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Among many recent idiotic Republican statements, of which the world never lacks, there was this from House Rep. Ted Poe (R, TX), in advance of the vote to repeal President Obama's health care overhaul, quoted on NPR here:

"And if you like the efficiency of the post office, the competence of FEMA, and the compassion of the IRS, we will love the nationalized health care bill."

Leaving aside the fact that FEMA's incompetence in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath was in a Republican administration, for one, I mentioned that I got an unwelcome surprise on my last credit card bill, namely some late charges.  Clearly, someone at the post office screwed up, and my bill from last month never arrived.  So by Poe's "logic", I should totally wail on the Postal Service for costing me something like $30 in late fees because of their mistake.  Yet I don't.  More below the flip....

First, some context; I haven't missed a credit card payment in a long while, and from what I remember, the last time I missed really was my fault, because I blanked and sent out the payment late.  So I have a pretty decent credit rating, and part of me being mad, besides the money, is wondering what will happen to my credit rating.

Plus, when I went to mail a package the other day, the front desk didn't seem sufficiently manned (or womanned, to be accurate) with enough staff to handle the build-up of 10 people on line, waiting to be served.  The front-line staff didn't seem too discerning about the customers waiting to conduct their business, to make sure that all the posts were being waited on.  So you can imagine what was going on in the back of my mind (such as that is).

In the end, however, things went their way.  At the post office with the package, while I did have to wait, I did eventually get my service and sent the package.  So far, when I've sent packages through the mail, no misses, at least as of yet (of course, having said that, the next one will screw up).

Also, with the credit card thing, I did send out the new credit payment pretty fast, but again trusting to the Postal Service.  In fact, to add to the sense of worry, when I dropped off the bill in the mail chute at the post office, I saw that it missed the postal crate.  I even walked to the attendant to tell her this, and she said "OK, we'll get it".  So you can imagine eye-rolling moment.  Fortunately, it all worked out, as the check got cashed, and my balance is back to normal.

It would be kind of funny if that lost check got delivered eventually.  Perhaps more likely, it wound up here.  In fact, on the FAQ page of the Mail Recovery Center, you can read this:

"At the MRC, letters are scanned by machines to determine if they contain items of value (Checks, Credit Cards, Money Orders, etc.). Letters and parcels that are determined to contain items of value are opened in an attempt to identify an address where the piece can be forwarded or returned.

If the mailpiece cannot be delivered or returned, and the item is worth less than $25.00, it is destroyed. If the mailpiece is determined to be an item of value, meaning the content is worth more than $25.00, it will be held for a variable amount of time according to the services included on the mailpiece.

In the instance where an undeliverable letter contains a check, the check is shredded and an explanation letter and image of the check are mailed to the address on the check."

I'm not holding my breath on this one.

Truth be told, the check thing is extremely small potatoes, I know.  I can afford to cover the extra fees, and compared to the big issues going on, my hang-up here is nothing.  But we do tend to take mail delivery for granted, which goes well most of the time, which makes it a jolt when something does go wrong.  

Oh, and memo to Rep. Poe:  it is not good practice in an organization to ridicule a whole group of people who are trying to do their jobs, especially if they are nominally your colleagues who work for the same organization, namely the government.  Yes, government organizations do make mistakes (as does any large organization), and I am peeved at whoever managed to lose my bill payment.  But I'm not about to denounce the entire USPS based on that.

This pointless (but when was it ever otherwise) babble aside, time for the usual SNLC protocol below, namely your loser stories for the week....

Originally posted to chingchongchinaman on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 07:10 PM PST.

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