We moved to California in July. We moved into a new house, and of all the things that have been a challenge with this move, one was particularly unexpected: getting our mail. We’ve entered a wormhole, one in which mail never predictably gets to us. It’s not our old post office in Naperville – they’re clearly forwarding mail as it arrives, without any issue at all. No, the problem is squarely on the shoulders of the San Ramon post office.
At first I figured it was just a hiccup – we were new, the post office needed to get our address in the system. Or something. But no, it’s far more interesting (read: infuriating) than that.
It turns out, our post office refuses to deliver to new developments. I can’t begin to fathom the rationale behind this – but it’s beyond my ability to convince them to actually, you know, deliver my mail to me. Because that would be too easy.
So I have to go to our post office to pick up the mail. Couldn’t Robin go? Well, sure. But there was that one day that she went with 2 of the 3 kids, and the supervisor on staff actually yelled at Robin for suggesting that they hadn’t given her all the mail. So Robin isn’t exactly interested in going through that again, and I can’t blame her.
On at least a half dozen occasions, after a week or more has gone by between pick-ups, I’ve been shocked to see a mail count in the single digits. As in, 8 pieces of mail. After a week. A normal day for us in Naperville was in the neighborhood of 15-20 pieces of mail – between bills, personal cards, catalogs, etc. And we’re averaging around 10% of that here in San Ramon.
In several cases, the original postmark has preceded the mail’s arrival in my hands by more than two months. The pony express had a better track record than this!
And in many other cases, the mail simply doesn’t arrive. Bills don’t show up – for months – then we get phone calls asking why we haven’t paid. It’s so bad, that I tell anyone who needs to get something to me must use FedEx or UPS: both deliver to my door, and both are accountable (and seem interested in making their customer happy, a terrific bonus).
The staff at the post office is beyond unhelpful – they actually resent the suggestion that there might be more mail waiting, despite the fact that we’ve been right more often than not. (Me: “Surely there’s more mail.” Them: “No, I’m sure this is it.” Me: “Could you check?” Wait ten minutes. Them: “Here you go, I found some more.” Me: Head explodes.)
Today, it happened again. Hilariously, there was 12 pieces of mail. After 11 days between pickups. One of those was a Christmas card. In years past, we’ve received on average 100 or so Christmas cards. This year? Four so far.
I have spoken with the US Postal Service Customer Service Department. I have spoken with the Oakland Postmaster. I have spoken with the San Ramon postmaster. Yet mail still goes undelivered. My head continues to explode. And the San Ramon Post Office staff continue to act as if this is my fault. For moving into a new house, I guess.
I’m no longer requesting that the San Ramon Post Office own the resolution of this. I’ve called my Congressman, and hope that his staff can apply some pressure to them to get their house in order. (I figure four months of my efforts dealing with this is more than enough time for them to figure out what’s wrong and fix it.) In the meantime, I’d like to try an experiment. This is where you come in.
I would like you to send me a postcard, a letter, whatever. I’d like to have a record of exactly what pieces of mail are on their way to me, when they were sent, what zip code they were sent from, and then when it arrived (oh, to dream!).
So, dear readers, can you help me out? Send me a postcard (removed address, experiment over --Rick). Once you do, send me an e-mail (rick at rklau.com) and give me all the relevant info.
I should have done this months ago when it first occurred to me. Oh well, at least I’m doing it now. To those who can help, thanks in advance!