Supporting the USPS

Oh, thank God! My coffee’s here!

Lately the USPS has been messing with my lifeblood—coffee and ink. Both are vital fluids for my morning routine. Without them, I can’t function.

A recent ink order was shipped immediately but apparently holed up in motels along the way as the tracking stalled several times. After a couple of weeks, the package inexplicably boomeranged back to its place of origin, then reversed course and was finally delivered 21 days after it was shipped. Over the course of those three long weeks, I often found myself yelling at my computer screen, irrationally pleading with the tracking to update and the package to pick up the pace and finish strong. It was like cheering on a fading marathon runner. “You’ve got this! You’re almost there!”

My coffee started its journey a couple of hours from here but similarly stalled once shipped (“Acceptance pending” for DAYS). My coffee stash was running precariously low so I tried to limit my daily intake to make it last. No one needs coffee stress during a pandemic. Or ever, really. Six days later, the postal worker handed over my two precious bags of Irving Farm coffee while exclaiming that they made her truck smell fantastic. That coffee made us both happy!

Such are the recent USPS shenanigans. Who knows what the real details are but it’s clear that something is amiss. I feel for the postal workers who are just trying to do their jobs as much as I feel for the customers waiting for their goods. Ink and coffee are one thing. Vital medications are another.

I love the USPS and hate to see it flailing. I’m one of those oddballs who ponder which stamp to put on which card or letter. Does it match the washi tape? Which one fits the recipient best? I love leafing though the USPS’s Philatelic catalog picking out stamps and gifts, but I rarely actually order anything that way.

Until now.

There’s not much I can do to fix federal bureaucracy run amuck but I can shop in a way that shows my love for this agency. Ironically, my USPS order was also slow to arrive, but eventually it did, and, boy do I love this stuff.

Did I need another backpack? Nope. But I love this one and have been carrying it to and from work every day. Making the swap also prompted me to pare down my daily carry which bordered on the ridiculous. I’m feeling much lighter—both physically and mentally.

The toy mail truck and its miniscule mailbox are for my desk at work. They’re a good reminder to send cards and notes to friends and family, even in these rushed days. (I work at a college, so….)

The coin purse is made from a mail bag and was half-price so I could not resist.

Mr. Zip! We need you!

This t-shirt with its vintage image is my absolute favorite purchase. I wish the mail was moving as fast as Mr. Zip appears to be, but maybe it will again someday.

Of course I added some sheets of stamps to my order. Newly released stamps give me a little thrill that probably only dedicated letter writers understand—a tiny piece of art attached to that carefully addressed envelope.

I hope the USPS weathers this current storm and that it’s able to pick up the pace of our letters, cards, and packages once again. In the meantime, I’ll try to have patience, leave thank you notes for my mail carriers, and proudly wear that Mr. Zip t-shirt.

Stay strong, USPS! You’ve got this!

Note: Many of the items mentioned here appear to be sold out on the USPS website. This is a common problem, as supplies seem to be quite low, unfortunately. I wish local POs offered goods for immediate purchase. They make cool gifts.