Thursday, January 14, 2010

A three-way dilemma


This is what I see when I step into the post office. The three slots are marked, left to right, Mail, Metered Letters, and Stamped Letters.

Mailing a letter should be a breezy thoughtless action upon which no stress is expended. Instead of stepping through a simple and satisfying procedure, however, I am left standing before this daunting triumvirate, tapping my check for $71.89 in its window envelope against my left palm, my face twisted in indecision. Given the choices before me, what is the appropriate way to get this hot baby en route to the Illuminating Company? An internal Erin Q&A ensues.

1. Is it Mail?

Yes.

2. Is it a Metered Letter?

What sort of meter are we talking here? Does this meter expire? Where is it? Is there a meter maid?

Best not tangle with this mother.

3. Is it a Stamped Letter?

It is stamped, to be sure. But the concept of letter evokes a feather-plumed pen, thoughtful chin scratching moments, and a breathless recipient floating somewhere in the ether as he/she anticipates the arrival of the lofty missive.

Even though a smiley face beams from my return address label, I'm not so sure my electric bill is a letter.

Suppose I put it in there anyway.

Perhaps some cigar-chewing Post Office guy would heave himself from his dusty desk, retrieve the latest Stamped Letter slot deposit, hold it up for the rest of the postal employees to see and boom, "Get a load of this! O'Brien's out there fooling around with the Stamped Letter slot again. She actually thinks we're going to handle some cold-blooded electric bill like it was an invitation to an 8-year-old's birthday party. Well, she's got another thing coming!"

And who is using the Metered Letter slot? No doubt some haughty high-heeled broad who walks right in with her bundle of crisp Metered Letters and shoves them in the center slot without one blink of hesitation. Then she sniffs at the rest of the sweatshirt-clad postally-challenged idiots like me before sashaying out the double-glass doors and back to the promised land of Mail Meters and Forever stamps. Must be nice.

Maybe the joke is on her. After all, the three slots are exactly the same size and they all list the same three pick up times.

How much you want to bet that they all feed into to the same bin?

* * *

18 comments:

Chrissy said...

LOL, yep I have seen those three slots too., and no, there are 3 huge bins each for those slots.... now, its up to that government employee to feed those various letters in the right direction, that's the key!. lol
if they can't read it makes no diff what bin its in.

Avon Lazelle said...

And from the look of things the Metered Mail falls directly down into a box titled "Waste"...
Isn't metered mail one where the envelope is prepaid (over here they have a large M printed on the corner so you don't need a stamp!)
Love the blog!

Mone said...

Never heard of Metered Mail, but shouldnt it be called Footed Mail anyway? :)

Geoff Schutt said...

Notice the additional slot below and two other "bins" -- for waste. The post office is wonderful -- so many choices! (smile)

Hiding Myself From Me said...

It's called Metered mail for a reason...the work that goes into sorting this bin is metered out by the strawboss to the lowest employees, who then, do it whenever they feel like it...usually on a monthly basis. NEVER use this bin !

Tommy said...

My God! My wife just recently returned from a twice in a lifetime trip to our post office and was so befuddled by this same puzzle she marched out into the parking lot and put it in the big box on the curb. Hilarious!

Just me.... said...

Umm.... I haven't mailed a check in I don't how long... Don't y'all have electronic banking down there?

Just curious...

I once went to the post office, about a year ago, to mail a package to my daughter. Some of the post offices here have taken over old bank buildings... this one seemed like a morgue, and the folks working there were scary.

wv ... roflyali: and abridged version of "Rolling on the floor laughing y'all, I am!"

glittermom said...

easier to pay online and save your stamp money for something fun...

Warren said...

My main takeaway: Your 'lectric bill is only $71.89? Wow, mine is three times that! Lucky you ...

Tony said...

Great post! I've often wondered why they have all those slots. Im willing to bet that they all go down one chute.

Glass Houses said...

Warren - switch all of your lightbulbs to the cork screw looking energy savers. Seems like it would be a scam but scout's honor...my electric bill for a 1 bedroom apt. is $17 a month. If I choose to run the space heater. If I don't run the space heater it's $11 per month.

And I suck at remembering to mail things. I don't screw with the post office unless they have a package for me from ebay or wherever that didn't fit in my mailbox.

Vince said...

Erin, is metered mail 'wot' we nowadays call spam.

Up to a few years ago we had two types of post/mail in your money. 1st and 2nd. Or open and closed. If you gumed down the flap rather that fold it under it was 1st, postcards fell into 2nd.

G said...

Wow, your post office actually has a "metered letter" bin?

I thought those went away with the localized mail drop (my branch used to have a separate slot just for mail staying in town).

JBlank said...

Well I thought about your PO dilema as I entered my local post office today. We have 3 bins also but--hold on to your panties here--- the last bin is for priority mail. So I have "stamped" "metered" and "priority" Of course my mail is a priority to me, but is it a priority to the post office??????

Nin Andrews said...

They changed the slots in our PO because everyone was dumping everything into one slot.
They also have this huge slot where you can mail packages, and every so often it looks like someone tries to mail a cadaver in there or something, so it gets jammed up. Even the postal ladies can't remove the jam. I guess you could say folks in Poland, Ohio don't give a -eff what the sign says, even if it says (as it does) don't jam your package in here. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit. Like fitting matters. Yeah. Life is full of exciting things here. Let me tell you about the drug store next.

Mr. L said...

Sadly....I know the secret, and I am ashamed. :( I have been sworn to secrecy.

Where do I get this inexpensive electricity???

Alanna Klapp said...

We have these 3 slots at the Cuyahoga Falls Post Office too, and they have always confused me. I prefer the big blue box Tommy's wife prefers, too. And that's only if I have to go there, which I make sure I don't have to. I went once in December and that may have been the 2nd time in 2009.

Daniel said...

Baaaahahaha... y'know, I never really put much thought into those things. At the post office I frequent, sure, there are about 6 different types of package and mailbox receptacles... yet regardless of how it's stamped (whether done on a company postage machine, or with my own set of first class stamps), I will always put it in the second to lass letter mailbox. I'm not sure why. Habit, perhaps.

They probably mock me all the time for doin' it wrong... I'll have to pay more attention to what I'm doing the next time I send off a mailing.

Good post...