posted Mon, 29 Aug 2005
This is the letter I am going to send to the postmaster in the town where my grandmother lives. As you can see, I am not happy with his performance. I have written before about this subject. BTW, there are 800 people in this town. Not one stoplight.
Postmaster John Gessler
Dorchester, WI 54425
August 29, 2005
Dear Postmaster Gessler,
I am writing to ask you to fulfill your mission of delivering the mail rather than looking for reasons not to deliver it.
I just had another letter I had sent to my grandmother, Helen J, returned to me because “the forwarding order had expired.”
Well, yes, I suppose it has. But come on. Just how many Helen Js are there in Dorchester who used to have PO Box 144?
Yes, I should be more careful writing the address. But when you have been using the same address for 30 years, you get in the habit. Actually, I used to be able to write just her name and “Dorchester, WI, 54425” and my letters would reach her. Different postmistress. Different attitude.
Don’t you think you could cut some slack for a little old lady who doesn’t get to walk to the post office any more to pick up her mail? That’s the only reason she’s having it delivered to the house. It’s killing her to do it.
My postman brings me the mail sent to my old address and it’s been over four years since I moved. That forwarding order has long expired. I know it can be done. And I know that there are a lot more people on his route than there are in all of Dorchester. He just cares about his customers.
I will send my grandmother a new forwarding order so you’ll have all your paperwork. That way, if any of her 24 grandchildren or seven children and their spouses or any other relative or friend who lives out of town accidentally writes the PO box that she has used for the past 30 years on a letter, she’ll get it right away. When widows reach the age of 93 and live alone, they tend to find a disproportionate amount of joy in things like letters from family and friends.
Apparently, you can deliver through rain and sleet and snow, but not through a tiny bit of bureaucracy.
The working life: The rat race
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