About the USPS (United States Postal Service)

I’ve always been a huge fan of the United States Postal Service (USPS), even as big business wants to privatize it to make themselves even richer. Our postman in Sausalito, Bernie, was such a nice guy. My postwoman in Decatur years ago would leave me little notes thanking me for the few times (semi-annually) I would empty my mailbox–all of my bills were auto deducted; so, the mail was just junk mail. She left me a big note of thanks when I replaced the mailbox which was leaning precariously1 . I just have always liked the mail delivery people.

But my relationship with the postal delivery service in Atlanta is growing, well, at best: strained! Package delivery during the holidays was, frankly, a nightmare, and all of these issues were from the USPS, not FedEx or UPS! Yes, we live atop a steep driveway. Yes there are a lot of stairs then up to the front door. No, that’s not an acceptable excuse to just throw the packages from the street as far as you can up the driveway.

Yet, that’s exactly what we had happen. A large box (and some small ones that didn’t contain anything breakable) were literally thrown from the bottom of the driveway not even halfway up the driveway. The box was damaged. The contents of the box were broken and had to be re-ordered.

Another box met a similar fate. The glass in the box was shattered. The gift was ruined.

And then we have had three different deliveries that were not delivered. Instead, we got notices in the mailbox or online saying things like: “Could not gain access to the building,” “The building was closed.” “No gate security code access.” What?! We live in a house. We have no gate. Instead, we paid for delivery but were then expected to go pick up the packages at the post office?

No! We paid for delivery. If I wanted to get in the car and drive someplace to pick something up, I would have just driven to the store and bought the item to begin with! I did not. I called Amazon on two of the deliveries and told them to have the packages delivered to the door or cancel the orders. They arrived within 48 hours. Steve went and picked up the third item at the post office. (I was out of town or would have insisted it be delivered.)

One of our neighbors had a doorbell video of the USPS man delivering a pizza-shaped box to their house. I watched it. You can see him step out of the vehicle and literally throw it like a frisbee towards the front door! This is appalling service.

And my final complaint is how ridiculously long it has taken for packages shipped by USPS to arrive. I ordered one gift, a small item that fit inside a small padded envelope that would easily fit inside the mailbox. The item didn’t arrive for over a month. I had to file a missing package report online. Have you ever tried to do that on your phone. Obviously they haven’t either! Good god! It was a nightmare!

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To their credit, the post office called me twice after I filled out the form. The envelope suddenly arrived–well, 4 days or so later. You can see the tracking history below. I guess they were walking it all the way from the point of origin to my address!

To be sure, things can occasionally go sideways. I can understand and deal with that. But this past holiday season was consistently unspeakably bad for USPS deliveries. It was so bad, that from now on, if a package can not be delivered by FedEx or UPS, I don’t want it at all. I’ll make other arrangements.

Worthy of note is the fact that all of this, with one exception, has only happened at our Atlanta address this past year. I’ve never had such consistently deplorable service before with the post office. I need to go to the local post office and complain about it. I’m not very patient with people who have a poor work ethic.

  1. It was struck by a van. I saw it happen and blogged about it here