Postal Watch: Why we love our Postal Service, Case History #523
Online change of address is apparently just one of the ways the modern-day USPS has improved the process.
It's been awhile since I've had occasion to file a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service, so I'm out of touch with innovations to the process like the one I just encountered -- at second hand. I had no idea that the USPS now sends out a packet called something like "Change of Address Confirmation," in an envelope festooned with solemn warnings not to discard because action is required on your part. Action that, I assume, would constitute confirming the change of address. It seems rather impressive from a follow-through standpoint -- you know, businesslike, possibly even efficient.
I'm a little fuzzy on the details because I never saw the insides of the aforementioned packet. Which brings us back to how I know about this seeing as how I claim not to have filed a change of address recently. Sure enough, there's a little story.
The other day it happened that I didn't check my mailbox all day, and so the next day as I was leaving home, I just grabbed the couple of pieces of mail that had sure enough been inserted the day before and, because I was after all on my way somewhere, I just stuffed them in my briefcase. Later in the day I remembered them and fished them out, and there was the vaunted Change of Address Confirmation packet. I guess I was fascinated by all those printed guides-warnings not to discard the thing, that action was required on the part of the recipient.
It took my slowpoke mind awhile to focus to the point of wondering what kind of action could be required from me regarding my change of address when I haven't changed my address in a heap of years. Eventually it occurred to my slowpoke mind to look more closely at the address, only to discover that I wasn't in fact the addressee. Oh, the street address was the same as mine. I didn't recognize the name of the addressee, though. Then I noticed that the apartment number was 6G. I live in apartment 6E.
That's right, the vaunted Change of Address Confirmation packet was delivered to the wrong address. On the plus side, it got as close as the very floor where the actual addressee resides, albeit at the other end of the hall. That's fairly close, no?
When I got home that night, I slid the thing, somewhat worse for wear, under the door of apartment 6G, trusting that the actual addressee is now in residence there, and will heed those stern warnings not to discard the thing. Or, presumably, else. Goodness only knows what would have happened if the presumed new occupant of apartment 6G had never gotten the vaunted packet.
NOT THAT ANYBODY ASKED, BUT
HERE'S WHAT I'VE BEEN WRITING
On my new Wednesday-Friday-Sunday schedule, that is.
"A series of NYC mayors have collaborated on taking the 'preservation' out of the Landmarks Preservation Commission" (6/10)
"'A great cartoonist creates a whole world' (Bob Mankoff): Celebrating New Yorker greats Wm Hamilton and Roz Chast" (6/8)
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