On Friday, May 15th, I asked my second son to mail a package out to my Illinois-based sister. It was her birthday present, and her birthday was on May 20th. I figured that five days, with one of them being a Sunday, should be plenty of time for getting it there. My son decided to send it out of Vernon (because he was going fishing over that way), and the Vernon postmaster agreed that it would be there in three days.
But here it is, May 27th, and there is still no package at my sisters. Worse, I was very efficient with the recycling this past week—and the tracking number for this package is gone.
The Illinois family checked with their post office, and no, they had no way to track the box without the number. I figured this was a lost cause at this point. I spent a few moments sputtering to myself—and, OK, to my mother—about how I’ve just wasted money in this whole endeavor.
I called the folks over at Vernon anyway, and explained the predicament.
The oh-so-kind postmaster promised to look it up when she could, and that she would call me back with any results. She assured me that the mail was taking longer than normal, with the “COVID-19 situation.” She noted that she had just received a package that had taken over two weeks to travel from New Jersey up to Vermont.
About an hour later, she did call back—with positive news that the tracking showed the package out for delivery. Just as I happily hung up, my mother called, saying that the post office there called to say that they, too, found the package and it was on the truck.
A couple of hours later, my sister called to say thanks for her lovely birthday present.
My silver lining today is this little reminder of the debt of gratitude I owe to all those who have continued going about their daily jobs, even as the world turned a bit crazy. The Vernon postmaster didn’t have to share the story about the New Jersey delay. She didn’t have to go look up a tracking number that had already been given to me. She didn’t have to call me back with the good news. The post office in small town Illinois didn’t have to call my family to say that it was coming. Their work load has increased so much already from all of our “stay home, stay safe” on-line shopping.
Extra smiles for all of you in the US Postal Service. Thank you for your efforts. (And yes, a special thanks to the postmaster in Vernon today!)