I’ll never complain about the Post Office again…

I am very nice to my post-person, who has been very helpful to me by picking up outgoing packages that I have prepared for my book and ebay-stuff sales. There is no way that I would be able to make regular trips uptown to the post office. Yes, I know that is the mailperson’s job to pick up my label-affixed outgoing mail. I actually put my money where my mouth is and give him a gift card for Christmas…which is the only way that I know that a customer can give the carrier presents under Postal Service rules. It’s a small token amount, but I do appreciate the service. I’ve had the company, PadreVenturesLLC since 2009, and I do only online sales

About a month ago my mainframe computer died. The poor thing was ticking along with minimum bugs, until it just died…the kiss of death blue screen and all. A lot of stuff got wiped out, but thanks to WordPress my blog library saved the day regarding photos and miscellaneous other. The most painful loss was my app for my postage service (Endicia) through which I prepare shipping labels. Called Dazzle, it not only keeps my mailing forms and customer information dating back several years…most noteworthily tracking information.

After I got the mailing system restored and accomplished the coordination with Amazon and my other book venues, I was soon back in business. Except that my mind had to resurrect the nitty gritty of setting up the addresses and packing slips, etc.

So three orders came in as I was performing the restoration, and the return address (mine) and that of the recipient on the form was not to my liking. Two of the orders went out as they were supposed to, but one hit a snag. There was some extra information in the customer’s mailing address, which I discovered later.

Here where I live in Ohio our mail is delivered (and collected) by a little mail truck, and taken back to the post office at the end of the day. Then, it is sent on to Pittsburg (in this case,) and in due time (just a couple of days,) it is dispatched to the Los Angeles, California USPS distribution center…pending final destination to a customer’s address in a suburb of Los Angeles.

Tracking information is remarkably detailed: the package left my Post Office on April 4, arrived in LA on April 9; then, according to the long, detailed history of the tracking record, it bounced among at least three LA distribution centers for weeks—apparently every morning the package was loaded onto a delivery truck (In Transit) and every evening it was unloaded; the next morning ON, the evening OFF. for three weeks!

The customer contacted me to see if I could find out what was going on, because the tracking information made no sense at all. That’s when I started following it. After the third week I refunded the customer’s payment through Amazon, and I asked her if she would keep me informed about the final destination… if any. Yesterday, April 30, the package arrived at the correct address in LA.

Finally! The original packaging (a bubble-padded mailing envelope) had been destroyed to the extent that all that was left was the book and the packing slip inside the original plastic bag. The book is badly damaged, the hard cover corners smashed in, various other trauma. But the best of all is the interaction with the post office.

The book and its packing slip had been placed in a plain brown envelope with a hand-written address and the USPS logo in the return address box. There is no tracking information or explanation included. But gee whiz—I am so impressed by the personal service.

If you have ever wondered what happens to lost mail… hear this! Orphaned or beaten up packages or there contents go to a “Processing Exception” department, where a postal employee personally handles the package (in this case any way.) Since my package had been reduced to a little plastic bag with the original packing slip (and the book,,) it’s obvious that a Real Human had to do the ultimate disposition.

I need to make a point: this was not some insured package, it was sent Media Mail, and bottom line… after fees and expenses… my profit is less than a dollar.

(Just for fun, google “Processing Exception” for an informative and quite entertaining FAQ. )

8 thoughts on “I’ll never complain about the Post Office again…

  1. Ugh. I guess it’s good that you found out eventually, but what a waste of time and money. It would have been better if the postal service had simply returned it to you the first time it couldn’t be delivered. :/


    1. The point is that they couldn’t return it because the original packaging was destroyed in a machine somewhere. What impressed me was that an actual human was responsible for sending the package on to the buyer…a task the computer/scanner could not accomplish without the barcodes and other information…like the buyer’s address. It is a hint of what happens to those packages that get lost in the mail…and have to be literally handled by a human hand. I’ve sent thousands of packages, and only a handful got lost…noteably one that was lost for a couple of weeks somewhere between California and Hawaii. These packages I send are rarely more than about $20, and most far less. AND I send them “Media Mail” at a big discount over First Class. It was a computerized system that caused the delay. The poor book just shuffled back and forth in California for weeks and then the arrived after great delays. {{WHY am I sticking up for the Post Office??) Because I like to give credit where due…just think about that little lady who sifts through the pile of “lost” USMail and personally resurrects it…. Gads, I just must get out more. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No end to the saga of the post office. Today, May 8, I found in my mail box my original address label from the package. Only the front of the label, which had been neatly cut from the original envelope. and an apology messge. Gosh…wonders will never cease. lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, ya just gotta love the USPS. The latest installment and grande finale appeared in my mail box just a couple of days ago. Lo and behold, it was the original official label that I had affixed to the padded envelope. It had been neatly clipped, big tear and all, plastic bubbles still hanging on…and on the flip-side a plaintive plea headlined WE CARE and a sweet note stating that they really do care, and that went into great detail about it. Now Amazon does their best to prevent buyers and sellers from fraternizing…but I just am compelled to send this Grand Finale, so to speak, to my buyer in Californai. I will just mail it in a plain envelope with the buyer address in black marker…she will recognize who its from. I just absolutely must share this with her. She has the book, which is actually reduced to a piece of junk…it was a very good book when I sent it. poor thing…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. She is obviously a book lover, likes nice books, appreciates a high tale… has a sense of humor…and proved her common sense by not resorting to a mad melt-down when her order was late. Some buyers would frown, accuse the seller of all sorts of malpractice and evil intent, and complain to Amazon. .. who/which would immediate side with the aggrieved buyer and threaten…or worse…the poor seller.

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.