The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tales from the Dead Letter Office

For our anniversary (which was on Saturday, Bunny just handed me the Cowboy Bebop CD Box Limited Edition.

[3 … 2 … 1 … let's jam!]

Aside from the four CDs of fantastic jazz music from Cowboy Bebop (Bunny was amazed that a cartoon could have such great music), there's a story behind this package (and why it was late).

She ordered it earlier in the week and had it shipped overnight. The envelope arrived at Chez Boca on Saturday. But the actual CD did not. The envelope was open along one side, and a scribbled note on it said, “Arrived in this condition in Boca Raton.”

On Monday, she went to the West Palm Beach Post Office if it might still be there, as that office handles incoming mail for Palm Beach County. She was then informed that they did not handle that mail as it was overnight—that is handled by the Orlando Post Office.

Later that evening, Bunny called the Orlando Post Office and described what happened. They checked, and indeed, they had the CD in their possession, which they promptly sent out. It arrived today.

As best as anyone can tell, some automated processing machine may have ripped it open, or perhaps the envelope got wet and ripped open.

In any case, I now have several hours worth of cool jazz to listen to.

Update Friday, May 8th, 2009

by Bunny

It was actually priority mail (which arrives in 2-3 days), all of which is processed in Orlando (for South Florida) and then shipped directly to the receiving post office.

I'd like to extend kudos to everyone involved in the search for the missing CDs. The WPB postal worker was extremely helpful and courteous, even locating the number and calling Orlando himself. When he found out I needed to contact the evening crew, he gave me the number and the name to speak to about the item. When I called, the person was already familiar with my problem, only needed the name of the CD and a callback number.

Sure enough, half an hour later, she called to tell me she had found the package, still factory-sealed and appearing intact, in something they call a “NIXY office.” When they can't identify the destination of loose items, they send them to this office for a few days, hoping someone will claim them, after which, they are forwarded to D.C. to the dead letter office where they are destroyed. All I had to do was provide an address and the item arrived the next day via Express Mail. All the while, the postal personnel could not have been nicer or more accommodating. I was very impressed. Come to think of it, I should write them a thank you note. Never hurts to have a positive letter in your personnel jacket.

Also, the shipper was most helpful. First of all, she had made a special effort to get the CDs in the mail promptly so they would arrive in time for Saturday. When I emailed her that the envelope arrived empty, she promised to inquire at her local post office in Cincinnati on Monday. She was delighted to hear that I'd located the missing package, since her branch office didn't have it.

In this frenetic day and age, when customer service often seems a thing of the past, I was both enlightened and refreshed by this experience. Okay, the music was late. But we found it. Life is good.

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