No Maam, we can’t guarantee that won’t be delivered damaged….

Yes, that’s the new slogan for the US Postal Service. We can’t really guarantee our carriers won’t damage your mail.

Let’s see, where to begin???

I opened my mail box yesterday, whereupon I found a large 8 x 10 envelope from SHUTTERFLY (that’s right, the place that prints photos) SHOVED and folded unceremoniously inside. We all know folded photos can’t be good, can they?

I then PRIED the package out of the mail box, which clearly had FORCIBLY been inserted into said mailbox. And I had to get down on my hands and knees to do this task, because clearly this mail carrier had worked REALLY diligently to cleverly jam that package in there.

Inside the package were photos I had printed. Photos of my recently deceased father. Photos I planned to frame and give as remembrances.

Crumpled. As in, I can’t frame these and they need to be replaced. I take a deep breath, and head out to wage battle.

Upon visiting my local post office at noontime, I rang the bell to talk to a supervisor. I rang it again. I waited 2 minutes and rang it again. Being heroic, I decided to give it one more time before heading to the counter.

The counter being staffed by one person. At noontime. With a really long line. I don’t need the counter person, but I need their help in obtaining a warm body to speak to.

They finally drag Mr. Mail Supervisor from his cozy lair in the back of the Post Office, who assured me he took these things seriously. I explained I wanted to be reimbursed for the cost of the photos, as the envelope had clearly been shoved and folded into my mailbox. And the corner of the envelope lined up perfecly with the bracket and screw holding the box onto the split rail fence. And I mean alignment like the stars.

And I explained, it’s really about the principle, not the expense. My personal items were deliberately and carelessly damaged.

Mr. Mail Supervisor calls me later that day. He had a little chat with Mr. Mail Carrier.

You see, the Mr. Mail Carrier SUDDENLY remembered that that particular package had already been damaged. And anyway, he THOUGHT they were 4 x 6 photos. Yes, the envelope contained a batch of those too. Funny how you took time to evaluate that that little fact. Amazing how you guys are so stupid, that you essentially threw one another under the bus trying to cover up a conspiracy like two idiots from junior high.

I explained in the nicest of ways that I found their excuse/story wildly disengenuous. As in , I don’t believe you one bit. And not only was I unhappy about this incident, but the many others that had occurred over the last 6 months.

Here’s a list of items that were left beside my mail box, 50 yards from my home, exposed to weather and any old person that just might have wanted to rip the stuff off:

$200 worth of clothing from LL Bean
$150 worth of clothing from Talbots
$100 worth of clothing from Lands End
$100 worth of clothing from Banana Republic
All of my accumulated mail from a 10 day vacation
Prescription drug medication
College diploma sent to my visiting nephew left out in the raging thunderstorm.
Vintage items bought from EBAY

I guess the question, begs, are there any consequences for these people?? I went to the Post Office IN PERSON, each and every time to register a complaint. But these things keep happening.

You and I would be fired from our jobs if we repeatedly showed the disrespect that these people apparently have for people’s possessions and personal mail.

Mr. Mail Supervisor acted shocked about my extensive laundry list and seemingly took a bunch of notes on the phone, but that’s all for show. And like the title of my post, he couldn’t even promise when I reorder the photos, that they could be re-delivered properly. The new Post Office – we’ll deliver the mail however we feel like it. And tough if you don’t like it.

Well Mr. Mail Supervisor and Mr. Mail Carrier, you might not be paying for my photos, but I can sure write about what a crappy service you provide.

And sometimes that is all the satisfaction you need.

3/26/09 – Addendum. OOPS – WE DID IT AGAIN! That’s right, Mr Mail Carrier from earlier this week left expensive software at my mail box today! WOW, that’s takes some cahones buddy. Don’t worry. Mrs. Ticked off Customer did her best to make sure you are quaking in your boots as to whether or not you might have a job to go back to. Cause I can sure think of plenty o’ folks that could use the work.

4/10/09. A good update: Thanks Shutterfly for reprinting these for FREE and better yet, sending them UPS!!!!

Spring is here, and so are the Deer

Ah yes. The first day of spring. (OK, it’s 40 degrees, but it’s still sunny here in New England).  The harbingers of spring first start to appear……

My house takes on new life as pine boughs get swept away and flowers take their place.

I fill up the dry sink with spring bouquets and birds nests. Yellows and blues brighten the kitchen.

The painted Easter Eggs come out……

And to my dismay, these jerks come out:

Deer used to be a spring rite of passage. BUT, now that several area farms have been lovingly and caringly developed into 40B’s by our town, we now host a petting zoo in the backyard. And the deer no longer merely pass through on spring break, but they are now a multi-seasonal menace to my gardens. 

So now, starting with the first flowers of spring, the cute and colorful crocus, we engage in what I call the caging of the plants:

We do battle using:

Draped liberally on/and over each and every plant in your garden,  it will work wonders on keeping your petting zoo at bay.  My summer motto: Keep a roll of netting and scissors on hand, and be prepared to battle the herd.

Better yet, I think my motto should be: Keep good tequila and fresh limes on hand at all times.  Yes, I like that sentiment much better.

She Rings like a Bell Through the Night

… and wouldn’t you love to love her? (lyrics to Rhiannon)

We all know the start of that song, don’t we? The other night I took a trip to the past and saw Fleetwood Mac at the Boston Garden. The past few years I have seen a lot of acts come through Boston, many emblematic of my generation. (Or maybe like on the edge of my generation.)

It’s a little bit like eating mac and cheese or meatloaf – seeing a seventies band kind of gives you a warm and fuzzy comfort place to escape to for an evening.

You never know what an old act will bring to the stage, but in this case, I was very impressed that the band still rocked it out instrumentally, their voices still strong and amazingly on pitch. My only moment of disappointment was that Stevie Nicks did not sing “Edge of Seventeen“, because I really wanted to channel my inner Joan Cusack a la School of Rock.

I went to sleep feeling that 70’s toasty vibe, and awoke the next morning dragging. What happened to those days when you could bound out of bed after a festive night at a concert? Ah yes, welcome to 2009.

Losing Sleep? Let’s Play Insomnia Jeopardy!

For some reason, I seem to be plagued by Sunday night insomnia. And some other nights while I’m at it. I guess we all dread the end of a nice weekend, thinking of our frazzled work weeks and the thought of taking out the trash at the crack of dawn on Monday.

Besides worrying about our regular lives at home, we have a sinking economy and other world events to ponder. Well, I know for sure that more than the economy can keep you up at night.  And I know some of you are kept up by these things too.

Let’s play Insomnia Jeopardy!

Let’s go more in depth:

Ok, first category – Crappy Bosses and Jobs. We all have had the dream where we come into our office, which is neatly packed up for an imminent firing. Phone disconnected. Computer gone. Surely enough to keep you up the rest of the night.

A better category is Don’t Wake Me, I’m in Hawaii. Hawaii takes the place of any tropical island you are on in your dream. You are then quickly jolted out of your REM state and pulled back into reality. Keeps you awake for a short period, but probably not all night.  If you are lucky you can fall back to sleep and travel to another island.

I’m Late for my Wedding – Again. Not sure about this. I wasn’t late for my wedding in real life.  This one deserves analysis.

Zingers gone Unsaid. Really, these are things that are only safe to say in your dreams, but might render you ticked off and sleepless, wishing you *could* have said them in real life.

Great Ideas for Novels. Honestly, I really awoke having this the other night and wished I had a pen and paper next to me. Wracked my brain thinking how could I possibly imagine I had a novel in me?

I Went out with that Idiot? Totally self-explanatory. You just wonder what your subconscious is trying to pull on you by even putting that into your head again.

What are your strategies for Insomnia Jeopardy, besides warm milk or Lunesta?

(Creative Insomnia Jeopardy credit to Roz Chast of the New Yorker, who did a cartoon version of this several months ago in the magazine. Her work is hilarious!)

Color Me Blue….and I want to be Pink

March was supposed to arrive like a lamb, as indicated by the last week of February.  The lawn was almost bare of snow, robins were skittering across the lawn, and crocus bulbs were peeking above the dirt.

More importantly, I had broken out this:

That’s right, my new spring handbag.  The Italian handbag purchased at over $60.00 off retail price from my local TJ MAXX. Not only did I love the color, the square construction, the silver nail heads, but I SOOO got this on sale!

Instead, I had this:

Granted, these trees in my yard could be construed as picturesque. The blue sky is nothing to sneeze at either. It’s just that I’ve been there and done that, like a dozen times this winter.

I want to be pink, think pink, and carry pink.

Bye for now pink bag. I shall clip your tags and set you free another week.