Tag Archives: USPS

People Never Cease to Amaze Me…

11 Mar

…and I don’t always mean that in a good way.

It was my first weekend shift back at work after my (too short) vacation to New Orleans.  I was setting up the bar, feeling pretty good about my morning run and laughing about something that had happened at dinner with my family the night before when the phone rang.  It was Johan.*  I actually didn’t know who Johan was but by the way he started the conversation I guess I should have?  Anyway, apparently Johan had been in the bar the night before and had forgotten his card.  I found the card in the register — it had already been rung up for the amount plus a 20% tip as is our custom — and told him it would be safely sitting there waiting for him to come pick it up.  He told me his friend was probably going to come get it and gave me her name.  He laughed when I informed him his card had already been charged but it wasn’t like a, ‘wow that was funny’ sort of laugh it was more like a rude scoff which I didn’t particularly appreciate but whatever.  I mean, I wasn’t the one who forgot my card at the bar so I kind of figured if anyone in that phone conversation had the right to a rude scoff it was me.  I didn’t scoff, though.  I exercised restraint.  Anyway, I hung up the phone with Johan and went about finishing the task of setting up the bar so I could unlock the door promptly at 12 to the throngs of people waiting outside.**

About 1/2 hour later the phone rang again.  I noticed that the number on the Caller ID looked suspiciously like Johan’s number.  I answered and, sure enough, Johan!  He started explaining to me about the card again prompting me to inform him that I was, in fact, the same person he had spoken to a mere 30 minutes ago and that I remembered the situation quite clearly.  He then told me that his friend would be unable to pick up his card that day.  The rest of the conversation went as follows:

Me:  Oh, that’s okay.  I will just leave it sitting in the register until you can get here.  Don’t worry, I won’t go on a shopping spree or anything.***

Johan, decidedly not amused by my comment:  Well, I was wondering if you could send it to me by post.

So in this brief moment I thought to myself, okay, maybe Johan was just in town visiting some friends but by noon on a Saturday he was no longer in the city.  Or!  Maybe Johan, with his thick Scandinavian accent, was actually at JFK awaiting his flight back to whatever distant land he came from and he was calling in a panic, trying by whatever means possible to get his beloved card back.

Me: Um, where do you live?

Johan: Manhattan.

Me, shocked:  Um, so why don’t you just get on the train and come down here and pick it up?

Johan:  I’m very busy.  My parents are coming to town…I am going back to visit in Switzerland at some point.

Me:  Well, I also am very busy and we don’t have envelopes at the bar right now.  I work all day today and tomorrow.  So you would like me to take this card home with me and then on Monday go out and buy stamps and envelopes and then mail it to you?

Johan who obviously does not understand sarcasm:  Yea, that would be great.

Me:  Um.  Yea.  I’m not going to do that. You’re going to have to come pick it up.

Johan:  But I live all the way on 34th Street!

Me:  Somewhere near Penn Station?

Johan:  Yes! Exactly!

Me:  Oh, you mean you have express trains there?  Just take the 2/3.  It’ll take you like 1/2 hour to get here.  Otherwise I can cut the card up for you.

Johan:  So you won’t send it to me?!

Me: No.

Johan seemed both shocked and appalled by the tragic turn of this conversation.  He really thought that I would mail him his card.  To Manhattan.  Because he was far too busy to get on the train and come pick it up.  And, I mean, if he was on his way back to Europe, or if he lived super far out of town, I probably would have just mailed it to him because I am nice. But dude lived in Manhattan!  He just couldn’t be bothered to come get his damn card. Eventually he informed me that he was going to have a different friend come pick it up for him and all was well and good but seriously, if I ever hear a European tell me that American’s are lazy, I am going to give them Johan’s number.

*Name changed by Googling “common Swedish names.” In hindsight, I should have gone with Lars.

**In the interest of full disclosure there were no throngs.  Basically never are.  And if there were throngs, or even just one throng, I would probably be annoyed about it because a throng, in my experience, never results in something good.  It results in like, stampedes and stuff and it was far too early, and I am far too young, to be stomped to death.

***That is basically my favorite thing to say to people when they call about a forgotten card.  Or I tell them I have already gone on a shopping spree and thank them for my awesome new Vespa but they never seem quite as entertained as me.

Social Security Administration > NY DMV

27 Feb

Here is the latest update for those of you who have been paying attention to my on-going identification saga.  (For those of you who haven’t, you can either continue to not pay attention or you can update yourself here and here.)  Here is the next, and hopefully last, installment of my story.  Last week when I went to the Social Security Office* to try and obtain a new card, I overheard a lady behind the counter tell a woman to make sure that her name appeared on the mailbox that corresponds with her apartment.  Without the name, the United States Postal Service would not deliver the Social Security Card, the gatekeeper for the New York State driver’s license.  Note to self… do NOT forget to write your name on the mailbox.  So, what did I do?  I forgot to write my name on the mailbox.  Actually, backtrack.  It’s not so much that I forgot, more that they said I had to wait 10 days to 2 weeks to receive my replacement card so I figured I had plenty of time to update the mailbox (also, I totally forgot).  Anyway, I came home today, Monday, less than a week after I went to the Social Security Office to request a new card and what was in my unmarked mailbox?  My new Social Security Card!  Which immediately led me to four conclusions:

1.  The Social Security Card is just as ridiculous a form of identification as I thought

2.  My mailman has gone rogue

3.  The USPS, as a dream I had a month ago predicted, is totally going to stop existing…thereby leaving the Social Security Card no means of conveyance and making it even more ridiculous than I already knew it was.

4.  The Social Security Administration is totally superior to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

Also, in other fun news, the car we are driving to New Orleans has Tennessee, not New York, plates.  Score.  The likelihood of us getting pulled over in Mississippi as I had feared just diminished considerably.  Our road trip, Three Girls One Cat, might just go off without a hitch.

*Capitalizing it makes it seem more legit and important.