Friday, March 8, 2013

Article I, Section 8, Clause 7*

Knowing the invitations would arrive soon, I took it upon myself to order the stamps, ones with a Wedding Cake on them (How convenient for the US Postal Service to just happen to have a .66 stamp - the size needed for a typical wedding invitation- with a wedding cake.) and forever floral stamps. Done and done. I was pretty pleased with myself. For once I did something ahead of time. Or, so I thought.

That afternoon the UPS man arrived with a 20 pound box from Reaves Engraving with the invitations. I opened the box to find an assortment of boxes containing addressed inner and outer envelopes, as well as reply cards and their envelopes. Now they just needed to be assembled so they could be mailed. The reply cards and return envelopes needed to go inside the inner envelopes. But, we couldn't do that until we had the stamps for the reply envelopes. At least we could start with the invitations themselves. However, the inner envelopes (with the invitations already in them with the tissues) could not be put in the outer envelopes until we had the reply cards and return envelopes in them. Bottom line, nothing was going together until we had the stamps.

Now, if I had not been proactive and ordered the stamps on line, I could have just gone down to our local post office, bought the stamps, brought them home, assembled all this fine engravery I had before me and be done with it. But, oh no. I had to be efficient - for once.

I hate the post office. I hate the lines. I hate the inefficient workers. I detest going in the place. That is why I went to and ordered my stamps online. And even though I had just purchased $64 of Forever stamps online, I could suck it up and go to our local post office, buy the Forever stamps and at least get the reply card envelopes done. After all we will eventually use $64 of Forever stamps, unless the Post Office goes out of business before hand. But, in this case, I'm willing to take that chance. As for the other stamps, we'll just have to wait for those, I have no use whatsoever for a hundred and twenty .66 stamps sitting around the house.

So off to the post office I went. The parking lot was only half full - a good sign. When I got inside, I was shocked - there was only one person in line - usually there are 15-20. Maybe, I was being too harsh. As I stood there and waited, I noticed there were two workers at the counter (set-up for four). One was waiting on a customer, the other was fiddling with paper work. As I stood there the line behind me continued to lengthen. The lady in front of me wanted to purchase 3 money orders - Joy! The second counter lady continued "fiddling". By the time I reached the counter, she still had not found time to wait on the ever growing line of customers. (Rome could have burned for all she cared.)

I asked the lady (who was not fiddling) if I could  see what stamps she had available. "Not many I'm afraid. What do you need them for?" "A wedding." "Oh, dear. We only have these." With that she held up a sheet of stamps with American Flags on them and another design of workers in black and gray. "Those won't do." "I know." "When will you have any more." "We won't. These are all we can get. You need to order them online at" I thanked her and left.

So, the US Postal Service wants to keep the local offices open but they don't carry a selection of stamps and some of the workers don't find customer service to be a priority. I am told the stamps I ordered from will be shipped out in one day and sent Priority Mail which means I should expect to receive them in 3-5 business days - through the US Mail. Yet, I can get anything I want (except postage stamps) from Amazon and receive it the next day. I am trying to spend money with the Postal Service for use of their services.  If I'm not mistaken, they are the ones running commercials on TV about going out of business.

I hope that my experience was perhaps unique and most post offices still offer friendly and efficient service. I know our mailman is a dear. He goes out of his way to make sure our packages are put safely  out of the weather inside the sun room - most of those packages being from Amazon. Too bad Jeff Bezos hasn't considered selling stamps. 

* The postal clause in the United States Constitution, allowing Congress "To establish Post Offices and post roads."


Linda Medrano said...

I'm getting a headache just thinking about this. I will be glad when this wedding is in your memory books!

Ann Currie said...

Ah, but hasn't it been entertaining -for the rest of y'all!

Linda Medrano said...

You bet! My son married a girl who had been planning her "wedding" since she was about 8 years old. She had 200 copies of "Bride" magazines and such. They had a fabulous wedding with 600 guests and I'm sure it was the "event" of the year. Just hosting the "rehearsal dinner" made me gulp. I can't even imagine what this cost her parents. But on the bright side, they are still married after 20 years and 4 kids, so maybe there's something to it all!

I'm content to get my frustrated MOB out through your descriptions!!!