Monday, April 02, 2007

stan the mailman's replacement

We've had this new no-name mailman for the past 6 months, and he's starting to annoy me. I've been patient because I understand that transition takes time, and he might be shy or still learning his route. But 6 months into it, he should be a little friendlier and make more of an effort to deliver mail.

Stan the Mailman had been my mailman since i moved to Portland in 1999. For a couple of years, I lived outside of his delivery route, but I worked within the same zip code so I still saw him throughout the week. He's delivered to me in 2 other residences besides where I'm at now, and over the years the amount of ground he'd cover on a daily basis amazed me. He was always friendly, waved, smiled big and said hello whenever he'd see you. If he delivered mail when you were home and the door was open on a warm spring day, he'd make some brief small talk while putting your mail in your box. If he had something oversized, he'd leave a post-it note for you explaining he was coming by at the end of his day to see if you were home from work yet to deliver it without damaging the envelope. I've never experienced postal customer service satisfaction like that in my entire life.

Stan the mailman was great, and one day just disappeared. At first I thought he was on vacation, but after about a month I accepted that there had been a changing of the guard.

And this new no-name guy always wears dark glasses, blank expression on his face, and I've never heard him return a "hello." I think he might be a robot. When he delivers my mail, most of it is stuffed into the mail slot in one lump, and my screen door is propped slightly open by the wad of mail. Any mail that did make it inside of my apartment is all crinkled and ripped. This really pissed me off the other day. What's the point of having a slot in my door if the mail can't make it inside? Any meth head walking by can see what's going on with my mail and the door, and help themselves. If the mail man puts the letters in a few at a time he'll get them all through, I figure he's got to be really lazy to do what he's doing. Stan never had a problem getting my mail in the slot.

I really hate the post office sometimes; the thing I hate about them the most is if you are dissatisfied, there's no guaranteeing that the problem will be fixed. If you complain about a carrier, you run the risk of not getting all of your mail. I'm sure they're not going to pull that guy off of that route because I, 1 of 5000 deliveries, has a problem. What I'm mostly annoyed about, is there's no competitor to go to for the same service. For shipping at least, you can do FedEx, DHL, UPS, any other number of shippers, but the services those companies provide don't encompass convieient quantity letter delivery. You unfortunately don't have the option, and can't have the attitude, "Fuck you U.S. Post Office, I'm taking my business to the Frito-Lay Pepsico Mail Delivery Supercenter." You just have to suck it up. It's like being in a relationship, there's ups and downs all throughout your history with the Post Office. Sometimes you have carriers that get it and sometimes you get carriers who are just putting in their 8 and can care less.

I applied to be a letter carrier, right around the beginning of this blog. I applied in December, I think, but didn't get a letter from them until the following May. If you apply for the post office, you have to apply online, and based on your application you'll be invited to a written test at a main post office facility. Depending on how well you do on that test determines if you advance to the next round. I guess the next round is an in-person intimidating panel interview or something. I never took the written test; by the time I received this letter inviting me to the written test I had been working at my new job for about 5 months and wasn't thinking of leaving at all. I thought it would be a fun job, though, and what inspired me to apply was knowing Stan the Mailman and others like him I've met throughout my life.

Anyway, I hope my new no-name mailman gets his act together.

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