Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tender Mailman Messages - Just Wanted to Let You Know

By Mel Carriere

Stevie Wonder just called to say I love you.  Postal Customers check in sometimes too, just to let letter carriers know.  Not to let us know that they love us, necessarily, but to pass along what's going on in their mail-related lives, to give us a heads up about what sort of exciting, life-altering manna from Postal Heaven might be dropping into their mailboxes.  They pass along a friendly little smile on a sticky note, but the X-ray vision of any experienced Postman can see the dripping, snarling fangs issuing a dire warning from behind the cute upturned corners of that ink drawn grin.

You see such a preemptive epistle in the photo above. Translated into non-postal English, it can be summarized as:  Hey dumbs**t, I'm expecting my check, so don't f**k it up!

I get the point, Fabian, you sticky note scribbler extraordinaire. I understand your angst.  You need to get paid, just like I do, and you are in a high state of anxiety because of it.  But there are a few problems presented by the way you have chosen to bare your soul on a post-it.

First of all, when your Social Security Check finally rolls in through the inter-dimensional magic of mail delivery, it will probably have your last name on it too.  I don't think it will just say FABIAN above the address line.  I could be wrong, but I think most of the time the Social Security Department, as well as most other US Government institutions, require a last name.  If you don't have a last name, you might want to think about getting one.  I know you were in a frenzy of fretfulness when you penned me this lovely note, but if it turns out you do have a last name, you should have included that on the note.  Yeah, the barn door is open and the cows are already out, not much we can do about it now - but in the one in 17 billion chance you randomly stumble across this blog on the Internet, please update the sticky with all the pertinent information.

The next somewhat troublesome thing I was wondering about, Dear Fabian, is what do you think I would do with your anxiously anticipated Social Security check if you neglected to write me a sticky note to let me know it was coming?  Stamp it up NO STICKY NOTE and return it to sender, even if the address is completely correct; then chuckle mirthfully about it with my coworkers? Ha!  That silly old huckster Fabian forgot to give me a sticky note for his Social Security Check! - after which we all roll on the floor in belly shaking spasms of laughter, because all America knows that nothing makes Letter Carriers happier than making our customers' lives miserable by returning their checks to sender.

There is one more small problem that is making it difficult for me to deliver your Social Security Check, Fabian, in spite of your sticky note, or maybe because of it.  Seems like in your rush to get this life-sustaining information to me, you almost completely covered up your address on the mailbox.  It wasn't so much the sticky note per se, but the blue painting tape you used.  You really went to town with that blue painting tape.

Contrary to popular opinion, most esteemed Fabian, letter carriers don't deliver via telepathy.  Some of us like to see the addresses on the boxes we are delivering to., kind of helps. 

Of course, I'm the regular, so I know pretty much which box is which, but say I'm off the day that your patiently awaited check comes in, and the person delivering my route can't read the addresses because of blue painting tape, duct tape, welding flux, or whatever other adhesive device you have chosen to affix the sticky note with?

This brings up two more widespread myths embraced by the American Public about letter carriers that you, Dear Fabian, might also subscribe to. 1. - The day we are hired, we are expected to memorize the approximate 155 million addresses in the United States.  This is why, when we're out delivering mail and a person from out of town stops and asks us where an address five zip codes away is and we say we don't know, he looks at us like we are either stupid, or lying.

2 - The second myth is that the same letter carrier delivers the same route 365 days a year, including Sundays and holidays. 

Because of these popular mailman myths, Fabian, you are thinking that my substitute mailman will be able to deliver your check regardless of whether he can see the number or not.

Hate to burst your bubble, but neither of these myths are true.  It is flattering, Fabian, that you think we are capable of such prodigious feats of memory, along with superhuman stamina to be able to work around the clock, every day of the year, but these things are just urban legend, not reality.

The reality is that we only have to memorize half the addresses in the United States.  But we still have a problem, Fabian, because I have it on good authority that your particular address is not included in the half that my day-off guy had to memorize.

Sorry Fabian.  S.O.L, I guess.  But here's a sideways smile back to you, if that helps. :)

Keeping track of 155 million addresses is exhausting, so Mel requires a lot of expensive, high grade coffee to keep going.  To help Mel buy it, please investigate what his sponsors have to say.  

More by Mel on Hub Pages - Warning to all CCAs thinking about crossing over to the dark side. READ THIS FIRST1