Monday, May 21, 2007

Post Office Standard Time, or 5:03 is the new 5:30

I had to go into the office today and was gone much longer than I planned. This meant I had to make a beeline to the post office to get my bills sent out before I leave town in the morning. Not to fear, though. I know EXACTLY when the boxes outside my post office are picked up: M-F 5:30 and S 4:30. This is emblazoned somewhere on the side of my brain. I sometimes plan whole days around these times.

Imagine my surprise, then, to pull up to the boxes at 5:03 today, a Monday, and find a post office employee cleaning out the boxes. Seven of us in line jumped out of our cars and RAN to him, frantically waving our mail. I told him that I thought the box was picked up at 5:30. He said something that made no sense (he was finished inside?), but I didn't argue with him because I wanted to make sure my bills got in that bin of his.

Maybe since all three numbers are the same -- 5, 3, and 0 -- 5:03 is just as valid a pickup time as 5:30.

This shouldn't be optional, though. If the posted time on the boxes is 5:30, we the patrons should have until 5:30 to get our little letters in those boxes.

(EDIT: My skeptical mind asked if the guy might be an impostor, but if he is, he's both well-prepared and impudent. He was wearing a post office uniform, driving a post office car, and he had the keys to the post office box. After he finished collecting the mail, he drove to the back of the post office. I sat and watched to make sure.)

1 comment:

Meowkaat said...

Unless you have some ideas on how to plan a revolt against the all-consuming power of the Postal System, I think it's something we just have to live with. (But if you do have plans, please inform me... I will be on that bus in a second)I am frequently incensed at their arbitrary rules (They close at 11:00 for lunch, unless they have other plans, in which case they will close at noon, until whenever the hell they want to come back.) I have a PO box and I never know when or why they will lock the doors, thereby depriving me of my mail. Plus, what is with the rising postage prices??? As an ebayer, it causes me true grief to see those steadily climbing prices.