January 30, 2007

Fun at the Post Office

Filed under: Not Tech — Chris @ 2:52 pm

The post office has some odd rules that seem crudely designed to discourage people from mailing bombs or anthrax. For instance, you probably know that a return address is now required for all mail, lest if be delayed as “suspicious.” A related rule is that a package may not display any “advertisements” (i.e., names or logos) for any company that is not the sender. It is not enough to scribble out a logo with a marker; one must cover it with brown paper-backed packing tape. Postal employees make compliance with this rule especially pleasant by being both inconsistent and snide about it.

A rule which is new to me is, I think, as follows: if a package weighs more than a pound and the postage is affixed in the form of stamps, then the package must be presented in person to a post office employee. This means: don’t put it in the automated service kiosk and don’t hand it to the guy in your office mail room. H tried to send a package to her cousin last week and decided to use some very old stamps I’ve had since five first-class postage rates ago (they were very nice “collectible” stamps that were given to me as a gift and I want to “ruin” them by using them for postage… because I’m a friggin’ idiot). The package was actually delivered back to us, with several bright green stickers explaining why a piece of mail with adequate postage would not be forwarded to its recipient. (One nice thing is that they didn’t cancel the postage.)

The box is now sitting in the living room, waiting for one of us to face the living death that is standing in line at the post office. Be warned.

UPDATE: That’s weird. I just had my all-time least aggravating trip to the post office.


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