Friday, February 19, 2010

See this bench?

This is the bench that sits on my front porch.

It was supposed to have a package re-delivered and placed upon its seat yesterday.

The package was not re-delivered yesterday. It was not delivered today.

When Aisling stepped out to get the mail, she asked our mail carrier about the package. The mail-carrier, a person who once fractiously accused our next-door neighbor of placing a piece of outdoor furniture on purpose so that she, the mail carrier, could trip over it and fall down and sue everyone on our street for our thoughtlessness, vaguely said, "I may have delivered that. I don't know. I can't recall. I think the post office lost it."

Lost it??!! Lost our package? As in, we're not ever going to get it and know who sent it and what was in it?

The package was delivered for the first time last Friday, one week ago. We weren't at home to receive it, so the mail carrier left us one of those little pink slips that asks you if you want to have the item re-delivered ("Fill out lines 1, 2, 3 and 4 and sign your name. Return the slip to your mailbox for your mail carrier to pick up") or if you want to go to the post office yourself and pick it up ("Go to the post office and pick it up.")

I wanted the item re-delivered because the post office is in a part of town where people sometimes get shot or stabbed or mauled by pit bulls, so I filled out the slip, requesting that the re-delivered package be left on the bench on my front porch. Aisling didn't put the slip in the mailbox as I asked her to do, so we had to wait until Tuesday to leave it for the mail carrier. Since Sunday was Sunday and Monday was President's Day and all that.

Yesterday, then was the day scheduled for the package to arrive, since the slip told us to allow two business days for re-delivery. And yet, no package, as I said above. No package today.

It was decided that I should call the post office.

Calling any government agency is something that requires you to be in the whole of your health before taking on their formidable phone systems. By the time I dialed the number and then sat there through the chirpy recorded voice saying, " find out about buying stamps online, press 4-3-6-5-8 or say 'BUY STAMPS ONLINE'. To inquire about the hours for your local post office, press 4-3-6-5-9 or say 'INQUIRE ABOUT THE HOURS.' To cast your vote in our non-scientific poll, Do you think this phone system is more or less efficient than the Pony Express, press 4-3-6-6-0 or say 'VOTE IN THE NON-SCIEN....'" I required antibiotics, a sedative and, I don't know, maybe some Viagra.

To escape from the hell of the endless menu, I pushed the zero button about six hundred times. A friend once told me that doing so will automatically throw you to some new realm where you might actually be able to speak with a human.

Pushing zero sent me to a customer service representative who was so utterly bored with me and my package, I fully expected to hear the thump of his head hitting the desk as he perished from terminal ennui, but he managed to hold it together long enough to assure me that he would try to find my package and have it re-delivered tomorrow.

We shall see.

Until then, I've nothing to do but fret about what it could be, and moreover, since we haven't ordered anything to be delivered by mail lately, if it is a box of...something?....that someone has sent us, someone who is currently thinking that we are the rudest and most ungracious people on the planet for not acknowledging whatever it was they sent.


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