I've had this problem for a while when I go out of town. I put in my Vacation Hold form, and...well, the post office tends to ignore it about 20-30 percent of the time. I'd come back from a trip, and my mailbox would be jammed to the gills with mail. Worse, one time it was so full that the postal carrier started just dumping mail on top of the mailbox. This is known as a Really Bad Thing.
By the way, when I say that I've had this problem for a while, "a while" is about 20 years.
Boy, when the Postal Service Credo says that they'll deliver the mail no matter what, they weren't kidding. But c'mon, folks, this is taking it to a ridiculous level.
I can't explain why this keeps happening, and it really pisses me off. Not just because it keeps happening and is potentially seriously problematic, but more so because there's nothing I can do about it. I complain to the supervisor, Miss Connelly, but what can she say but, "This isn't supposed to happen" and "I'll let them know." I mean, I can't take my business elsewhere.
Over the past years, I figured that the best i can do is stop my mail a day early, so that at least I can generally if mail is still arriving, and I can then call Miss Connelly from out-of-town, at which point she says, "This isn't supposed to happen" and "I'll let them know," and the mail is stopped. But if it happens to be one of those days when I just didn't happen to get mail, then I'm out of luck, leaving town with a false sense of security.
Instead, I occasionally now stop the mail two days early. But I hate doing this because I actually like to get my mail before I go out of town. Go figure, it's the gypsy in me. But I think I might just have to do that.
On this trip, again, mail showed up the day before I left. I called Miss Connelly -- but the number isn't working. It's an instant busy signal all the time, the kind that suggests the number isn't working. I've called the number listed online for my local post office, but no one answers. Same with the main post office for the area.
What I think I may do when I get back is go in, talk person-to-person to dear Miss Connelly, and get her phone number and call before I leave town, to give her a heads-up. And still stop the mail two days early. I obviously shouldn't have to do that, but it beats not having my mail stopped.
(By the way, I've also had problems on the reverse end. When I've returned, signed to get my mail, but they still don't deliver it! But that's only happened once.)
I've been given an explanation why this happens, but it's a poor excuse. It has something to do with the form being place in my cubbyhole at the post office, and if the regular postal carrier is off that day, and mail gets put on top of it, the fill-in carrier won't ever see it. Seriously, that can't be an excuse. I don't mean it's not what's happening, but that it can't allowed to happen. It's too incompetent.
The thing is, I can't be the only person in Los Angeles that this is happening to. So, why they haven't figured out a way to do this properly is beyond me.
Fortunately, this is a fairly short trip, so I'm not too annoyed this time. But...geez, guys, you're better than this. I think.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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