The Things We Used To Count On, Can We Still?

Blog 2105 – 06.30.2021

The Things We Used To Count On, Can We Still?

Time was when we at least thought we could count on a few things to remain consistently reliable like the mail. But my recent experience with the U.S. Postal Service has left me wondering what we can truly count on anymore. I have stayed in so many places over the years where it was difficult to receive mail. Often, if I was planning to be in any place for more than a couple of weeks I would go to a nearby Post Office and rent a PO Box for six months just so I could pick up my mail after hours.

I was happy to hear that I could get mail at the Park Mobile Home/RV Court in Norfolk, Nebraska where I will be most likely residing in my camper for the duration of this work assignment. I have already been here a month and expect to be here four or five months longer.

Upon my arrival here on June 28th I picked up a form to take to the Post Office so they could set up a mail box for me in the bank of mail boxes at the entrance to the trailer park. Since that day was a Friday and the Post Office was open till noon on Saturday, I was there when they opened the door at 8 am the next morning. The clerk at the counter took my information and told me the postal delivery person on my route would set up a box for me and that I could pick up my key the following Friday. I work Mondays through Fridays so I was there on Saturday June 5th to pick up my key. I tried the key to make sure it opened the box that had 105 printed on the outside in black permanent marker. The key worked and there was a yellow card inside the box that read “Do not deliver mail to this box.” I removed the card. On Monday Jun 7th began the daily ritual of checking that box after work each day for mail.

My wife had said that she had mailed me two Father’s Day cards with gift cards enclosed and then a week or so later a very important letter with two things enclosed for me to sign and return to her. I have worked in heartland states before where the mail is not as fast as it is in big cities like my home, Houston, Texas, so I was prepared for it to take a little longer for the mail I was expecting to arrive.

On Saturday June 19th I returned to the Post Office again concerned that the Fathers Day cards had still not arrived. I wrote out my name and address on a piece of paper and the clerk assured me it would be given to my mail carrier and any mail matching my information would be in my box in three days. No Father’s Day cards by the next Wednesday or even yet a month after they were mailed.

Still I was more concerned about the letter containing the important documents for me to sign so on Saturday June 26th I again watched the Post Office counter clerk open the door at 8am and I went over my story again with her. This time she took my name and address and walked back into the mail sorting area to find my mail carrier and ask about my mail. Another counter clerk assisting her came back to inform me that she had spoken to the ladies responsible for delivering mail to my address and they told her that they had seen nothing addressed to me. My mail must have been lost.

Yesterday, my loving and lovely wife, Linda, texted me a photo of something she had received in the mail – the letter with the important documents marked with a yellow label that read Return To Sender – Vacant and dated 06/22/21. I have printed a copy of the picture and plan to be at the Post Office when it opens this Saturday morning and to share that picture with the counter clerk.

I may not be able to count on them just now, but they can count on me to remind them that the trust we share is a two way street. My wife says she will not mail me anything else. I hope she changes her mind. I would like to believe this issue can be corrected. I thought I had done my part to see that it was, but then a picture is worth a thousand words.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

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