Thursday, May 15, 2014

It Came In the Mail

I stayed home today. Pain wasn't good, even the therapy Tuesday and Wednesday didn't help me. This morning, I was not feeling good and although I dressed, I had no energy to actually go to work. I have lain around all day. I even kept my work clothes on. I was too tired to care or maybe I thought I could eventually make it in. Anyway,  I went to sleep in the chair around noon, absolutely couldn't hold my head up any longer. What is up with this? Overwhelming need for sleep has become a common thing of late, along with this neck pain, and it is really interfering in my life. What is up with this?

After I woke up, I was sitting in my chair, reading. I heard someone talking as they approached the house. I paused and waited for the doorbell to ring and either a pair of Mormans or Jehovah's Witnesses to be smiling at me when I answered it. Nothing happened and the talking came onto the porch and then, with the same speed, drifted off and away. But there was a ruffling sound before that. Hmmm. Well, drat. I have to get up.

Opening the door I watched as the, mailman.... no, mail carrier walked down the middle of the street, away from my house, talking on her cell phone. Really?

OK, I know it must be a really boring job but I happen to know they get paid very well. They get great benefits. They .... never mind. My point is there is a problem with the mail. Seriously. I work in a government business and if you know how much postage cost, well, in an assistance program it is extremely high. That might not be so bad if the mail actually got delivered to the person it was addressed to most of the time. It doesn't. They bring it back "undeliverable as addressed" or "no such number" or "forwarding order expired". After five years I should hope so but you just noticed it? 

Now, we know that every piece of mail has the correct address. The houses we send them to have legal addresses established BY THE POST OFFICE and we actually do an annual inspection on them once a year. We KNOW they're there. And yet... they can't find them half the time. And don't bother telling me I'm wrong. Granted that on rare occasions, about 1 a month, someone moves away without telling us or a letter is hand typed, rather than automatically generated from the software, with the wrong address. But neither account for the volume of return mail we get. I have to put additional postage on the letter, package, whatever and re-post it. One package cost us $1.60 to mail and of those we send about 150 a month. Sometimes it comes back so often we have to call the person and tell them to go to the post office and deal with the problem.

There was one month in which we had so much mail coming back that we actually had to call the post office ourselves and complain to the Post Master about the delivery problem. That month we were sending some of the same mail over and over and over. Who knows how many other places had that problem that month! And it took two months to see an improvement. I guess they finally fired the person.

Now, these people have to pass a rigorous test to be come a postal worker. I know they do because my husband took it and failed it and he was a college graduate. We never could figure out how that happened but it did. He'd even got one of those books designed to help you. It didn't. However, I've finally decided that it was simple. He knew too much. He simply knew too much to pass the exam. He said he thought it was a time problem. {pregnant pause} Apparently they have a time ... limit? Who would have guessed. I'm still confused on that point.

Of course, that was before cell phones. Now things become even clearer for me today. I realize why some of my clients use the excuse "I didn't get my letter for two weeks. The postman delivered it to the neighbors two blocks away and they finally brought it to me. I don't even know them!"  It sounds lame to us when they use that excuse but now it makes perfect sense. The mail carrier was talking on her cell phone and didn't pay attention to the addresses!

I would never have considered that as a problem. See, I'm a government employee and I have to use my cell phone on the job.... uh, never? No, but I can't let it interfere with my job - data entry, business calls, appointments, face to face conversation with clients. Yeah. But hey, maybe some government jobs let you talk on your phone all day about things unrelated to your job.

I think the solution to the problems cell phones have created is this: if you're mobile - on your feet or behind the wheel of a car - it is a felony to be caught using a cell phone.I'm serious. I can't stand you people trying to navigate in McDonald's parking lot, during the breakfast hour, driving your SUV, and talking on you phone. Really, lady? You're an idiot. Maybe you can afford the gas for that boat but I'm having trouble keeping mine full. I don't need you wrecking my car. Right about now I want to slap you and take a hammer to your phone.

For the ignorant, phones were not meant to be used in moving vehicles, when you're walking, in the drive thru, while you're in the grocery line, in the theater, or any other public place. Phones were meant to be used in a private area, away from people who don't know you and who don't care about the party you attended last night, or the fact that your kids just pooped his pants at school, or the affair you're having with that woman/man. Get a life and don't share it.

Phone booths were the greatest invention known to man. It gave access and privacy to an amazing means of communication. I miss phone booths. I liked closing the door and talking to someone and watching the rest of the world hurry by... or wait in line, while I had a conversation with someone I knew was actually listening on the other end. Never mind those movies where someone is in a phone booth and a car either rams the booth or fires automatic weapons at it. The phone booth is a sad loss to society. They can't even put them in movies anymore.

They'd have done better to leave the booths in place for idiots who think walking and talking on the cell phone on streets where there are potholes, manholes, and uneven sidewalks is nifty. It isn't. Get real folks, when you're on the phone you are little more than an idiot who doesn't see what is happening around you. You can't read while talking on a cell phone and this probably is a clue that you can't deliver the mail at the same time. Mail carriers get paid to deliver mail, not chat with the BFF during work hours.

One thing, maybe a positive thing, has come out of this stupidity. They now show movies with people talking on their cell phones getting hit by cars, shot in drive-by shootings, falling into manholes... wait... that's in real life. Hmmm, maybe this problem will correct itself.

Note: I may have found a character to off in my next NaNo Novel.

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