Published On: June 11, 2012

I love my job.  I do.  I fully realize how amazing it is that I get to do this for a living.  I am absolutely stunned (and more than a little touched) by just how many of you have helped me be able to do this.  My life rocks.

That said, I would very much like not to go to the post office tomorrow.  Maybe not the day after that either.  You see this little basket?  It’s full of the receipts and customs forms I’ve gotten from the post office since Wednesday.  Several of those receipts are a few inches longer than I am tall.  I am not short.

The process of getting these mailed has been a bit…surreal.  I expected it to be time consuming, even occasionally tedious.  I expected actually hauling the books about to be a bit tiring.  I didn’t expect the post office to be so deeply and consistently opposed to actually mailing things.

I knew this would be a big undertaking, so I tried really hard to make it go smoothly.  I used good sturdy envelopes and printed the address labels so there would be no difficulties with my questionable hand writing.  I filled out dozens and dozens and dozens of customs forms.  I took an envelope with the book in it to the post office a few days before the bulk of the books arrived to find out what postage I would need.  I bought ALL the appropriate stamps available at three different post offices, and pre-stamped as many of the packages as I possibly could.  I even asked if I could make an appointment to bring the packages in at a specific time so they’d be ready for me.  They said no.  So I asked when they were least busy so I could be sure to come then.

I showed up bright and early (as suggested), and hauled the first batch in.  I explained that I had lots of things to mail, but that I’d done everything I could to help make it as painless as possible.  Somehow, it didn’t work.  Within about 2 minutes I was told ‘the post office isn’t the place to mail things,’ ‘you can’t mail stuff like this at the post office,’ ‘we don’t take this much mail,’ and (my personal favorite) ‘no one is allowed to mail more than 10 packages at a time.’  I was floored.

I feel it’s important to mention that I was there early enough that there was no one in line behind me.  Just as important, I said that, if a line did start to form, we could take a break and let people go ahead of me.  I certainly didn’t want anyone to wait behind me for ages when they just needed to mail one little thing.

I’m afraid I had to be rather…insistent.  Polite (always polite…it’s much more effective than the alternative), but insistent.

I apologized for misunderstanding.  Surely I hadn’t actually heard them say that the post office wasn’t for mailing things.  Goodness me, I must not be understanding properly.  They certainly weren’t telling me that I couldn’t mail my packages.  That would just be unheard of.  I’m sorry, are you saying I can’t mail this here, because that would be really surprising.  Ah, so I can mail things here.  Excellent.

Oh, so you want me to mail 10 and then come back the next day?  Unfortunately that won’t work, I need to mail them all. It is unavoidable.  Yes, really.  Yes, all of them.  No, I couldn’t possibly leave until they are safely in the mail.  Because it simply isn’t possible.  Because it isn’t.  Because they need to go out today.  Yes, all of them.  Because they do.  Oh, there’s a policy that says I can’t mail more than 10?  Could I please see that in writing, I’d very much like to have a copy of that.  Yes, I’ll be happy to wait while you check with your manager.  Ah, so I can mail them then.  Marvelous, thank you so much.

Each and every trip to the post office (that’s two on Wednesday, two on Thursday, and one today).  I am not impressed.  The books are now all safely mailed though, despite the objections of the post office.  Next time…next time I’ll have to make a different plan.

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