Mail Performance Issues

I’m no home owner. That’s for real adults. I rent. Sadly, my house isn’t exactly a mansion, but I like it. It doesn’t even have a driveway, but I still like it. I like it so much that I’ve lived there (or I guess I should say here) for two years now. The house on one side of me, it has a driveway. And the house on the other side of me is on the corner. They don’t have a driveway either, but that’s not a problem for them with their corner spot. When they park their car they either park on the side or hop their car up the curb and park in their yard. Classy, I know. My options are a bit more limited. I have no choice but to park on the street. I refuse to park in the yard. Sorry folks, just not my style. My mailbox is also right there on the street. Little did I know that my standard street parking protocol would wreak havoc on my mail carrier’s livelihood.

Because my car ends up being sort of in the way, the mail carrier can’t drive right through to my mailbox to pop in my mail. What’s the solution? Well, you would think that maybe said mail carrier would go just a little above and beyond the call of duty (or what used to be called doing their job), park their mail truck, and walk the maybe 4 feet to my mailbox. You would think this and you would be wrong.

Instead, the solution has been to simply stop delivering my mail. The mail carrier’s ridiculous answer to this equally ridiculous predicament would have me parking up the road on the next corner and walking back to my house rather than parking right in front of my house. So as to free up a straight line for her to zoom in her mail truck. Yeah. Right.

OK, so no home delivery. That’s okay. I’ve come to terms with this and rented a PO Box. It’s the only choice if I ever want to, you know, get my mail. I could do without bills of course, but letters from loved ones, online purchases, those I don’t mind actually receiving. Call me crazy but getting some of my mail is sort of a big deal to me.

I’ve done a good job of letting people know not to do something as audacious as mailing something to my house, but every once in a while it does happen. Things slip through. When it does happen, rather than (again) getting out of the truck and going the approximately 4 feet it takes to put the item in my mailbox or—gasp!—bringing it up to my doorstep which is not that much further from the mailbox or even sticking it in, say, the PO Box they know I own (because I’m at the post office ALL the freakin’ time) the mail carrier marks it undeliverable and the item gets returned to sender.

Again, bills, those can go back to the sender any old day. Like I care. But it never happens with them. Of course not. The only times it has happened is with pretty important items. Figures, right?

When I eventually find out about it, the same, simple question rolls through my head, and out of my mouth: WTF? I have no idea why the carrier avoids my mailbox like the plague. It’s not like we’ve had words. And I’ve seen her deliver, on foot no less, to other houses, but not mine. It can’t be some slow burning personal vendetta either because I’ve never even met her. So WTF? I have a perfectly good mailbox just sitting there as it should, just waiting for mail to be delivered. Plus…PLUS, I have a perfectly good PO Box for extra insurance, but even with that in place I’m never truly guaranteed of getting my mail.  I’m beginning to get a complex if truth be told.

Everyone INSIDE the post office is great (again, I know this because I deal with them on a daily basis, no exaggeration). The carrier? Anything but. I have my own real life Newman making decisions for me on what’s deliver-worthy and what’s not.

This letter from the school system? Doesn’t look important and the mailbox is so, sooo far away. Toss it. An elegant invitation to a high-brow event?  Nahh, she couldn’t be possibly interested in that. Send it back.  But this $10 coupon for Depends? Oh, she’s gonna want to see this one. Let it through.

Ahh, small town life. It never ceases to amaze.

no mail for you

Dark Musings

On May 14, 1998, the Seinfeld show aired its last episode.

This was seventeen years ago, but the plot of the show was incredibly perceptive, both of the characters and society as a whole. And as it turns out – prophetic.

In this episode the four main characters of Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George are spending a few hours in a tiny town in Massachusetts. They witness a mugging from an opposite street corner. Instead of trying to stop it, they simply watch and make jokes because the victim is extremely overweight. In addition, Kramer starts to film the mugging with a camcorder. Then they simply turn and walk away from the scene, completely unconcerned with the fate of the victim.

I have to say that when I watched this episode, my feelings for the foursome changed drastically from like to dislike. I’ve never felt the same about the show since. I mean they were always self-absorbed, one and all, but good grief.

So in the finale (should I say spoiler alert for a show that aired 17 years ago??), the four of them are arrested for violating a “duty to rescue” law (which I don’t think actually exists because really, if it did, our jails would be overflowing even more than they are now) and the rest of the two-part show consists of clips from past episodes showing the utter lack of compassion and empathy that these four friends have shown to the people they’ve interacted with during the ten years of the Seinfeld series’ run. Spoiler alert (ha!). They were found guilty and the karma they had been racking up for the past nine seasons came back to bite them in the ass and they wound up in jail.

Fast forward to today.

There are people today who actually do this – witness a crime or a tragedy and not only do nothing about it but actually whip out their cellphones to record it! Or in the case of the recent fire in Dubai, take a selfie in front of said tragedy (before possibly being able to know if deaths are involved or not).

Go to YouTube and you’ll see thousands of videos like this. Someone getting beat up in a fast food restaurant or on a bus or something of that nature (usually in a big city) and instead of trying to stop it, a bystander films it and uploads it to YouTube. It would be one thing if they filmed it in order to help in the prosecution of the criminal involved, but I think their main reason to film it is to put it on YouTube or their Facebook account! Take this guy for example. He saw a car crash, and since helping is for suckers, he naturally just broke into the smashed up vehicle to record the two dying kids to post on his Facebook page instead and oh, hey, wait…maybe there’s some money to be made here… so according to police, he tried to peddle the recording to news stations.

Seinfeld had an uncanny knack for mirroring society right back at you through the t.v. screen, they just made it funny. In real life it’s not quite so amusing.

We wonder why some people, especially young people, have no empathy or why situations such as rape or bullying might get videotaped but not reported (or god forbid, stopped) as its taking place. I mean, it’s no exaggeration to say the first thought of the majority of the crowd is not, “let’s stop this,” but rather, “hey, did you get that!?” or “whoa, are you getting this!?”  Of course meaning on one’s phone.

I think it’s because our society has created – and is constantly creating – voyeurs and people who are just completely immune to or simply don’t care about tragedy or violence, even when it’s right in front of them. There seems to be little respect for, well…anything anymore. People are taking playful selfies at Auschwitz these days for goodness sake. I hear it’s a “thing.”

I don’t know what the solution is. Stronger laws and more repercussions for heinous acts such as, oh, I don’t know, squeezing into a mangled car to film dying children up-close just to make a buck, would be a good start. It’s easy to say better parenting is the key, but is that it? Is that all it will take? Life is never that simple. As a society shouldn’t we do something? But really, are we even capable of pulling together as a group to create change? Or should we all just resign ourselves to the fact that the world is destined for that long trip waayy south in a hand basket when all is said and done?