Seeing this sweet baby snuggled into the sweater I made—that I thought for sure would be too small for her once it finally arrived—and sitting on the quilt I sewed makes me almost giddy. She was mostly sleeping when I met her in August and I can see she is turning into an incredible little person.
The saga of how the package made three trips across the country has a couple interesting parts that I want to share in conclusion to the previous post.
- Rural post offices—My post office is in an old wood building that looks like a small train depot. I think there are one or two delivery people and one clerk that service us, and the post office is open weekdays from 9-1 and 2-4 as well as Saturdays from 9-noon. Because of the USPS budget, the possibility that this location will close is real. For that, I like to patronize it when I can, and that usually means Saturday trips to the PO. My post office does not have a computerized postage meter or cash register, which seems quaint, but probably is because there isn’t good reliable high-speed internet like most post office locations have. I’m not sure, but that’s our best guess. Several times I’ve mailed something and the clerk wrote down on an index card the zip code and tracking number, but that didn’t happen in June when I shipped the quilt. That’s partly my fault, though with the computerized receipt printer, I wouldn’t have had to ask for the tracking number.
- Mysteries of mail delivery—Once I had the tracking number, I looked it up to find out where this box had gone and what happened between Virginia and Washington. When I saw the first tracked event was Dec. 23, I assumed that the public tracking system was different than the Post Office’s. Surely this box had gone somewhere. So I showed this to my local clerk, and she looked up the tracking number in her system, and came back perplexed. She didn’t see any more detail. She didn’t know what to tell me, and didn’t know what to do. She suggested I talk to our local postmaster, and a location about six miles away. The clerk and postmaster there were just as confused as anyone else about my package ending up in a “black hole.” Also interesting was that the hand-marked notes (NMR or no mail receptacle) did not match the tracking information in the automated system (no such address).
- Helpful postal employees—While the clerk at my postage was unsure how to help me, the clerk at the nearby spot was able to quickly, easily, and pleasantly affix a new postage label on the package, no charge to me, and send it on its third trip across the country. He did suggest that I recommend Melissa let her local post office know something was coming and to NOT send it back to Virginia!
- I told a small fib—Before I brought this package back to the PO, I added the (apparently VERY necessary) NE to the street address. I know it could be the main reason that the package didn’t get delivered in June, but I’m pretty confident that a thoughtful person in Washington could have gotten it to the recipient, and Priority Mail is not cheap!