Friday, February 18, 2011

The Chicago Lincoln Park Post Office Is Horrible

During the three weeks I was gone, when they were allegedly holding all of my mail, they managed to lose a lot of it.  Oh, things like 1099s, new pictures of my nephews and nieces my sister and brother sent, magazines.  You know, nothing I would have wanted!

Let me lay out the situation.  I didn't initially put my mail on hold, because I kind of didn't think about it.  I mean, I go on vacation and don't put my mail on hold, and frankly anything that makes the post office actually have to do something different makes me nervous.  However, about a week in, I realized that the trial was nowhere near ending, and in fact there was no end in sight, so I bucked up, went online, and told them to hold my mail for the next week.  Then, when I got the confirmation number, I copied and pasted it straight out of the browser and into a Word document so I had it, in case I needed to extend the hold.

Needless to say, I needed to extend the hold for another week.  But, when I used the confirmation number that was -- let me be clear here -- copied and pasted straight from the website to a Word document -- it didn't work.  Now, it's possible I somehow left off a number when I copied, but the web form you get to enter the confirmation number gives no indication how many characters this number should be or what it should look like, so I have no idea what went wrong there.  I'm pretty sure I know how to copy and paste, though.  So, I had to call the post office, and eventually got routed to my local post office, since I didn't have the confirmation number.  Not having this number was a huge problem.  This is how the conversation went:

Me:  I need to extend a hold on my mail for a week.
Her:  What's your confirmation number?
Me:  I thought I had it, but ---  
Her:  Ma'am, what's you confirmation number?
Me:  I don't have it, apparently.
Her:  (Huge sigh)  What's your address?
Me:  (I give it to her)
Her:  What's your name?
Me:  (I start to spell my last name, because it is a clusterfuck of a last name).
Her:  Ma'am, just say it, don't spell it.
Me:  (stunned, I say my last name)

There's a little more blah, blah within here, and then:

Her:  Do you want to pick up your mail or have it delivered?
Me:  I want it delivered.
Her:  Will it fit in the mailbox?
Me:  No.  (I mean, duh.  If it would fit in the mailbox I wouldn't have put a hold on it.)
Her:  Ma'am, if it won't fit in the mailbox you need to come pick it up.
Me:  Fine, I'll do that.

Ugh.  So, fast forward to this past Monday, the 14th, when I left work early to go to the post office, which is only open until 5 p.m.  It's has very convenient hours, the post office.  The woman handed me a stack of mail with about 50 things in it.  This is nowhere near the amount of mail I should've had for a two week hold, so I ask her "Is this everything?"  She assures me it is.  I glance at the top of it and flip back and see my name on the mail, so I take her word for it and leave.

When I get home, I start going through the mail stack.  What becomes abundantly clear fairly quickly is that I have not only part of my held mail, but a bunch of other people's mail also, including their 1099s and other important type documents like that.  I have my next door neighbor's water bill, some guy three streets over's credit card bill, some guy who lives way over on Michigan Avenue's Fidelity statement, my other neighbor's People magazine and Sports Illustrated, and on and on and on.  Easily 1/3 of the mail she handed me belonged to other people.  It was absolutely insane, and that along with the lack of 1099s from one of my banks (thank God I at least got the one from my main bank and for my mortgage interest), and the lack of the new photos of my nieces and nephews, had me seeing red.  Now, I regularly get other people's mail, so I knew my carrier kind of sucked, but when you get one piece a day, it doesn't really seem like a lot.  Two weeks' worth all at once?  Ridiculous.

So, I called the post office to try to find out where my mail was.  It took about a minute of ringing before anyone answered the phone over there.  Then after I gave my address, I got put on hold for twenty minutes.  Twenty minutes!  Finally someone else came to the phone and asked me who I was holding for.  I didn't know her freaking name.  The lady who is looking for my mail.  So, that person hangs up and I'm on hold for another five minutes.  She comes back and tells me no one is doing anything for me, and asks me why I called.  I explain the sitaution again, and she goes off, and returns about ten minutes later and tells me they have no mail there for me.  I ask her then, where is my mail?  She gives me the carrier's name and tells me to call on Monday morning to talk to him.  Oh yeah, like he knows.  He's the one who is constantly giving me other people's mail. 

What a clusterfuck it is over there.  I hope my sister has another 5x7 of my nephew for me.  And now I get to call my financial institutions to find out what tax filing needed forms I might be missing.  Awesome.  Like I don't have anything better to do...

Thanks United States Postal Service!  I seriously wish I could use FedEx for my mail.   


  1. I have been battling with my mailman for almost 2 years at my apartment. There are 5 units here and 4 boxes are together at my main front door. He puts mail for the wrong people (neighbors and blocks over) in our box all the time. He refuses to take it or the mail from moved out tenants. He's also lost our mail, lost packages, sent x-mas gifts to the wrong home, etc. I've complained so many times, now I think he's spiting me.

  2. I'm afraid to complain for exactly that reason! A bunch of my mail showed up on Monday...strange.