I don’t know how long the Post Office has been employing this procedure, but twice in recent memory I’ve received mail stuck inside a “special” envelope from them. See, if your mail somehow gets mangled en route, the Post Office places the crumpled envelope – or whatever pieces they still have – into a flimsy, larger envelope and sends it on the rest of its merry way. In the old days, a mangled piece of mail simply arrived….mangled in your box.
This newish procedure seems okay I guess. I’m not surprised at all that some mail gets messed up. Geez, it’s a wonder no blood or severed digits arrive with the mail given all the fast-moving machinery postal workers use, not to mention the pace they’re required to maintain. As I say, it’s all well and good, to be expected, except for what is printed on the outside of the postal envelope.
I know many people wouldn’t, but I always read stuff like this. And look for reason and logic. (Therein lies my downfall. Oh hell, that’s probably my whole downfall in life.)
The most important thing the Postal Service wants to get across, if the font size & bold type are to be believed, is that they CARE. This is indeed excellent news because as the saying goes, you can’t have too many friends. Next time I’m feeling low, or want to borrow $5, or need a ride somewhere, I’ll just give the local Postmaster a call. If he or she balks at my request, I’ll set to whining, “But you said you cared!!”
The text is fairly boilerplate: A supposed apology that really isn’t an apology so much on closer reading. After acknowledging how important my mail is to me, it goes on to say that’s the reason they’re forwarding this piece in an “expeditious fashion.” The use of that phrase starts us off on the wrong foot. It’s too high-falutin’ for what is actually occurring. What’s expeditious about it? They mangled my envelope and then put it a second envelope to complete its postal journey. What other options could they have? To sit on it for awhile? To send it off to the Postal Correction Center where pieces of botched mail are painstakingly glued and taped back together before being forwarded so the customer will never know anything went awry? They’re SENDING it. That. Is. All.
Then comes the mitigating. The Post Office handles A LOT of mail so problems are only natural. This sentence – which somebody probably gets paid A LOT of money to write – is a beaut: “While each employee makes a concerted effort to process, without damage, each piece of mail, an occasional mishap does happen.” Awkward! And c’mon, bad sentence structure aside, you really expect me to believe every employee feels that way? In an occupation known for its stress and pressure? I’ll bet some of ‘em have days they’d like to grind up and mangle a whole lot of mail.
It goes on with, “We are constantly working to improve blah blah…” but then they really lose me with this: “You can help us greatly in our efforts if you will continue to properly prepare and address each letter or parcel that you enter into the mailstream.” Huh? What’s this now? How’d we go from a purported apology to a thinly-veiled finger-wagging admonishment directed at the customer’s lackluster addressing and package-prepping skills?? What a twisted way of shifting blame back to the customer! A customer just sitting at home, minding their business, not crappily addressing envelopes or doing a half-assed job of packaging parcels. A customer simply receiving what would be perfectly innocuous mail but for the fact it got caught and damaged in a postal machine. If they REALLY wanted to take this message all the way, they might as well just go ahead and further say that I should pass their thoughts on to my “friends and associates” so that “all of us working together” could maintain the “effectiveness and success” of the postal system!
And, as if they catch themselves, the Post Office wraps up the message by saying they appreciate my “cooperation and understanding” (who says I’m volunteering either?) and “sincerely regret any inconvenience” (you do? How ’bout throwing in a free book of stamps for my trouble, or if that’s pushing the envelope – haha, I’m funny too, Mr. or Ms. Postmaster – make it 3 or 4 stamps).