“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
Remember this? Try not to laugh too hard as you read it. I was motivated to look it up, this week, as I received the following in my mail box.
It was a PS FORM 56. I was a bit stunned to be receiving a citation from the mail carrier, but there it was. And it must have been something that has been protocol for a while because the form is dated February 1991. Anyway, it seems I have committed just one of many sins, according to the postal service, that has rendered the devotion to deliver the mail, through even the most challenging of hardships, moot.
Here’s a list of some of the atrocities a taxpaying postal patron may commit, which will result in the non delivery of your mail and/or a citation.
1. Your box is not an approved box
2. The door needs attention
3. Box must be located so carrier can serve it without leaving the vehicle. (Whatever happened to no snow, no rain, heat, gloom yada, yada keeps carriers from their rounds?)
4. Your box is not waterproof.
5. Your box should be raised _____ inches. ( I can just imagine my mail man with a ruler measuring my box.)
6. Your box should be lowered _____ inches.
7. Your box must be located on the right hand side of the road in the carriers direction of travel.
8. The approach to your box should be filled and properly graded & kept unobstructive at all times. (And properly landscaped too. Perhaps there is an Agenda 21 regulation, or even federal funding to cover the costs of beautification.)
9. The approach to your box should be kept clear of snow, vehicles and other obstacles. (Again, rain, snow, gloom, yada yada, will hinder the completion of their rounds. Yeah, that’s not happening)
10. The signal flag needs attention. (Many is the time my mail man has just thrown mail into my box without picking up outgoing mail. I think there needs a taxpayer citation for failure to pick up the mail)
11. Your box is too near the road. (Again with the ruler)
12. Your box is too far from the road.
13. Your box should face the road.
14. Your box should be securely fastened to its support.
15. Your box should be made level and the post firmly planted. (Not only a ruler but now a level? Really?!)
16. A new post for your box should be provided. (I wonder if there is a federally approved post for mailboxes that we are all unaware of, somehow. It’s coming. You just wait.)
17. The rural box number must be printed in numerals not less than one inch high on the side of the box visible to the carrier as they approach it or on the box door if the boxes are grouped.
18. Your box should be painted to prevent rusting. (Again, the postal service is now concerned with beautification? Seems a little beyond the scope of their authority.)
19. Your house number must be clearly displayed _____ on your house or ______ on your box.
My mail box apparently qualified for a citation of a violation even more egregious than the previous 19 enumerated transgressions. I received a handwritten note under “OTHER FAULTS.” And here is my violation:
“Please trim tree limbs upon exit from mail box. The vehicle mirrors get slapped. Thanks.”
Here’s a picture of the offending tree. Is it me or do you think this is bordering on silly?
There is also a means with which a deadline can be imposed by your postal carrier:
Please help us provide you with better service by correcting these faults by ________ . After this date the delivery service may be suspended until the faults are corrected. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
If you have any questions please see your carrier or contact me.
Seems to me, this is an awful lot of power for a postal carrier, by the way. The next time you have to take out a loan to buy a roll of stamps, get your neighbor’s mail, or don’t get your mail at all, just remember they are a private agency under government oversight. And the average postal carrier makes between $38,000 and $55,000 per year. Missouri, my state, is one of 5 states which ranks at the top of that range.
Somehow, I think Cliff Claven would have scoffed at the weenie, over regulation, belly aching by this present day postal force. What happened to the carriers who battled weather and ferocious beasts to ensure the delivery of the daily post? Yep, I know there are bigger fish to fry in this culture of Obamacare, middle eastern wars, spiraling employment and plummeting economy. But don’t ya think that even if just one aspect of the culture could suck it up and take some pride in its service, things could “possibly” start to turn themselves around? This is a far cry from what I would call “American Exceptionalism.” Well, it doesn’t look like it’s gonna be the postal service that leads us into a new age of greatness. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to trim a tree.
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