Friday, July 28, 2006

It just keeps getting better

Well, the ball is rolling down a very high hill and gaining speed on the situation with the doctor who refuses to release my mother's records without being paid. The Ohio Medical Board called her the day after I called them and today I received a phone call from her regular doctor who just retired last winter. She called to get a copy of the fax I sent to the greedy doctor and and the letter I sent to her old doctor. I realized that if I sent the letter to his office the post office would forward the mail to his new address, probably the only time the post office will work with me and not against me.

That brings me to the latest edition of anal retentive mailman. I schlepped to the post office again to pick up my packages from Amazon and authors who want me to review their books. This is the third time this week. It isn't that I have an aversion to going to the post office or walking but it's a hassle that isn't necessary.

I asked for the supervisor and was told she was in the other building and one of the mailmen gave me the phone number. I ran a couple of errands and came home, put out a package and some mail I forgot to take with me to the post office and called the mailman's supervisor. Well, I called the number and it rang about a hundred times over the course of three hours and no one answered. I decided to give it another shot and got -- gasp -- a real person. He told me the supervisor was back at the local post office but would return to the annex shortly. He'd give her my message.

In the meantime, the anal retentive mailman drove up and parked his truck. I gathered some plastic bags and a book for the landlady and raced down the stairs to catch him, a fist full of plastic bags and the book when I caught him on the porch. "No mail for you today," he said with a smile.

"I would like for you to leave my packages on the bench here on the porch from now on. I was told at the post office you could do that if I told you directly."

"Oh, no," he said. "You have to put it in writing."

Reining in the desire to bludgeon him with a fist full of plastic bags and a paperback British romance, I said, "I'll leave it in the mailbox tomorrow." After that I turned and walked back through the front door not realizing I had been holding my breath and gritting my teeth until the air exploded from my oxygen starved lungs when the landlady opened the door, holding tightly to Pastor's collar. She must have seen murder in my eyes because she said I thought it was a good idea to stay out of the way when I saw him on the porch. She knows about the difficulties I have had with the anal retentive mailman. I gave her the bags and the book and took a piece of banana bread one of her clients, Ranger Rick, made and gave her. Then I raced back up the stairs because my phone was ringing.

It was the mailman's supervisor. She was not helpful. At all. I explained the situation and that he told me he wouldn't leave my mail if I didn't show him ID and all she said was, after she checked the route, "Oh, he's very meticulous." That's one word for it. I explained again that I wanted my packages left on the bench on the front porch and that I understood about not leaving mail that requires my signature. I told her the anal retentive mailman said I could leave him a note and that I would leave it in the mailbox for him to pick up tomorrow. "Oh, you can't do that," she said.

What now? I wondered. Has the entire world gone crazy? I'm not some terrorist getting C4 in the mail or the tools and material to make an atomic device. I just want my mail.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Anything you put in your mailbox has to have a stamp on it."

I'm certain she heard the exasperation and the twanging of the taut and my last nerve about to break. "Is a typed letter good enough as long as it has my signature?"

"Just address it "To Whom It May Concern" and make sure to put a stamp on it." Then she hung up.

In all the years I have been getting mail I have never had this much trouble. I expect to have to go to the post office when I am not home to sign for a piece of mail or a package, but all this for packages none of the other mailmen, and there have been a lot of them over the past year since I live on a training route, had any qualms about leaving nor did they make me prove my identity. I notice he didn't ask my landlady for ID or Nel, but they don't get a lot of packages either. I'm surprised he's willing to leave my Netflix DVDs since he won't leave anything other than envelopes in the mailbox.

Is the heat getting to me or does this sound like bureaucracy gone crazy to anyone else?

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