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Borrowed from Bill (Part Two)

USPSBill likes his postman. Or the USPS. Whatever.

“I once received a letter address to ‘Mr. Bryson, Lives somewhere in New Hampshire, America’ and it arrived without comment or emendation just five days after it was mailed. My congratulations to the US Postal Service for an unassailable triumph”


Less so.

Where we live at 767 Rutledge Avenue … actually is not our full address. We’re ‘Apartment A’ (or just Apt. A) whilst the upstairs people are Apartment B. Not that they’re apartments in the traditional sense – it’s one big house that was split and converted into two separate abodes – one upstairs and one down.

And here’s the rub – we’ve got ONE mailbox on the outside by the front door. And up until a few weeks ago, this wasn’t a problem as me & Leigh were the only people ever to get mail there whether it had ‘Apt. A’ in the address or not. The neighbour upstairs got her mail delivered to a PO Box downtown, and so WE got all the mail, no problem.

But a few weeks back, she moved out and some new people moved in … and they ARE getting mail addressed to ‘Apt. B’, and this apparently has really confused our USPS mailman.

Leigh ended up having a conversation with him on the doorstep last week – and guess what. “You need to buy a second mailbox” he told her. Otherwise they weren’t going to deliver our mail – they would send it back.

That’s right … if a piece of mail turned up for “Geoff Marshall, 767 Rutledge Avenue (Apt. A)” they would deliver it, but in the same batch, if there was something for just “Geoff Marshall, 767 Rutledge Avenue”, then they would not. How bloody stupid is that?

767So two days ago I went out and bought a cheap $10 mailbox from Lowe’s, and some shiny stickers to distinguish between ‘A’ and ‘B’, and we’re good, right?

Alas no … I get home today for Leigh to tell me that a wedding present that one of her friends sent us from California had been returned to them with INSUFFICIENT ADDRESS stamped all over it. Of for F*&KS sake! Bring back The Royal Mail. All is forgiven.

13 responses to “Borrowed from Bill (Part Two)”

  1. geofftech says:

    Secondary observation:

    the mailmen here don’t use bicycles or walk on foot like UK posties. they DRIVE around.

    (of course they do Geoff! this is America! everyone drives!

    so the postman will drive to the corner of one block, get out – deliver to a few houses, run back to his car – drive half a block down and do the same again.

    but what’s REALLY scary about this … is that I’ve started to accept this as normal behaviour. A year ago i’d of been getting my camera out, taking a picture of the USPS car and blogging all about it. But now … ? Now I appear to be getting used to certain things. hmmm.

    so i’m off to go and take some pictures of ‘crosswalk’ signs and wacky shaped fire hydrants, and tell y’all about how crazy everything is here.

  2. leslie says:

    What you just wrote isn’t ALWAYS true… Sometimes, especially in rural areas, they deliver the mail without getting out of their cars… 🙂

    I like looking at the different neighborhoods around here and the differing types of mailboxes. In smaller towns, the suburbs, and rural areas there are usually street mailboxes that mailmen can reach from the car window. In ‘older’ parts of Austin, the boxes are next to the front door, requiring walking…

    In other suburbs, there are groups of mailboxes at the end of streets, which have keyed compartments. The mailman can just park next to them and deliver the mail for 20 houses in one fell swoop. 🙂

  3. Kirk says:

    Our postman in Manchester drives. But probably because he seems to do half the city on his own.

  4. Yorkie says:

    Our Royal Mail delivery person seems to use our letterbox and next door’s interchangably; either we get their post or they get ours – their box is around the front and ours is at the back and they don’t like that.

  5. jaz says:

    The mailman really ought to learn who is who on his route.

    If he is delivering to the same people every day, it can’t be difficult.

    It would give him a chance to rise above, to be the mailman that others look up to for guidance.

  6. (William) Andrew says:

    Be pedantic: cover all bases. Have FOUR boxes:
    767 “Leigh and/or Geoff Marshall”
    767 Apt.A
    767 “other folks”
    767 Apt.B

    Then the USPS can’t use the excuse that the address doesn’t match…?

    Just make it more attractive for him to deliver than to return the mail. Put biscuits on the mailbox or something!

  7. Brent says:

    The A vs B mailbox isn’t always an issue…you must just have rather fussy mailman. I’ve lived in several apartments that are houses split into 2 (a duplex is what they call them here) and the mailboxes never had any stickers or anything on them designating which box went with which apartment. The mailman would just stick the post in the same one each day. Pretty simple right? Sounds like you need to have another conversation with your mailman and tell him to stop being such a fuck and just deliver the mail. 🙂

  8. Paul says:

    LOL! Paperboys now do their paper round by me with their parents in their car! Gone are the days of doing it alone!

  9. David - Lightwater says:

    Don’t the mailmen in the US drive righthand drive cars?

  10. Paul Webb says:

    #4 – WTF is a “Royal Mail delivery person”. It’s a postman. I never worked along side a lady postman who used the term postwoman or anything else, and often resented the fact that peole would try to invent new names for them,. I even worked with a transexual postie and (s)he was still a postman.

  11. scottb says:

    I want to tell you a story that shows just how efficient the mail service can be if they really try. I once posted a letter from my home (Calgary, Canada) to Pamplona, Spain. Neither of them exactly important hubs, mind you. I sent it off in the afternoon here, and the next day, less than 24hrs after sending it, I got an email confirming its arrival in Spain! That’s with an 8hr time difference working against me! And sometimes it takes a week to get something across the city.

    At least our mailmen still walk. Technically it is illegal for them to transport the mail in their personal vehicles, or at least it used to be, so walking was the only option — or hire a taxi for all day.

  12. Yorkie says:

    #10 Paul, I know one of the people who sometimes delivers up my road, who would call themselves a ‘postlady’.

  13. geofftech says:

    – But it’s not just USPS .. once the Fed Ex guy that regularly delivers to us had a conversation, as he was used to seeing our names only, and i then had something delivered in someone else’s name ‘C/O geoff marshall’ – and they queried it!

    – mail vans here ARE right hand drives, yes – but solely so that they can pick up mail from blue mailboxes on the side of the street without having to get out of their little van. ah, diddums.

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