As most of you know I live in small town with no mail delivery and in an even smaller neighborhood that is petitioning the U.S.P.S to put mailboxes near our cottages in our little part of the world. Such a small event can trigger the emotions! Well, maybe it is not such a small event. The neighborhood is not even asking for mailboxes at each cottage, just a row of boxes at the end of the streets. Here are the pro and cons.
We would not have to watch the cars coming in and going out of the post office like a hawk to prevent a fender bender. It is a small lot and one of only a handful in the town that is centrally located to most of the shops. Despite the signs that say Parking for USPS Customers Only the lot is always full with cars and more lined up waiting for a spot to park. While one is waiting in line or just pulling into park, it is not unusual for someone to get into their car and without looking. just back up into you. I would wager that the majority of accidents in our town occur at the post office.
Yesterday, I was 16th in line at the post office waiting to pick up a package that was too big for my post office box, which would be about any package anyone receives! Now I don’t mind waiting if I didn’t have to hear this diatribe with every customer. No matter what your reason for being in the line whether to get stamps, packaging, to mail a package, to pick up a package, etc, the postal clerk goes through a litany of rehearsed questions.
“Do you want that package to get there in x amount of time?” Then she weighs the package and goes into every which way possible to mail it for any given delivery day. The customer answers every question with a no. He just wants the bottom line mail fee, no bells and whistles. With that complete the next question is, “Do you need any stamps, packaging supplies, etc,? On and on and on she goes. Next, the customer is asked how they would like to pay for that and another litany of ways follows. Finally, and not before the postal clerk has had to do something in another area of the post office and has had to leave her station at least once, is the transaction completed. Next……… and the ritual starts all over again. After an hour in line it was my turn. No matter if the line is outside the door and wrapped around the building (as it was daily at Christmas) there will be only two clerks, who will spend a lot of foolish time per customer, asking a lot of rote questions that are being answered with “NO, no, no, no.” And the clerks are as slow as turtles!
The neighborhood association would like to propose the USPS for neighborhood delivery of mail. First, the neighborhood post office box proposal has to be approved by a majority of the folks that lives in the “hood.” Last week we saw the initial mail box scheme and a collection of 13 boxes for every thirteen cottages would be placed at different intervals along the streets. Many folks didn’t like the location of their box. I guess they thought the collection boxes were too far away from their cottage or were not happy about the lack of designated parking at each mail delivery sight. Or maybe it was the thought of the potential traffic there now would be, getting to the mailbox sights, or the cars taking up the spots in front of their cottage to retrieve their mail. In and out all day long, who would want that cottage? We only have parking on one side of the street in our hood and that is where our guests park. We must park in our garages and not on the street. Who knows? Next, the fee to be able to have a mailbox would be $200.00, whether you choose to collect your mail in the neighborhood or not, you’ll be paying for the box if the neighborhood agrees to the proposal. We already pay a yearly fee to the post office to pick up our mail there. The big item of concern was there will only be one large box per mail box collection center for anyone receiving a package. The first patron with a package will be left the key to open the large box for large packages. The rest of the boxes are supposed to delivered by the post office to our cottages. Ha ha !!!! I don’t believe a word of it! That would last about one day! Do they know, and I am sure they do, how many of us use Amazon and other mail order for just about all our purchases? Even our prescription drugs are delivered by mail! They would be delivering to our cottages every day! Up and down steps, down one way lanes, and back to cottages behind the cottages on foot! Yeah, I just can’t see that happening! Many of us are retired, so we come and go as we choose at a whim. How long is that box going to be sitting on our porches? Now we will have to form a neighborhood watch group to watch for our packages or bring them in! Nothing is ever easy is it?
So as we ponder our situation, we will soon be voting to see if it is post box in the neighborhood or continued post office box at the post office. That is, if the neighborhood proposal is accepted by the USPS, after all. They may say no. No matter what, we will have two choices. If the proposal is accepted, it will mean the same ol’ same ol’ for us and paying the $200.00 fee plus the USPS post box yearly fee and waiting in line with all the shenanigans at the post office and dreading our cars will be damaged. Or paying the $200.00 neighborhood mailbox collection fee and wondering where our boxes are and how long they have been on the porch! I am thinking I’m not crazy about either choice. Ahh……. life in small town! What do you think?