And paying all my bills online.

The woman at the Post Office told me that a mailman’s contract states that he doesn’t  have to retrieve any mail from a box if he doesn’t have mail to deliver to that box.

Ummmm…run that by me again please!

She said that even if the mailman sees that there is outgoing mail, he is not contractually obligated to pick it up unless he is already going to the box to deliver mail.

Is it just me, or does that sound insane?

Would a police officer ignore a crime if he weren’t already at the scene to arrest someone else?  Would a doctor ignore a sick patient if she weren’t already in the room to treat the other patient there?

It’s ridiculous.

And it just made me angry.

humor, US Postal Service, delivering the mail, Modern PhilosopherAnd when I get angry, I become a wise ass.

I asked the ray of postal sunshine on the other end of the line why my mailbox had the little red flag.

Because if the mailman is only going to pick up my mail when he delivers to my box, what is the need for a system that notifies the postal carrier that there is mail that needs retrieving?  Just explain that one to me.

She was not a fan of my logic, Modern Philosophers.  She just repeated her line about not having to pick up my mail.

I decided one of us had to deliver a message, so I hung up on her.

Guess what I saw when I arrived home from work tonight?

The red flag on my mailbox still in the “You’ve got mail!” position.

I took the envelope out of the mailbox and walked down to City Hall.  There’s a big blue official USPS mailbox out front, so I deposited my letter.

Let’s see some contract loophole get them out of collecting that letter now!

Honestly, though, how crazy is it that the mailman doesn’t have to collect my mail?  His job title seems to disagree with that idea.

humor, US Postal Service, delivering the mail, Modern PhilosopherI’d think that any self-respecting postal carrier would consider it his duty to make sure every piece of mail gets delivered.  What happened to “No letter left behind”?

Sometimes, the world boggles my mind.

Mostly, it just gives me a huge headache.  This one, delivered courtesy of the US Postal Service.  Free of charge…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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10 Responses to Refusing To Go Postal

  1. ksbeth says:

    i have been told the same thing as well!

  2. Kenneth T. says:

    Your mail (using their flawed logic) must still be in that “big blue box”, after-all, unless they deliver to that box… they simply won’t visit it

  3. Kenneth T. says:

    Sad thing, my wife has told me the same thing (and I live in Georgia). 😦

  4. Jamie says:

    Yes! That has happened to me before. I was so glad that it wasn’t a bill that had to go out that day or I would have been so mad that they made it late.

    Of course, I never called the post office. I just assumed that they decided to be lazy that day instead of it being in their job description.

  5. kkatch22 says:

    I had no idea….apartment living for too long.

  6. cat9984 says:

    I never knew that. Guess our delivery people are just too nice to do it

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