Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Opinion, And I Do Have One

The Post Office is fucking with me, and I'm starting to feel a little bit stabby about it.

This started way the hell back in May, while the bartender was in the hospital. I didn't even really notice it at first - truth is I don't get all that much mail, what with our modern, instant methods of communication, and it's not unusual to go a few days without seeing anything in the mailbox. But I had ordered a couple of t-shirts and realized that it had been over a week and they hadn't shown up, and that it also seemed to be taking an extraordinarily long time for my Gilmore Girls Season 2 DVDs that I purchased from Amazon to arrive (fuck you, that show is awesome). And just as it was dawning on me that maybe there was a problem, I got phone calls from the place where I rent a storage locker to house all nine of my Christmas trees when it's not the season of Christmas trees and from my insurance company, both of whom snippily informed me that they'd sent me mail that had been returned with no forwarding address and, you know, I really should have informed them of the fact that I was moving ahead of time. Except, um, I haven't moved. In, like, four years. The phone calls came when I was in England, so there wasn't a whole lot I could do at the time.

The nearest I can figure out, the screw up has something to do with my neighbor moving out. This would make some sense - my now former neighbor, while nice enough, is a colossal fucking idiot. Shortly after he first moved in I got notices from both the gas and the electric companies of the cancellation of my accounts and the final bills. As I had not cancelled any accounts I called them up and was told my accounts had been cancelled because I had moved and someone else was living there. I explained that I had NOT moved, someone else most certainly the fuck was not living there and fix it now. Turns out the guy who had moved in across the hall didn't actually know his address and was giving all the utility companies mine. Everything got straightened out, he was all "dude, my bad" and life went on as normal. Except, it seems, that he never did actually learn his address, and when he moved out and changed his address with USPS he again gave them mine. And in the infinite wisdom of the Post Office, they assumed that meant that I had moved, so despite the fact that I had filled out no change of address card they were sending all my mail back from whence it came, with a note saying I had left no forwarding address, which indeed I hadn't, BECAUSE I HAD NOT FUCKING MOVED.

Upon my return, I got in touch with them, explained that I had gotten no mail for an entire month and asked that they please stop doing whatever it was they were doing and go ahead and actually deliver my mail. In the meantime, I got in touch with every single vendor I had purchase something from that had not arrived, and begged them to resend the packages to my office where I seem to have more success with actually receiving mail.

I got a phone call from the post office apologizing and saying the problem had been fixed and for a while it seemed that it had. I got a trickle of things in, occasionally, covered in weird rerouting stickers, and I assumed all was back to normal. Which turned out to be a poor assumption. Again, I started getting a mess of phone calls and e-mails from friends who'd tried sending me things, my employer who'd tried to mail my pay stub, the insurance company who'd sent my cards again only to have them returned a second time - was I sure I hadn't moved? Did I actually know my own address? I fired off a message to them on their website, with the former case number, the name of the person who said it had been fixed, a description of how I knew it had not AT ALL been fixed, and a plea to please ACTUALLY FIX IT. At the bottom where it says "How should we contact you?" I checked off "e-mail" and sent the thing off with the understanding that I would be e-mailed an update within three business days.

I received no such e-mail. Instead I received a voicemail from a man at the post office asking me to call back to "discuss" the issue with a number. Which I called. FOUR TIMES. Four times I called the number he left, and four times it rang and rang and rang for 10 minutes and was followed by a shrill beepy sound and a click. Two days later, the same man called me AGAIN, left the SAME number, which I called again TWO MORE TIMES to the same effect, i.e. NONE. I gave up and resigned myself with having to accept that I might never have home mail service again.

And then, yesterday, I finally get an e-mail from USPS. Does it tell me they've looked into and resolved my issue? Do they ask me for more information on the problem, like dates and such forth? Does it include a working phone number that either gets answered or goes to voicemail? No. It reads thusly:

"The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) would like to thank you for your recent E-mail. Your opinions are very important to the USPS® as we continually monitor and improve customer service.

You can provide feedback on your E-mail experience by completing a brief 5 minute survey. To participate in the survey, click on the Web address below. For your convenience, the survey is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through July 7, 2011, from any computer with Internet access."

Oh really, post office, you want my opinion do you? WELL HERE IT IS. My opinion is that your entire organization should get stabbed in the eye. Right in the eye, with a blunt pencil. My opinion is that this is a vast conspiracy to try and trick me into paying for a PO Box by pretending to be incompetent at delivering mail to my home. My opinion is that you should actually take some sort of action to resolve the problem before you ask me my opinion about it. My opinion is that I hate you.

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