Friday, October 16, 2009

We Deliver To The Dead

Really, other things do happen in my life, but I get reminded here and there about these Postal episodes that have happened that are just so funny or unusual that I tend to write mostly about them. Case in point...

I first transferred to Henderson in March of 2000. When you transfer, you go to the bottom of the seniority list within that particular office, but you keep your overall seniority in the Post Office. So, as low man on the totem pole within the office, you have to do some things that the others no longer have to.

About once every 3 or 4 weeks or so, it became my turn to work on a Sunday delivering Express Mail. Two people from my office would work each Sunday and holiday doing this. The nite before, you would park a Postal vehicle out in front of the office, and take the keys home with you. Then you'd go back to the office Sunday morning, pick up the truck, and drive to the Postal hangar at the airport to get the Express Mail for your area of town.

My office covered a large section of Henderson, and also incorporated the areas where all of the rapid growth and expansion was going on. There was a lot of territory to cover, and only 2 people to do it, so it involved a lot of driving. It was common to put 60 miles on the truck in one Sunday. I enjoyed it though, because it afforded me an opportunity to see areas of Henderson I didn't get to see during the week, and as I was looking to buy a house at the time, that worked out nicely.

On this one particular summer Sunday, after having done a few pieces of Express Mail, I pulled up at another house. I went to the door, delivered this piece to a pleasant older woman, and went back out to the truck. I then sat there doing paperwork and lining out where I'd be driving for my next few Express pieces. After a few minutes, the woman came out to the truck, and very nicely asked me when this piece had been mailed out. I told her that it was probably the day before, but that you could see it right here on the label...

...which showed a date roughly TWO MONTHS prior to that particular day. My jaw hit the floor, and I turned to the woman, apologized to her, and explained that it had probably been left in a piece of equipment that had been thought empty. I told her the sender could call the number on the label to get a refund that they were obviously due, at which point she very matter-of-factly said to me, "Oh, that's okay, this was for my husband, and he's dead now..."

At this point, it was all I could do to keep from laughing. I know that may sound cruel, but the situation was so absurd, it was the only reaction I had. The woman was amazingly cool about the entire situation, and wasn't visibly upset, didn't raise her voice, nothing to hint any dismay. I really did feel bad about it, I apologized for the loss of her husband, and I seem to recall chatting with her for a couple more minutes. I have no idea what was in that envelope, but I can only hope it wasn't a release form from an insurance company that was going to allow him to take some medication that would have kept him alive.

Blog Post Soundtrack: Slipknot, The Runaways, Prong, Hermano, Madness, Clutch

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