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Fuel

Arch / June 21, 2006 1:18 AM

They've always done a pretty good job for me, although I understand that others may have had bad experiences. While taking a walk on the right wing I once even heard Rush Limbaugh say something to the effect of, "I know it's funny to make fun of the Post Office, but I just recently had a deal where a check didn't get where it ways supposed to and I had to do some follow-up with the post office, but I thought that I hadn't had a problem like that for years -- 30 years I've been sending and receiving stuff from the Post Office and I rarely have problems. 'The check is in the mail' is a joke because everybody knows that a check really in the mail will get where it's addressed, probably within two days."

Also, I'd appreciate any wisdom on whether and how we're supposed to be tipping our postpeople.

Alice / June 21, 2006 8:10 AM

What's wrong with the post office? I've never had a problem with receiving mail and I constantly am surprised at how fast my stuff gets delivered out.

P.S. Postal carriers are government employees, and as such, they cannot accept cash tips.

Emerson Dameron / June 21, 2006 8:23 AM

I never had any postal woes when I lived in Edgewater or Pilsen. 60622 has been a different story. Over the course of the year, I've had a rotating cast of mail carriers dumber and lazier than aquarium castles. Mail gets stuffed randomly into different tennants' boxes, or I find it out in the yard, soaked with rainwater. When I confront them about it, they stammer and ask me my name, over and over.

For whatever reason, extremely important pieces of mail (think "checks") have been returned to sender for no discernable reason. Again and again and again.

Bully for you if you love the postal service and think they deserve tips. Everyone at the Wicker Park branch can eat my ass.

christian / June 21, 2006 8:34 AM

I was delivering a gift box of brownies to a residence one-day in Wicker Park, one of those buzz in condo type places with two sets of doors, but alas no one was home and the mailboxes were on the other side of the interior doors. Just then a postal carrier came in and I asked her if it was ok to leave the box in the foyer, she said it would most likely get stolen and she would gladly take it inside and drop it by the residents mail box.

That was so cool of her. So I gave her a big sugar cookie, I hope she liked it.

Strawberry / June 21, 2006 8:41 AM

I second the ill will towards 60622 with regards to Wicker Park, although when I lived in West Town, also 60622, the service was much better. I suppose it's like everything else- hit or miss.

On a related note, has anyone ever been to the Post Office in the Aon building? With the big post that blocks all views of the lines and then the customer service people have to shout angrily at you that "I'M OPEN-STEP DOWN!!". Can someone PLEASE re-design that already?

Appleby / June 21, 2006 8:45 AM

At least once I year a package or important letter goes missing on its way to me. Back when I had a mailbox outside the front door of the apartment building, I suppose that some of it was stolen by somebody out on the street. But there have also been letters that were sent to me and never arrived -- those I blame on the post office. On the other hand, I can't be too hard on P.O. employees, since I'm an amateur mail sorter myself. I get pieces of my neighbors' mail at least twice every single week. Often the mail is bundled together with a rubber band, to make my sorting experience more "authentic." Thanks, P.O., I feel like part of the big, incompetent team!

p / June 21, 2006 8:48 AM

I needed a hurried passport renewal once and the u.s.p.s. folks were more than helpful. one woman in particular was very helpful. I could call her from home to check on progress and stop in periodically (cause it always takes a few trips-just like the d.m.v.) we just took care of it like a couple of friends. And I got to make fun of unruly p.o. customers with them too. They didn't need a tip but the mailman definitely got christmas money from my house growing up. Same with the garbage men.

C-Note / June 21, 2006 9:03 AM

My passport got stolen, along with my driver's license and Social Security card, so I went to the main post office downtown to apply for a new one. There's a rule on the application that says if you don't have the proper ID, you have to present someone who has known you for a certain amount of time and can verify your identity. However, the clerk at the desk, contrary to the clear meaning of the words of the rule, insisted that I had to produce two people who had known me for five years. Eventually he tried to get rid of me by sending me to an office in another building. Finally, I produced my father, who has known me for a long time, but who works for the city and has a badge. Apparently the city badge cleared up the rule for the post office clerk - he processed my application right away. So I guess my best advice for dealing with the post office is to get a city badge or somebody that's got one if you want shit taken care of. Got to make 'em think about losing that cushy, no-responsibility, good-paying government job they fell ass-backwards into.

C-Note / June 21, 2006 9:05 AM

Also, I never tip. Bad habit to get into. Cry me a river. When was the last time you tipped me?

Marilyn / June 21, 2006 9:06 AM

I think they do a pretty good job. My postal carrier, Steve, is completely awesome. When he's on vacation, we can tell! The clerks at my post office, however, move as slow as they possibly can and spend a lot of extra time stamping postmarks all over boxes that don't need them and such. It's not my imagination. I don't think they want to create an expectation of fast service because they don't want to tire themselves out.

karen / June 21, 2006 9:17 AM

I dropped some slides of my art work in a mialbox at cedar and rush...way back in the day. 6 months later, they came back in a larger envelope with a big stamp reading...

"Undeliverable"
"Charred"

I opened the envelope & found the original package...ashes & melted slides.

Mo / June 21, 2006 9:17 AM

I used to work in the mail room of a large corporation, and so I can't hate postal workers too much because I know how crazy that job really can make you. The mail never stops, people! Once you sort a gigantic sack of letters, another one takes its place. That being said, we regularly get our neighbors' mail and I'm assuming they get ours because often we get mail extrememly late or not at all. But the best was when a couple of years ago, a few days after a big snow storm when the snow was finally melting, I found a package for me nestled in the corner of our porch soaked totally through. Thanks, mailguy, for putting it in a totally inconspicuous place during a snowstorm.

em / June 21, 2006 9:22 AM

I've lived in three cities and Chicago is the worst as far as home delivery and services go. Service is very inconsistent and it depends on what kind of building you live in and which zip code. I've lived in 60613, 60625, 60640 and 60660 ... Uptown (60640) is definitely the worst (even one of their carriers told me this), and it's not always the carrier's fault. I constantly got my neighbors' mail in 60640, which isn't a big deal until you consider that people who don't give a crap could be getting yours. In a 2-flats and 3-flats, you will get fifteen previous tenants' mail and they will most likely throw it all on the floor instead of in your mailbox. If you go out of town and fill out a form for the PO to hold your mail, there is (in my experience) a 25% chance that they will do it. There is a zero % chance they will resume delivery when you ask them to ... you have to go in and tell them in person.

Downtown, the Thompson Center PO is the worst I have seen. The little Merchandise Mart PO is much better and most of the people who work there are genuinely nice.

And what's with the hip hop postal carriers in Chicago? Most of them wear a uniform, but occasionally you'll see the subs walking the route in their fubu or phat pharm duds ... there's professionalism for ya.

MikeH / June 21, 2006 9:29 AM

I have no complaints with the postal service and think they do a fairly competent job, considering all that it takes for a piece of mail to travel across the country and reach my mailbox within a couple days...

On the other hand, I don't tip the postal carrier either, as my Lakeview neighborhood route seems to have a revolving door of various carriers...

Now the postal carrier assigned to the route in Skokie where I grew up--he deserved a tip. He was on that same route from the time I was a youngster through my college years and became quite the familiar face. I never did speak to him, but our family dog, "Thumper," did attack him once, and at various times throughout the years, the other neighborhood kids and I would would ambush him from hiding with snowballs...

dbs / June 21, 2006 9:34 AM

60622 is the worst. both the mail carriers and the service at the post office.

they regularly can't get clearly addressed mail in the right boxes. delivery is skipped altogether on some days and then two days worth of mail is delivered the next day.

they cut off delivery to my building once for weeks because it was deemed unsafe; this due to sidewalk construction. terrible dangerous gravel sidewalks that somehow people pushing baby carriages could navigate just fine.

of course they didn't inform anyone that delivery was suspended - after a week of getting no mail i had to go to the post office and find out about it for myself.

and when i asked for my mail, just for them to hand it to me there at the post office, i was treated rudely.

sometimes i just never get mail that i'm expecting.

and i swear that there is an extra day or two of delivery added on to all incoming and outgoing mail from 60622. mail coming and going from my office (60654) is delivered more quickly and without error.

anon! / June 21, 2006 9:37 AM

i used to work with a woman who had previously worked in a post office sorting room. she told me her coworkers routinely opened mail to look for cash and checks. your letter had a much better chance of 'being diverted' if it looked like a birthday card from a grandma, she said. having once had a grandmotherly like card mysteriously never show up where i sent it, i'm inclined to believe it.
besides such ordinary frustrations as the above and the time that i lived in a building that had a person with a similar last name, resulting in much mail swapping, i've never had too much trouble. given the extremely high rates that people in many other countries pay to use their own national postal services, i'd say we've got a good deal going.

em / June 21, 2006 9:42 AM

Anyone with bad home delivery service (like the 60622 people) who works near a good post office might consider getting a P.O. box near work. It makes a huge difference and you don't have to change your address when you move. I wish I had done it seven apartments ago!

anna / June 21, 2006 9:46 AM

C-Note, I hope you realize that the post office is not affiliated with the City in any way. The USPS is, as you can tell by the name, a federal outfit. I doubt your dad's City ID was in the least bit impressive to the clerk in any way. He probably just wanted to get rid of you.

jgs / June 21, 2006 9:54 AM

Jonathan Franzen wrote an essay about the worst post office in the country, 60640 in uptown, called "lost in the mail". it's in the how to be alone collection. It details the total melt-down of mail service that occured in the mid-90's. It's horrifying and fascinating.
A more recent example of bad service was when I moved from 60640, I set up forwarding to my new address. now, two years later I've yet to get any forwarded mail. However I did get a few pieces addressed to someone else entirely.

DebO / June 21, 2006 9:57 AM

I've been pretty happy with my mail delivery and my carrier. I mean, I can send a Netflix movie back on Monday and have the replacement in my mailbox Wednesday. I think that's phenomenal!

amyc / June 21, 2006 9:58 AM

I've never had big problems with home delivery, but I work for a couple of magazines, and completing and filing the Statement of Ownership forms (required for our postage category) is an annual nightmare.

Also, we're trying to get the postage category on one magazine switched from 2nd class to periodicals (much cheaper) and SIX MONTHS after submitting the forms, we're still waiting. Regular follow-up calls accomplish nothing. The woman in charge of business accounts at the Chicago PO may not, in fact, be certifiably insane. But she can't seem to understand that anyone who hasn't worked for the post office for three decades may not be familiar with all the jargon and form numbers she deals with every day. Talking to her on the phone makes me want to put my head through the wall.

Paul / June 21, 2006 9:59 AM

I'm amazed at the speed at which mail travels these days. I recently got a check from the west coast in a day.

It screws up the 'check is in the mail' excuse.

The real problem (with my 60610 River North office) is that some days the mail doesn't arrive before 3pm. Once in awhile it's dropped off after 5.

We give our carrier for the office a little something around Christmas.

As far as going to the post office - I won't do it unless I have an hour.

As for my suburban carrier, he constantly puts the mail in the wrong box, but I can't blame him - I alone get several pounds of coupon junk in my box every week. The poor guy must be hauling tons of crap up the street.

Go Postal / June 21, 2006 10:03 AM

Service in East Village 60622 is a nightmare. The only "reliable" thing about it is that it is unreliable... oh, but I guess the junk mail delivery is pretty consistent.

I cannot find the words to express how angry I am with 60622 service at my current address. Customer service is completely rude and unresponsive. Bills, personal letters, anything important... they never arrive on time (I don't think I've seen anything take less than 15 business days to make it to my mailbox, judging by the postmarks), and mail often never arrives at all. Over the first 6 months of 2006 I am aware of around 20 important pieces of mail which were never delivered to me. And that's only the mail I know was sent to me! Who knows what other mail hasn't made it to my box?

jennifer / June 21, 2006 10:18 AM

I've lived in 60622 for eight years, and I have never been happy with my postal service. It's quite possibly the worst in the city. Everything that Go Postal has said I've found to be true as well: either I don't get my mail, or I get it weeks and weeks after it should have been delivered. Recently, my father who lives in San Diego sent me a card, and he got it back a month later with a stamp stating I was no longer living at that address, the address I've been at for the last two years. Nearly gave him a heart attack, thinking I just up and moved without letting him know.

Also a friend of mine in NYC sent me a birthday present in January, at I never received it. She JUST got it returned to her also bearing a stamp that I was no longer at that address.

I get everything important sent to me via FedEx or UPS to my workplace.

The Woodlawn Wonder / June 21, 2006 10:20 AM

I just sent in a complaint about my mail being returned to sender. Apparently my address isn't valid despite the fact I've been living there for almost five years.

Frankly, I think someone at the Jackson Park post office is on the bottle. In my humble opinion, 60637 has got to have the worst mail service in the city.

A refuse rebate check that our condo association has been waiting for was returned because the address was not known.

Unbeknownst to me, someone must have stolen the building thats been sitting there for over 100 years.

mike-ts / June 21, 2006 10:21 AM

I second em's suggestion to get a P.O. Box, especially near work if you're in the job or career that you plan on being in for the next x number of years. Most renters move more often than carny workers - why always have your mail chase you from not one, but two or three previous moves? And if you live on a route where they stick all the duds/trainees, you don't have to deal with them anymore. And no one to tip at Christmastime!

Also, it's great for the added step of separation from where you live. If you ebay or do online sales, no one knows your actual home. When you write checks, who needs to know where you sleep?

You might have those nifty oversized boxes in your Post Office, which means when you get a small parcel (like your box of new checks), you'll have a key in your P.O. Box marked with a letter; you just go and get the parcel, and leave the key in the box, and you don't have to deal with the line at the counter at all.

robin.. / June 21, 2006 10:24 AM

i've adopted a laid-back attitude about mail delivery and item time-in-transit. i can send a mighty treatise of many pages anywhere in the nation for under 40 cents. not bad, in my opinion. it usually gets there when i send it; it usually reaches me when it's sent; and we only note the exceptions (non-delivery, charring, returned mail) without looking at the success rate of the USPS, which must be, per piece, simply phenomenal.

however.

i'd like to go out on a limb and state that the worst, most rinky-dinky post office office in the city is in ravenswood, on lawrence west of western, serving the 60625 region. a few weeks back we visted, and the uproar that saturday morning was that the office was out of stamps...and had been for the better part of two weeks. what kind of PO runs out of stamps? alternately, what kind of PO home office ALLOWS a branch to run out of stamps and doesn't oblige with a restock shipment? additionally, the self-post machine, which would significantly cut down on the lines on saturdays, is almost always broken. finally, though all of the other staff members are friendly, helpful, and not unpleasant, there is ONE PERSON whose USPS job security ought to be pulled out from under him/her like a bad throw rug: I'll call him/her "T" and leave the gender up to the imagination, but if you know this branch you'll know who i'm talking about. T. is slow, insufferable, slow, defensive, slow, and really, really bad at his/her job. in the time it takes for one efficient employee to post 20 media mail packages to 20 different prisons, T. has, in the past, failed to complete the sale of ONE. SINGLE. STAMP to ONE. SINGLE. MAN. once T. got into it with the supervisor in front of a whole officeful of customers: "you want me to pee right here? i had to go to the restroom! i am not insulting you! i am telling you i did not wish to pee here on floor!"

T. makes the trip to a bad post office even more unpleasant. other than that, i got no complaints with my regular carrier or the USPS in general.

Andrew / June 21, 2006 10:45 AM

jgs: Forwarding requests are only valid for one year from the date you state on the request. That doesn't explain why you didn't get anything for that first year, but it's definitely why you didn't get anything after that.

Lori / June 21, 2006 11:02 AM

I agree with Robin and the postage machines. I could easily go to 3 or 4 different post offices and invariably the postage machines are either broken or out of stamps. Because the lines are always so long, they should really make more of an effort to keep up with the machines. I've solved the problem by purchasing my stamps at the grocery store.

mc / June 21, 2006 11:08 AM

When I have a reason to go the post office the last two years, I go to Merchandise Mart. The people who work there are so nice- I still am surprised by how nice they are- they are very helpful with sending packages to foreign countries in particular.
Unlike Dearborn Station- that is the worst or second worst post office I have ever been to. Perhaps the absolute worst is the one at Lawrence near Francisco (see above).

Steve / June 21, 2006 11:10 AM

What Robin said about the Ravenswood office -- routinely out of everything, and lines out the door were the norm. I used to live a stone's throw from there, and I was often tempted to actually throw stones at it.

The Lakeview station at Southport and Irving, on the other hand, is an absolute delight. Cool old skool feel to it, very helpful and courteous employees, fast-moving lines, etc. Even worth dropping a quarter in the meter for when time didn't permit a walk.

My only complaint about my mail delivery in the city was that my Netflix seemed to take way too long to get back when I would leave them out for the carrier to take -- honest Injun, dude was taking them home and watching them before putting them back in the mail, because once I started dropping them in a mailbox instead, it was all-overnight all the time.

And as a recent transplant to DuPage County, I gotta say -- enjoy your wondrous and plentiful mailboxes, Chicagoans. I think there are four mailboxes in my entire village, mainly concentrated in the strip malls.

Miz M / June 21, 2006 11:11 AM

Postal workers? What about postal customers? I was waiting at a post office for 30 minutes one time in 60625. The postal clerk split and was hiding in the back because one of the customers was being a huge a-hole. I can't say specifically what the a-hole was mad about, but the behavior was definitely inappropriate. The postal lady said it was her first day, so she was learning, but the a-hole didn't let up. The a-hole deserved to be ignored. It was too bad the rest of us in line were ignored too.

Baldeesh / June 21, 2006 11:13 AM

Recently moved to 60618. For a few days I was receiving mail for the former tenants. I wrote on each piece of mail "Please forward, no longer at this address," dropped them in a nearby mailbox, just to have them come back a few days later. I ended up driving out to my mom's house (60438) and dropping them in a mailbox out there. They have not come back to my house.

Elizabeth / June 21, 2006 11:18 AM

My mail service is 60647 is the worst. I get mail for all six tenants in my box, along with mail for a handful of previous tenants.

However, my calls of complaint do help. Eventually I get a call back from the manager of the local post office, and delivery gets better for awhile.

I'm moving to 60640, and y'all are scaring me.

fluffy / June 21, 2006 11:19 AM

I had no problems in Andersonville or Pilsen. I submitted my address change from Pilsen to East Village in advance, and did so online. I kept the confirmation e-mail and everything.
So, after not receiving mail in East Village for 30 days, I contacted the Pilsen post office. I spoke with the manager there up to 5 different times- she always returned my calls and even left me messages on my voice mail about what the carrier had said and what was being done. The problem was the 60622 post office. Every time I called them, I'd talk to someone new, never a manager or supervisor. Twice they said I had to submit a new change-of-address card in person. Fast forward 3 months- I received about 25% of my forwarded mail from Pilsen. Everything else got lost, apparently. I could ask my old roommate in Pilsen to help me out and hold on to my mail because she's the reason I moved out of there- p-s-y-c-h-o.
So, I never received some very important notices, vehicle registration paperwork, magazines, invitations to 2 weddings, etc.

60622 post office is the WORST. The Pilsen post office is the best- they really tried to help me out.

fluffy / June 21, 2006 11:26 AM

Also, I've seen both postal workers and customers be equally rude. The customers at the 60610 post office are particularly snotty.
Everything everyone has mentioned about 60622 is true. There'll be 2 days in a row where I don't get any mail. And at least once a week I get someone else's mail- it happens to everyone in my building.
One day I will find out where the post office workers live and I'll mess with their mail and see how they like it. Revenge will be mine and oh so sweet!

sky / June 21, 2006 11:36 AM

So far my 60622 has been ok...despite on Valentine's Day I didn't receive anything that a guy swore he sent...but I think that was a lie.
However, back when I lived in Old Town--I had been living there and receiving my mail for about 6 months when suddenly it just stopped. The other 2 people in our building were still getting their mail, it was just our unit. After going back and forth for about a month with the post office, they told me they thought we moved and no one lived there...WHAT? And when I asked what happened to all the mail that I never received I was told that there was a new mailman on that street so it probably would not get to me. That was a frustrating month to say the least!

taJ / June 21, 2006 11:57 AM

wow..i guess i didnt know how bad it can get here..i lived in 60613 and now 60657. except the occasional misplaced mail in other neighbor's box, nothing major...well that i know of. hope i don't jinx it.

jen / June 21, 2006 12:00 PM

amen to all the rants about 60622. i issued a complaint with one of the supervisors at that branch after much of my mail (bills, birthday gifts/cards, checks) went undelivered, only to have them say, "we don't have a dedicated carrier for your route, and that probably explains your inconsistent delivery."

at least they owned up to their incompetence.

now i'm in 60613 and have yet to have a problem, thankfully, since now i have netflix and multiple magazine subscriptions - something i would never have dreamed of having while in 60622.

Sawbuck / June 21, 2006 12:33 PM

No one ever gives me the level of deference, respect, worship and ass-kissing that I deserve. What is wrong with everyone?

heather anne / June 21, 2006 1:03 PM

i buy stamps online @ usps.com. they arrive quite quickly, and the $1 processing/shipping fee is well worth saving myself from the time and aggravation that y'all describe above.

Stephen / June 21, 2006 1:43 PM

Sawbuck - at least in the case of 60622, these are complaints about wholly inadequate "service" that USPS claims to strive to provide. These are not demands for "deference, respect, worship and ass-kissing." I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that our friends at USPS actually do their jobs, since they do have a government-protected monopoly on first-class mail...

Justin / June 21, 2006 1:47 PM

I also live in the 60625 service area, and can attest to the lines at the PO rivaling those at Great America.

As far as home delivery goes, I usually get everything in a reasonable amount of time, although my carrier refuses to take any outgoing mail and has the unfortunate ability to shove everything in the mailbox to point where I need a pick axe to remove it.

charlie D / June 21, 2006 1:53 PM

I friend sent me a nerf football from Colorado with my address written on it with a sharpee.

I got it...........

Craig / June 21, 2006 2:04 PM

The Postal Service are great. I love that one song, "Such Great Heights". I didn't know they were from Chicago, though.

Emerson Dameron / June 21, 2006 2:21 PM

Fuel rule of thumb: If it comes from a guy named after a slang term for money, it's flame bait.

I lost bills, checks and packages because of the incompetence at 60622. Last time I checked, they continue to accept my tax money. Yes, I want them to kiss my ass, but not in the figurative sense.

Appleby / June 21, 2006 2:49 PM

Has anyone else ever had to pick up a package at the Paulina depot? You get to see what usually goes on "behind the scenes." The place is like a giant aquarium you can view through a small window. The person who retrieves your package sort of drifts off, floating slowly from a bin of packages over to a set of metal shelves and then back. Occasionally, some object will be picked up or nudged slightly. Other employees drfit by, silently.
Often you will be told that your package can't be found. Or, in the manner of the Zen masters, they will ask you to describe the package that you've never seen. I don't recommend the experience to anyone who has not mastered the art of perfect detachment from material things.

leah / June 21, 2006 3:18 PM

My 60622 experience is decent so far.

Actually, my mail carrier prolly hates me b/c I rarely check my mail, forcing them to jam all the fliers and enormous Comcast postcards that arrive day after day after day into a teeny, tiny box.

ivy / June 21, 2006 3:38 PM

Tip: To mail packages, I go to the 24-hour Post Office on Harrison.

On Sunday afternoons there's usually a two person line and cheerful counter clerks. It's out of the way, but I just take the el to Library or Harrison, and walk over. It beats waiting in the level of hell that is the Ravenswood Post Office.

There's a parking garage, but I can't vouch for it since I've never driven there.

They also have a gift store (do you want stamps cancelled on the day the White Sox won the World Series?) and a big waiting area with seats.

michele / June 21, 2006 4:05 PM

Well, when I lived in Lakeview, I saw my postal carrier sitting in his car underneath the El tracks drinking a beer. On a weekday and in uniform. This was about the same time they started finding all the mail that various carriers had dumped in alleys and garbage cans because they did not want to deliver it, too heavy maybe? My office is in 60622 and we have had issues with mail here too. I live in 60660 now and seem to have had little trouble so far. Of course, now that I have said it, things will change.

Maggie / June 21, 2006 4:20 PM

I never, ever put mail into a corner mailbox if I can help it. People pee, vomit, and throw lit cigarettes into mailboxes, night-deposit boxes of banks, and anything else it seems.

Our mail service in Albany Park is suspiciously light on Saturdays, but there have been no other problems. I grew up in 60660 and we never had magazine subscriptions because we'd always get the magazines after the entire post office had finished reading them and sometimes cutting out pages. Things have changed, I'm sure.

vit / June 21, 2006 4:54 PM

I'm another disgruntled 60622 person. Imagine my suprise when I walked into the Wicker Park post office and had to inform the postal worker that I needed an international stamp to send something to the UK, she didn't know where it was, and admitted to it. This is in addition to the post office refusing to deliver my mail when they redid the sidewalks in front of my apartment (naturally no notification was given of the loss of mail service), losing my mail (I never received an important wedding invitation and didn't realize that I hadn't until the bride called me us asking me why I never RSVP'd, thankfully she still let me come), giving my mail to my neighbor, etc. I have netflix and a weekly magazine subscription, both which rarely come on time. Don't get me wrong, I love where I live, but the post office could use some help.

Dutch101 / June 21, 2006 5:23 PM

Appleby, I too had a remarkably similar experience at the Paulina Carrier's Annex. Went there with my little card that said to pick up my package, no package. Returned three times, and experienced the pleasure of having emloyees float in and out of the frame of view of the tiny window, searching various places for my package. Never did get that package. Fortunately, I got my money back for my package.

Steve / June 21, 2006 5:37 PM

I've never needed any stamp to send anything to the U.K. or anywhere overseas, you just pay the postage??

As for me in the dreaded 60622 (humboldt park) I've got mail men who don't wear uniforms most of the time and look like hoods, some of my neighbors mail in my door *every* single day, magazines, cards etc. crammed all at once through the slot so they get shredded...argh. If I've got anything at all important coming I have it sent to work. I'm generally happy with the services in the offices tho' it's the carriers that give me grief.

yawnie / June 21, 2006 6:15 PM

60657. Routinely, important mail (read: Checks! Money! Moolah!) is left at businesses also located in my building, whose staff thinks it's somehow really awesome of them to leave said mail on the doorstep of our building, on BROADWAY.

I've had to have the same check mailed to me SIX times because it never made it to my mailbox!

I am so completely over my mail delivery, to the point that when holidays come around I have to forcefully insist that if someone can't send me their gift via FedEx or UPS, they are going to be a lot better off just not sending me anything. And lord knows I don't turn down free ANYTHING!

Michelle / June 21, 2006 7:30 PM

Theo only good thing about the chicago postal system is the 24-7 one downtown. I mail things on sunday, at 3 am, whenever I want. And they have free underground parking.

I can also attest to the suckiness of the Wicker Park station. But if your package doesn't come there, you may be faced with another circle of hell: the UPS after-hours pick up room, in the south loop. You will wait an eternity with a full cross-section of chicagoans, in a tiny room with bad television playing.

C-Note / June 21, 2006 9:09 PM

Anna - no shit. I was completely unaware that the USPS is a federal operation. I imagine that who you know has nothing to do with hiring and firing in a federal agency, especially not in Chicago. Oh, and federal politics doesn't play a role in city politics. You're not from around here, are you? I got a bridge for sale...

Also, you weren't there, so you didn't witness the clerk's reaction, which included a 'well, that's a horse of a different color' response when my dad flashed the badge.

Maybe he wanted to get rid of me because he was fucking embarrassed; regardless, I got what I went for, so stfu.

girlphenom / June 21, 2006 9:57 PM

I am convinced that the post office is trying to steal my netflix dvd's. More than once, the envelope has arrived completely torn open. It's a good thing I only rent pretty esoteric, indie stuff.

cory / June 22, 2006 10:43 AM

Never had a complaint about the USPS until we moved into 60640.

Now, we've had mail just not show up for a day or so, and we frequently get our neighbor's mail. Also, our carrier seems to like to hammer our Netflix DVDs into the box with any handy catalog....

Oddly, I have no desire to insult anyone or tell them how superior i am to everyone else and that they should stfu. I am such a schmo.

amy / June 22, 2006 10:51 AM

60640 is evil.

I didn't get any mail during the month of December.

I somehow get my Netflix and New Yorkers but not work checks...explain that one to me.

60618 - best service ever.

Ben / June 22, 2006 10:59 AM

I have to agree that the mail service in 60622 is horrible. For one thing, our mail carrier refuses to pick up any letters. Is that such an odd expectation to have?

50 cent / June 22, 2006 12:03 PM

NO SHIT?
. I was completely unaware that the USPS is a federal operation

Seems to that the whole UNITED STATES in front of Postal Service would have been a major clue.

Maybe yer dad flashed his badge at your teachers.

Huh, I am 1/200th the man you anyway.

jlb / June 22, 2006 1:24 PM

er, 50 cent, while I'm not going to defend Steve's comments, I belive you're missing the sarcasm in the "I was completely unaware that the USPS is a federal operation" line...

Marilyn / June 22, 2006 1:29 PM

Actually (from the USPS website):

The United States Postal Service® is an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the United States Government. We receive no tax dollars from the federal government for our operations. We are a self-supporting agency, using the revenue from the sales of postage and postage-related products to pay expenses.

p / June 22, 2006 2:37 PM

I like when Kramer pretends he's a detective to get Jerry's statue back from the housekeeper. "Up against the wall, buddy." Haha. Also, phflaapppt. (Fart Noise)

Benjy / June 22, 2006 2:47 PM

I live in a high rise, and my uncle with the same last name does, too. We've both lived in the building now for over 4 years yet the mail carriers continue to mix up our mail all the time!

Bill V / June 22, 2006 3:01 PM

My postman loves to stuff everything into my mailbox, and it's always difficult to get the folded mess out. At the post office itself, the couple I go to seem to do a pretty good job, but there's always a customer that's having a bad experience, usually yelling or speaking in a very high tone. Never have seen any physical abuse though.

c-note's dog / June 22, 2006 3:05 PM

you and your uncle live in the same building and they mess up your mail? you'd think with such different names like benjy and lassy they'd get it right.

miss ellen / June 22, 2006 3:34 PM

yes, we've had problems in our building on kedzie in 60647. they either just throw stuff right in the garbage can, or stuff ends up in the wrong boxes.

a neighbor in my building recently stopped her mail while she was travelling for work & hasn't been able to get it back with repeated attempts & calls. i think part of it is our carrier, cuz in my old apt in 60647, things were much better.

katie / June 22, 2006 4:40 PM

I live in 60618 and have had numerous problems with my mail carrier. I'm pretty sure he's illiterate, because he can't seem to tell the difference between my last name and my neighbor's (which is TOTALLY different). Sometimes pieces of mail (usually netflix DVD's) disappear entirely. Recently our mail stopped altogether. Of course this happened right in the middle of "24 season 1" on netflix (I don't care about bills, but don't f*ck with my DVD's!). Upon calling the post office, I discovered that they put a hold on our mail without telling us. Apparently an agressive bird on our front porch kept attacking the mailman. Is it wrong that I was slightly pleased by this?

Mercourier / June 22, 2006 4:46 PM

Chicago is by far the worst when it comes to receiving mail. Down in Pilsen I lived on a street and constantly got mail for place... they got my packages and sent them back. I never could orccer anything! Or I wouldn't get cards that there was a package. Now in Wicker Park they have a problem reading N. Ashland and S. Ashland. Netflix probably thinks I am a clepto with their DVDs thanks to the USPS sending them south. And don't get me started on how many graduation checks got "lost" when my relatives tried to congradulate me on leaving Columbia. I would gladly restart the Pony Express if it means my mail would get where it is going.

Marilyn / June 22, 2006 6:17 PM

If it's possible, ask people who might be sending you checks to make a payment to your Pay Pal account. If you don't have a PP account, get one. I've really found it very handy.

Dave! / June 23, 2006 12:46 AM

I'll share my Wicker Park (60622) horror story...

I had friends visiting from out of town one weekened. We walked out of my apartment on a Saturday morning, and mail was strewn up and down the street, on the sidewalk, in the road, etc. Just blowing around...

I turned to my friend and said, "I'd hate to be that dude." To which he said, "Um, you *are* that dude."

Apparently, the regular carrier for the route was out, the sub didn't have the keys for our boxes, so they just dumped the mail on the steps. Didn't shove it in a door. Or put a rubber band around it. Just dumped it.

The worst thing is, this happened several times while I lived there.

Worst. Post. Office. Ever.

vit / June 23, 2006 11:16 AM

Steve - stamp, postage, doesn't matter, the point was that the person who worked at the post office didn't know where England was, and didn't seem all that bothered by that.

hahaha / June 28, 2006 4:07 PM

I wrote the PO about 60622 and got a very predictable response:

* * * * *
Thank you for visiting our website. I understand you would like to
bring to our attention the management of the Post Office that services the
60622 ZIP Code area.

As with any service organization, quality customer service from
professional, courteous, and friendly employees is vital. We are always
concerned when a customer is not satisfied with the service we provide or
the way a transaction is conducted.

If you have specific concerns regarding this Post Office, I will be
happy to request a research be conducted into the situation; however, I
am reluctant to do so based on information from a message board.

If I can be of assistance to you in the future, please don’t hesitate
to contact me.

Thank you for choosing the United States Postal Service.

Regards,

Jan D

Customer (XXXXXXXX) - 06/21/2006 10:32 AM
You might want to look at how the P.O. for 60622 is managed. It seems
by this message board that it is managed very badly!

http://www.gapersblock.com/fuel/archives/going_postal/

Steve / June 30, 2006 1:40 PM

For the record, the disappearing Netflix thing has happened to me again, this time out here in the 'burbs. Left a DVD out for the carrier on Monday; still hasn't been received by my local Netflix DC. Payment for the utility bill I left out that same morning has already cleared.

Jennie Crespo / July 7, 2006 12:28 PM

Maybe getting a PO Box may solve some of your problems with USPS, but that is not so in my case. I have a PO Box in Guaynabo, PR 00970, where notices, checks and mail are constantly being placed in the wrong PO Box. Just this week a package addressed to me, was taken by another person and the postal employee never asked for an ID. They placed the notice in the wrong PO Box. She told me that she was in no obligation to ask for an ID, unless the package was insured. This parcel had been sent by Priority Mail. You can just imagine what would happen if any personal information falls into the wrong hands. I just bought a lockable mailbox and plan to have all my mail delivered at home. I don't have too much faith that this will improve their service, but at least I will save on gas, since I have to drive to the post office.

TOOTS / July 20, 2006 10:29 PM

I am a postal employee and have had a try at almost every part of the delivery personnel as a person can experience. I am a hard worker and I am about customer service. I am grateful for my job and want to be found faithful in whatever I do. I have to say that I don't know much about the plant where the automation takes place but as I come across automated pieces of mail that have come through already set up for delivery there are a lot of mistakes made by the machines that read the mail. There are many bad apples in the postal service and usually a persons attitude or performance reflects the leadership. I close my case.

celia / August 2, 2006 3:41 PM

I've had two business checks go missing since May of this year...I just put a stop on one of them and it costs $30 (!). I'm on the phone right now with the USPS to ask them if there has been anything similar reported. I've stopped putting mail in the box at Division and Rockwell...not sure it really helps to drop it up at the Post Office, but...

Marc / April 4, 2007 11:24 AM

Hey Arch, the expression the check is in the mail is a phrase used when a person has not actually sent the check. When the receiver does not receive the check, the expression implies that it must have been lost in the mail, which in turn implies that events of that nature happen often.

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