Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who Knew the Post Office Was This Persistent?

We found this little tale of postal woe while scanning the brooklynian.com Park Slope Forum. There is something about it that is amusing in a pet that someone dumps three hundred miles from home that manages to find its way back sort of way. (Not that we find dumping pets funny. We love animals.) We also know that this would not happen with a piece of mail that one actually wanted, which is what makes it even more poignant in its own postal way. Here it is:
Last week I received a letter addressed to a woman who has not lived in my building for approximately eight years. I don't have a forwarding address for her, so I wrote "WRONG ADDRESS -- RETURN TO SENDER" in large capital letters on the front of the envelope, with an arrow pointing to the return address.

Knowing that this was not enough to prevent the post office from redelivering this letter to me, I took a Sharpie and crossed out the bar code on the envelope, and I inked over the plastic window on the envelope so my address was completely covered. Then I took it to the Van Brunt post office and dropped it in a mailbox there.

The letter was redelivered to me today. The post office had actually removed the inked-over plastic window to uncover the address. Then they put a new bar code sticker on the envelope. So here it is again. What the hell? Why are they so stupid? Why were they so determined to redeliver this letter to a place where it is clearly unwanted? And meanwhile, letters that are sent addressed to me, at my correct address, at a house that has been standing here for 100+ years, get returned to the sender marked "no such address"? Why why why?
We'll answer the last question with the obvious answer: Because.

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