An open letter to US Postal Service

>> Saturday, April 21, 2012

USPS Delivery Problem No8738‏

US Postal Service
To ███████████████████

From: US Postal Service (
Sent: Fri 4/20/12 2:30 PM
To: ███████████████████

Attachments: 1 attachment | Download all as zip (23.1 KB) (23.1 KB)

Delivery information,

Our company’s courier couldn’t deliver your parcel.
Reason deny\Wrong delivery address.

STATUS: not delivered
SERVICE: Expedited Shipping

The label of your parcel is enclosed to the letter.
You should print the label and show it in the nearest post office to get a parcel.

If the parcel isn’t received within 30 working days our company will have the right to claim compensation from you for it's keeping in the amount of $9.74 for each day of keeping over limited time.

You can find the information about the procedure and conditions of parcels keeping in the nearest office.

Thank you.
USPS Express Services.

Dear US Postal Service,

Oh wow! I had no idea you folks were doing this, but let me just say I think this is the best program ever.

Unlike many Americans, I'm actually a great fan of your work. I think it is a remarkable achievement involving a great deal of labor and ingenuity that you are able to deliver unbelievable quantities of mail all over the United States with relatively few errors. And while there are plenty of idiots who will point to your chronic lack of profitability as a sign your days are done and you're a relic of the 18th Century (Wikipedia says you were founded in 1775, making you older than the nation you serve--amazing! I love it!), I wonder if those idiots have contemplated what would happen to businesses that rely on mass-mailings of advertisements, catalogues, fliers, postcards, magazines, etc. (note how your strongest critics tend to be people who style themselves "pro-business", too). Not to mention all the mail you deliver pertaining to public utilities announcements, zoning changes, political advertisements, notices of jury service and civil announcements from drivers license bureaus and such, etc. The vast bulk of what you do is not letters from little kids to their grandmas and cranky notes from newspaper subscribers to local editors who annoy them. (Even if it were, it might say something about certain ideological mentalities if they think small children ought to be paying fourteen bucks a pop to send their technology-illiterate, offline, elderly family members the pictures they drew of parasailing aardvarks eating ice cream or whatever.)

However, like most Americans, I've had the experience of lost mail. Of ordering something and never getting it, or getting it late and damaged, or of being asked if I got a package I neither saw nor tripped over walking up to my front door, etc. It's frustrating, and even someone like me who thinks you're awesome and unappreciated can find himself cursing every Postmaster General from Benjamin Franklin to Patrick Donahoe because of what failed to occur despite your historic commitment to defy rain, snow, sleet and/or hail, namely a parcel placed in my box or left upon my doorstep.

Which is why your e-mail pleased me so! If I understand your new program, all I have to do if there's an undeliverable parcel, is I print out the label (which I will do as soon as I finish this electronic open letter, I assure you, and I won't even scan it for viruses or anything because I completely trust you and know you would never betray me in any way!) and take it down to my local Post Office and you'll give me a parcel.


At the risk of looking a Pony Express mount in the mouth, I do have a few questions. Mostly just out of curiosity.

First off, do I get to pick my parcel or do you just grab one out of the back for me? Is it a random parcel or is it one that is approximately the same value as the parcel that was undelivered? Is this a parcel you bought especially for this program, or do you just ransack the undeliverable mail at whichever Office I take my label to and give me some other schlub's undeliverable mail? If I get traded down--e.g. if you couldn't deliver my brand new laptop, let's say, and I end up getting some random kid's saccharine letter to Santa in exchange--is there an appeals process if I can bring you a printed out purchase order or similar evidence? Conversely, if someone finds out I got their undeliverable laptop (or whatever, this is just by way of illustration) in lieu of an aunt's Xeroxed article about a fifteenth cousin I've never heard of before, do I have to give up my prize? (If so, can I come back and get something else, or am I out a laptop and the smudgey tribute to my distant relative's minor accomplishments?) Also, how do I know you won't try to hand me a badly-wrapped, stinky and obviously opened-inspected-and-resealed five-pound bundle of pot and then call the cops when I'm in the parking lot? (I mean, I love you guys and trust you, but I can see why you might want to get those things out of the warehouse, y'know?)

Also, about this $9.74 daily charge: do I still get hit with that when I get my Mystery Fun Bag replacement or am I charged until someone comes in and draws the package I was supposed to get in lieu of his or her lost parcel? 'Cause, I think you can probably see, that kinda sucks if so. I know you're hard-up for cash thanks to those morons in Congress, but c'mon.

Believe it or not, the question I don't have is how you couldn't deliver a package to my physical address, which you're aware of, but could locate my e-mail address to send me this precious/craptacular (depending) Mystery Bag offer. I figure it's related to that plan I keep hearing about where you're going to start selling virtual "stamps" for delivering e-mail. I am curious, though, where we are on that, and whether you'll be offering bulk rates for when I want to send a funny link to everybody in my contacts folder but somehow don't feel like putting it up on Facebook.

See you on Monday when I come in for my prize! Try to pick something with the word "Dell" on the side! (Kidding! Sort of! I mean, if you can and it isn't all random--did I happen to mention how much I love you guys?)

R. Eric VanNewkirk
Standing On The Shoulders Of Giant Midgets


Anonymous,  Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 6:49:00 AM EDT  

Your blog is really funny

I received a similar e-mail from USPS and it kinda of annoyed me because i had no idea why i recieved it. I do not even know anybody in Oklahoma City. but the weird thing is they sent it to my work e-mail in saudi arabia!!! how did they mix things so bad????

The weird thing is you recieved your e-mail around the same time i recieved mine!! Could this be a spam? or may be it is the Nigerian newtwork that sends ppl e-mails to get their info?

The company's e-mail deleted the label attached to the e-mail immediately because it is not SAFE>

THe good thing about this e-mail is it made me read your blog:)

Cheers from a Saudi

From: USPS Post Office []
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 1:43 PM
To: Qahtani., Ahmad A
Subject: You need to get a parcel number 9490

Delivery information,

We couldn’t deliver your parcel at your address.
Reason deny\Postal code isn’t valid.

STATUS OF YOUR PARCEL: not delivered
SERVICE: One-day Shipping

Eric Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 10:41:00 AM EDT  

Anon., it is a spam. There would be something nasty and bad for your computer in the attachment your company blocked, so anyone getting this e-mail should laugh at the grammatical choppiness and audacity, then delete it without clicking on anything.

Glad you enjoyed the post, and welcome to Giant Midgets!

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