Post Box Follies

I had a post office box at the end of the street where my cottage sat for about 10 years. After I sold the cottage and started to build a new house on the vacant lot next door, I went to the local post office to ask whether I could just keep my post box and have them change the delivery address associated with it.

The short answer to that question was ‘no’, they’d find me another post box, “hopefully” at the same station at the end of my street. I was told to check back next time I was in the area. So, as per their suggestion, I’ve been ‘checking back’ now,…, for 7 1/2 months. Every time, I go through the story (as if) for the first time.

On the next-to-last time I was in there, I was lectured by a truly obnoxious example of officialdom who explained just how complicated and circumscribed this all is by “procedures”. She was reacting to my advice that I had run into our letter carrier by chance that day while delivering to the very station I’d like to get a box in; that I’d asked whether there were any vacant boxes and was given the number of a box that wasn’t being used.

Apart from being grossly offended that I’d actually do something besides taking her stupid word for anything, she was upset someone who actually knew something gave out some information. Now, here’s the fun part:

Turns out, the vacant box is ‘assigned’ to a particular address on the street. That address happens to be a vacant lot. Curiously, my lot, previously vacant, but now with a house on it,  had (for no explainable reason) no box ‘assigned’ to it. I was told the box will remain empty and unused on the off chance that someone builds on the other lot in the future, rather than letting someone who needs it (me) use it.

Today, the matter came full circle: I went there to get the name of the person in charge of that station. Surprisingly, (or not) they abruptly decided to go with my original suggestion – they gave me my old box back. (Better late than never, I guess.)

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