Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tracking—The USPS Tennis Derby

I’ve always been a staunch supporter of the USPS, favoring them over companies like FedEx and UPS, but after this experience, I’m not quite so sure if my loyalty is well-placed.

DSC00308I received a package in the mail today that I had honestly thought would, at this point, never arrive. My sister, JoAnne, had taken the package to her local Post Office in Arizona, on June 23, 2015 and presented it for 2-Day Priority Mail to Brooklyn 11208 – with tracking number and insurance - with an expected delivery date of June 25. Yes, June 25, and this is July 31; go figure.

Go figure is exactly what I did. Just out of curiosity, I went and looked up the tracking number, with the idea of seeing what cities it had been visiting during its longer than usual journey. What I found was absolutely mind-boggling, and I’m still shaking my head at the weirdness and idiocy of the entire story. Before going on, though I will admit that I have received mail that had taken a somewhat longer route than necessary: for instance, there was the time when I was living in Mistretta when we received a wedding invitation from a missionary who had served in the town; the invitation came a week after the wedding because it had come from Utah via American Samoa… We couldn’t have gone anyway, but it would have been nice to know about it so we could have been ready for them when they came to visit us during their honeymoon. But, that was International, and worse things have been known to happen. But I digress.

After JoAnne left the packet at the Post office in C.G. on the 23rd it was sent, same day, to Phoenix, which then sent it on to Bethpage, NY 11714. Forgive me for including all the New York zip codes, butTennis_Match you’ll see the reason why shortly. Now, packages received at Bethpage 11714 usually arrive the very same day, or the next day at the latest, at the Brooklyn 11208 P.O. and then on to my house. I have no idea what happened, but this time it arrived at the USPS facility in Lower Manhattan, 10007 (not even close to Brooklyn 11208). The next day, June 26, it arrived in New York, NY 10199 Origin Facility, about 8 blocks up the street—it was probably hand-carried. I guess it liked this particular office, or the workers were planning their next diabolical move with care, because it stayed there until July 2, when it was sent off to… Lower Manhattan 10007. I think they must have used a real snail to carry it, because it took 11 hours and 59 minutes to go those same 8 blocks.

Obviously, the package wasn’t happy there, and two days later it was back at the 10199 USPS Origin Facility. Poor thing, by this time the tennis match was in full-swing and the next day, July 6 (a little over 24 hours later) it was back in the court of the 10007 USPS facility. Lower Manhattan dropped it for a couple of days – it was the 4th of July five-day weekend, after all – but in the evening of July 8, it was back in the court of 10199.

Fast and furious, the 10007 was ready for 10199’s return serve and – a little slower than usual, for sure – it was back in 10199’s court the next evening. USPS Origin Facility 10199 was waiting for it and hit it hard and furious, a minute after it entered their court, but they hit too hard and it ended up outside the Manhattan boundaries, landing in the Brooklyn 11256 USPS Origin Facility. Close but no cigar. Outraged at their fumble, 10199 demanded that the ball…uh, I mean packet…be returned to their court: immediately! USPS Facility 11256 complied, sending it back four hours later; it arrived in 10199 just a few hours after that.

By then,  from all the heat of being served back and forth between facilities, and the ever-increasing temperatures in New York City, the packet had become more of a hot potato than a tennis ball and so, after arriving in 10199, they decided it needed time to cool off…It stayed in that facility until midnight last night, when it was finally sent to Brooklyn 11208; it arrived eight hours later—again I think it was carriedYosemite Sam with smoke coming out of his ears by a marathon runner—and four hours after that it was on my front porch.

What kills me is that it says it was on time and that the Expected Delivery Date was Friday, July 31, 2015. Since when do the days from June 23 to July 31 add up to a 2-Day Priority? However, I have the original shipping label that says the Expected Delivery Date is June 25. I dislike tennis (I’m horrible at it) as much as I dislike time-active packets arriving 36 days late. Together, they make smoke come right out of my ears.

Have you ever had a similar experience? Do you want to tell us about it?


Tracking—the USPS Tennis Derby © July 31, 2015 Mary Purpari.  All Rights Reserved.