Thursday, December 15, 2011

My post office lady hates me.

Just my luck. I live outside of a small town, and there are only two postal workers in the post office that I deal with. One is a great guy: retired Navy, now goes to my church, an avid bicyclist who sold me my bike and he's a novice gun guy. (I'm helping him find a good first pistol currently).

The other one in there is a recent transfer in from some other postal facility. I've yet to find a way onto her good side, and after yesterday I'm beginning to suspect that she doesn't have one.

It all began when I walked in with a nondescript large rectangular box to send out. My mail buddy, I guy I'll call "Newman" (because it irks him when I do it in person, which is funny to me) is out to lunch. She takes my box, weighs it, and asks me the standard question: "Anything liquid, fragile, perishable or hazardous?"

I truthfully say no and she quotes the overnight mail price, which I pay after gasping audibly. After she takes the box and gives me my receipt and tracking paper, Newman walks in. I call out to him in my best Seinfeld voice: "Hello, Newman!" He glowers but comes over to shoot the breeze.

"You got here just a second too late," I tell him. "If you'd come before I sealed that box up, I'd have shown you my M60."

"Your machine gun?" he asks "Damn, I would have liked to have seen that."

"Is THAT what was in that box?" yells the Mean Old Mail Lady as she's coming back around to the front after putting my box on the outgoing mail rack. "You can't ship machine guns through the mail!"

"Can and did," I replied. "It's perfectly legal to mail machine guns. What I can't mail is handguns, and that wasn't a handgun. And it's not like this is the first time I've shipped or received one here"

"I specifically asked you if there was anything hazardous in that box!"

"And I said that these wasn't," I replied. "It's not hazardous in the least unless you drop it on your foot."

"But it's a MACHINE GUN!" she exclaimed, as if that all by itself made it hazardous.

"And that's not an issue," I said. "There's no ammunition in the box. Your only concern is to get it where it's going. The federal government knows that I have that and they don't have a problem with it."

"But how about the person that it's going to? Do they have ammunition for it?"

"Well I should hope so. It's going to a legitimate repair facility for such things, and the government knows all about them, too. All you need to do is make sure that it gets there."

She offered up a few more objections, and she flipped through a big book of postal regulations, probably trying to find some way to refuse to accept the package, but in the end she finally let it go and I got the call this morning confirming it's arrival in Nevada. But I have a hunch that I'm not going to be any too popular in that post office for a while, and I should probably refrain from mailing anything that's even slightly breakable.

Oh well.


  1. That thing's going to leap out of that box and start spraying bullets at innocent bystanders!

  2. Some people seem to spend all their time waiting for an opportunity to be offended by something ... anything ... and you've found one (both such a person and such an opportunity).

    Lucky you.

  3. I got that once, and called the post office 'question line' right there from the PO lobby. The clerk did NOT like the answer she heard, nor did she like the written reprimand she got a short time later.

  4. We had a post office lady with an attitude a few years ago. The problem was that she was the acting Postmistress, i.e., the top banana at the local facility.

    Our delivery guy (who had been on the route even before we moved into the house) tried to deliver a Registered Mail letter to my wife, but, neither of us being home, left notice in our mailbox directing us to come to the Post Office to pick it up.

    I physically visit the Post Office at least once per week (and usually 2 or 3 times), so the next day, when I was at the Post Office, I went to the window and showed Ms. Acting Postmistress With an Attitude (who happened to be covering the window at the time) the attempted delivery notice.

    She asked me for ID, which I showed her. She then told me that I couldn't sign for the letter, but my wife would have to.

    I told her that both my wife and I were authorized users of the PO Box which I had rented at the Post Office for nearly 20 years. I also showed her my medical insurance group coverage card, which listed my wife and myself.

    She said, "I don't know what's going on in your family! The letter is for her, not for you!"

    I said, "My wife doesn't get out of work until after you close!"

    She said, "Well I just cannot go releasing the Registered letter if I do not know who you are!"

    I replied, "If my wife had taken my surname when she married me, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. You are discriminating against my wife and against me on account of our names!"

    I then added, "Do you want me to go home and bring back my Power of Attorney which authorizes me to act on behalf of my wife? I'll even bring an extra copy, so that you can keep it on file!"

    Though I did not verbally threaten her, she saw that I intended to file a complaint against her, and that she could not win. But she found a way out of it when she heard our regular letter carrier's voice in the back room. She called our letter carrier to come up front. He immediately recognized me, and said, "Did you get the letter for your wife?"

    "Do you know this man?" asked Ms. APWA.

    "Sure," he replied. "I see him and his wife walking to their temple every Saturday! I've known them for years!"

    Ms. APWA then, very grudgingly, presented me with the receipt to sign, and gave me the Registered letter for my wife.

    Less than 2 months later, she was out of there, to the delight and relief of the other Post Office people who worked there, and, I suspect, plenty of local postal customers in addition to myself.

  5. Ah... stirring the pot as usual...LOL

  6. I'm sure the smell for her having crapped her pants didn't help either.

    Seriously. You can't send handguns through the mail? Such as, if I want to send one in for repair I have to use FedEx or UPS?

  7. ML - you are one of those people who doesn't have to go looking for trouble, because it always seems to find you! I hate to say it, but it's one of your more endearing qualities. [grin]

    Andy (and others) - if you are shipping any kind of firearm, it's good to have a copy of the license of the FFL you are shipping to when you go to drop it off, as UPS at least asks for proof that the person receiving it is qualified to receive it. I suspect others may do the same. Fortunately my guy had his on his website, but I still had to go back home to print it out.

  8. Explains rather a lot about why FedEx and UPS are as big as they are.

  9. The Missus and I were on vacation in the south of France (this was back in the early 90s, before I figured out that Myrtle Beach was a *LOT* more fun than France). She'd boxed up a bunch of the souvenirs that we'd got to mail them back stateside. She went in to the Post Office (La Poste).

    It wasn't pretty.

    Mrs. Borepatch: Bonjour. I need to mail this to the United States, s'il vous plait.

    La Poste Lady (LPL): Of course. [takes package into back room]

    LPL: I will need 24 francs for postage.

    Mrs. Borepatch: I will need to buy postage.

    LPL: Ooh la la, that is not possible. Our postage counter is closed for the day.

    Mrs. Borepatch: There must be a way to get postage.

    LPL: I am sorry, but not until tomorrow. It is impossible.

    Mrs. Borepatch: Too bad. We leave for Paris first thing tomorrow. Can I please have my box back? I will mail it from Paris.

    LPL: Ooh la la, that is not possible. Our package window is closed for the day.

    Mrs. Borepatch: But we leave first thing tomorrow. I can't come back.

    LPL: I am sorry, but it is not possible.

    Mrs. Borepatch:


    Mrs. Borepatch: Look, sister. I'm an American. I carry concealed weapons. Don't f*** with me.

    LPL: I will get your package.

    Somewhere in the south of France, there's a story about the day that an American woman held up La Poste.

    Yeah, I married well.

  10. Sure. You can mail a machine gun, but just try to mail nail polish to Breda ...