The Postal Service

I know it's lame, considering all of the half-written drafts about deep stuff that I've not touched in ages that should be edited and posted for your pop psych fix of the day. I've even got a really good one that I wrote last night when I got home from a bridal shower.

I shouldn't burden you with this.

But about a month and a half ago I helped with someone else's bridal shower. I wouldn't say helped, but I volunteered to help. (I'm from a relatively large family, something's always happening).

I couldn't go, rarely can. But I said I'd send a check to help cover the cost, and as soon as the woman in charge called and left me the amount, I whipped out my check book.

Truth told, it took me a couple of days to get it into a mailbox. But only a couple of days, or so I thought.

A week or so later I got a call, one of those awful calls that are so hard to make.

TherapyDoc? Uh, did you ever get around to mailing out that

No problem. Yeah! I sent it!

Okay, good, then don't worry about it.
Then a week and a half later, another call. Same thing.

Hate to bother you, but did you send that check? I still haven't got it.

You're joking, I say. How is that possible? I'll bring you a new check, personally. The postal service in Chicago is terrible!

Oh, she says. It's terrible in Morton Grove (a burb), too.
Well that explains it.

Just drop it off at Bobbie's, she says. I'll be seeing her this week.
(Bobbie lives a lot closer to me than she does)


And I did. I dropped off a new check at my cousin's. But I squirmed. I was so embarrassed. For sure, I thought, I'm going to find that stupid check when I go through those piles of papers on my desk. It'll be stuck with some bill I haven't paid.

But. . .I JUST got another call! The original check, arrived! The original check! It was postmarked October 18, 2007. Today is November 15, last I checked.

We don't live in Alaska.

This kind of thing can drive a person who suffers from a little anxiety insane. You know how it goes. You say to yourself, DID I mail that check? And if I didn't, what ELSE didn't I mail? And if I did mail it, and the postal service stashed it in a corner on the floor at the Kedzie Station, what ELSE is stashed in a corner on the floor at the Kedzie Station?

But the weird thing is that I sent a bill to a lawfirm last Friday--I'm not making this up. Friday, November 9 it was in the mail. Pick up wasn't supposed to happen until 5:00 pm that day. Monday, November 11, would be a legal holiday. I expected the bill for my services to arrive no earlier than Wednesday the following week.

I'd see my money some day if it didn't get lost in the snow in December.

But I got a check. I got a CHECK in the mail the very next day, November 10.

How's that happen? It had to have been delivered on Friday night or early Saturday morning, processed and mailed immediately, then DELIVERED on SATURDAY!

From now on, this is the only mailbox I'll ever use. We'll call it my lucky mailbox. It's on Lincoln and Catalpa, someplace around there. Feel free to try it.

It could be that there are people who really do work over there at the US Postal Service.

And miracles never cease.

FD, you should know, upon hearing the story suggested that I take a better systems approach. It's your handwriting, he said. Could be.



Jack's Shack said…
This reminds me of a story. It is the summer of 1985 and I am living in Israel.

Somewhere around August I receive a letter from my mother. It has a June postmark on it.

It also has a stamp that says it was mistakenly sent to Ireland instead of Israel.

Got to love the U.S.P.S.
Anonymous said…
you are in is rumored to be freezing over there..not just cold or snowy but totally iced over---your post man or woman got frozen to the side walk and when the plows came through they rescued them and sent it to the post office...
therapydoc said…
ANON, in defense of our fair city, it's really only on the 40's at its worst in October/November. And at best, we get into the 70's. So no, no snowplows.

And with global warming, we sort of wonder if there will be any in December. But that was a cute comment!
bob said…
It's amazing how unpredictable the post office can be. My parent often mail holiday cards to my kids from the same place on the same day. Their Halloween cards arrived three days apart. What the heck??
Minneapolis postal service is as much of a mystery. It can take two weeks to go a few blocks and two days to get something to Seattle.

I've decided it one of the Mysteries Of Life.
Ha! When I worked in advertising in Chicago years ago, it was not uncommon at all to hear that postal workers were bribed to get the junk mail bags moved off the floor and into the hands of the carriers, so the clients would get their mailers sent out when they wanted them.
I also worry about undelivered email--because every now and then, a message seems to go astray. Is the sender lying that they sent me one? Or when I send one and a recipient claims never to have gotten it, did they just accidentally delete it?

I'd actually rather think my friends are lying to me than ponder the implications of email not actually always arriving after I've sent it. I do way too much of my social correspondence that way.
therapydoc said…
Crabby, I, too, HATE the lying. We must start a movement on the Internet. What shall we call it? We can have a contest.
Mark said…
The mail system limps along in it's old ways. We should be surprised that it continues to work at all.
I have about a week's worth of mail from early November missing.

On one hand, it's amazing that anything gets to the right address considering how many pieces of mail go through however many hands.

On the other hand, I want my mail, darn it!
Anonymous said…
Usually mail in florida is pretty check comes on friday every week like it should...
Therapy Doc and Crabby, I'll support the movement too. My daughter's friends' expression is a little dramatic, but could work -- "you lie, you die."

Though I have found legit email in my spam folder from time to time, so it's good to remember to check...