Loose In The Mails


The term “dysfunctional bureaucracy” is a redudancy, but the U.S. Post Office exemplifies it nonetheless. Early this year, I ended up with a spare CD wallet. You know, one of those zippered pouches people use for carrying around their CDs, DVDs, computer programs, files, and the like. Since I enjoy trading on eBay, I put the thing up for sale at a nominal price, and it was won by a guy in Texas. I was glad to pass the thing on to someone who needed it, and shipped it right off via my local post office.

Couple of weeks later and I got an email from the high bidder saying that the CD wallet never arrived. I didn’t have any way of tracking the package, so after another week of it not turning up, I refunded the guy’s money. Shortly thereafter, I received a distressing letter from the “Loose in the Mails” section of the Post Office. Inside the envelope was a torn section of the package I had shipped the CD wallet in, along with a form letter explaining that it had ripped open at some point during its journey from Brooklyn to Texas and — lo and behold — the contents were missing. They also included a Parcel Search Request form for me to fill out, should I so desire.

Well, being the compulsive type that I am, I dutifully filled out the form, describing the item, its color, approximate size, brand name, etc., and sent it off to the Mail Recovery Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. I probably have too much spare time on my hands, and there’s something about a hopeless task that gets my dander up. I mean, it certainly wasn’t about the money, right? So, like I said, I sent off the form and then promptly forgot about the whole thing. This was in late February.

Well… yesterday I got a little package in the mail, from the U.S. Post Office! Inside was my Parcel Search Request, now with a proud green highlighter mark indicating the Result of Search: “Articles described above are returned herewith”. I love that “herewith” part. And inside the package was not one, but two (2) CD wallets! No, neither of them was the one I lost in the mail — the item won by the poor Texan eBay high bidder — but two totally different CD wallets! Isn’t that terrific?! I bet the person who lost these is just thrilled!

Now if I sell these CD wallets on eBay and they got lost, will I end up with 4 of them? And then 8? When will the rain of CD wallets end? And where are they all coming from?

Anyone need a CD wallet?