I like visiting the post office. I take pleasure in buying colorful stamps, chatting with neighbors, and the idea that you can still send a valentine to Seattle for fifty cents.
Of course, it may not get there. Consider what just happened to me.
A friend in Hollywood, Florida, mailed a car title to me a month ago.
It should have taken two or three days to travel the 22 miles. It took ten days to get to my home in Coconut Grove.
I signed it and sent it back to her by certified mail, which, they said, would cost four bucks and take two days. After four days had passed with no delivery, I went on the USPS website to track it. I learned the my envelope had been delivered to a post office in Gainesville.
The next day the clerk at the Grove post office told me, my envelope had left Gator Town and was now "in transit". When I was not delivered two days later I called the USPS help line. A robotic voice thanked me for calling and said "...the expected wait time is 3 hours, 40 minutes". Read on, it gets worse.
I couldn't wait any longer, my friend needed the title. I went to the Gables title agency yesterday and paid $104.00 for a new one. I am planning to hand-deliver it.
Today, 14 days after I sent off the certified letter, it was delivered two doors down. In two weeks it traveled 100 feet before arrived at the wrong, return address. A snail, dragging my envelope, could have gone that far in half a day.
My neighbor was kind enough to walk it over. I considered going back to the post office to get my four bucks back but I figured they had probably lost that too.