(First, my apologies to anyone who is or whose spouse is a mail carrier and does not fit this rant. But these are my observations, as of late. And I use “Mailman” in the general, so as to not neuter my subject for the entire post. I am well aware there are plenty of valiant Mail Ladies.)
When did mailmen become such flippin primadonnas? When did delivering my mail become such a terrible chore? When did “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night” get replaced by “not if you’re parked within 30 feet of the mailbox or if I have to step foot out of my mail wagon”?
Twice within the last week I have had disturbing encounters with mailmen.
While stopping to visit my husbands Aunt, I had parked about 15′ from her curbside mailbox. Getting ready to leave, I noticed the big, square mail wagon just sitting, about six feet from the curb, glaring at me. Auntie got very flustered and asked me to quickly move my car- that if I was within 30 feet of the box, the mailman would deny her dilivery and move on to the next house. That explained his angry glare and the obstinate, childish way he was just sitting. There was plenty of room for him to pull in and deliver the mail- but Auntie said he had CLEARLY told her 30 feet on either side was what he, personally, required. To honor Auntie, I moved my car and Pissy Mailman went ahead and delivered his letters.
When I got home, I went online and checked out the USPS postal code for mail delivery standard. Check it out for yourself. Nowhere does it state a required clearance. What is stated is simply “adequate clearance for the mail carrier to deliver mail without leaving his vehicle”. Fabulous. Um, 30 feet?? On BOTH sides of the box? Can you drive at all? Can you manage your box-like wagon any better than a child? Holy crap, this is Mail Man dictatorship and mannipulation- a Napoleon complex of the finest order. A playground bully- “I’ll just take my ball and go home”. Nevermind that taking mail is a Federal offense. If I never got my mail in the first place, Mr. Mail Jerk isn’t stealing.
Then, when out garage sale-ing last Friday, the exact same thing happened again! I was parked near a lady’s front drive, and while I admit I was far closer to the box than I had been at Aunties house, there was still clearance. Busy looking for treasure, I didn’t notice the ominous humm of the Mail Wagon approaching. An older woman tapped me on the arm, with a look of panic in her eyes, breathlessly and frantically told me I needed to move my car NOW or the Mailman would not give her her mail. What?
This old lady was near panic. Obviously she had been tortured by her Mail Jerk recently, and was fearful of her life- or at least not getting her Social Security check. Shaking my head, and shooting the Mail Gestapo a dirty look, I promply left.
What the holy heck is going on? Did I miss something somewhere? Is this just another bead on the long string of the Curture of Entitlement in which we live? Do the words Public Servant have no meaning anymore?
Now, I know not all mail people are like this- and I know they certainly should not have to climb over uncle Cooter’s dilapidated cars and brave junk yard dogs to deliver the J. Crew catalog. But seriously- Can we find some middle ground here? I also know there are good, kind, hardworking people who are Mailmen. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a few by name. Mac, Norm (really) and currently, Janet, my own gem of a mail-lady.