When we bought our house, mail was probably one of the furthest things from my mind. Whether or not we had home delivery or picked up from a super box was not going to impact our purchasing decision in any way, so I never thought about it. I don’t think that it actually really registered with me that we have home delivery until we moved in. I love home delivery, so I was actually glad that we don’t have a super mailbox to go to.
I grew up with home delivery, and have fond memories of knowing the exact moment that mail was delivered. My siblings and I would race to the door to try to either say hi to the mailman, or be the one who got to bring the mail to mom. We had the same mailman for long stretches of time so there was some familiarity. They each got to know us a little, and we got to know them. Mail carriers, especially back then when EVERYTHING came by postal mail, are trusted with the timely delivery of both bills and cheques, and also personal mail. Even though many things are sent electronically these days, I still count on the mail for cards, magazines, online purchases, and the occasional bill or cheque.
For almost the entire time we have been in the house, we have had the same mail carrier. He was a no-nonsense kinda guy, who took his job seriously. Always friendly, he was never one to stop and chat, just tossing us a quick greeting whenever we were out front and he swung by. I got used to his patterns, and could always tell when the mail would be in the box. He reversed his route mid-week, so it was early early on in the week, and late towards the end of the week. I liked the predictability, and I liked knowing, if even a smidge, who was trusted with my mail.*
Our regular guy was transferred early this year. Because it was winter, I didn’t see a new carrier, I just noticed that there were differences in our delivery. The predictable routine was gone, and our mail was coming at wildly different times of the day. Some nights it was even after dinner when it landed in the box. We also started getting our neighbours’ mail. Our direct neighbours’, the house on our street whose house number is ours transposed, and the people the next street over who share our house number. I figured that it would stop after a couple of weeks when the new person settled in, but it didn’t, and it made me start to pay attention to our mail.
Once I started to look at things, I started to get a little ticked at our new mail carrier. I am all for the evolution towards a paperless society, and, as such know that there are generally a couple of days here and there when there is no mail… but we frequently miss 2-3 days of mail at a time, then receive a pile of mail all at once. Then she started to do things that ticked me off. We’d get one magazine, but it would be tied together with 15 elastics. She doesn’t always wear her uniform, or if she does, it is hidden under a coat. We continued to get the wrong mail, months after she’d taken over the route. I felt that she should have gotten it after a few months, but she didn’t. She also didn’t pick up the misdirected mail that I left hanging out of the box, even though I confirmed with the last mailman that this was the accepted protocol. She just ignored it for days on end, or worse let it drop out of the box onto the step and blow away. It irked me.
The kicker, and the thing that actually upsets me is that she drives our route. I didn’t believe it when I first noticed the car going up the street, stopping in every second or third lane and the driver running up to the door. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, but then one day she drove up while I was out front with the lils. I was too shocked to say anything, but next time I will. I don’t know what her story is, if she has an injury, is trying to fit in two or more jobs, if she is lazy… I just know that it has burst my bubble about home delivery, and that makes me sad.
*I realize that there are many others who are trusted with my mail, but he brought it directly to my house.*