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.

9 thoughts on “Supporting the USPS

  1. Oooh, much empathy on the coffee situation! Mine was late too, and I had to resort to emergency VIA one morning! Arghh!! These past weeks have made me vow never to take USPS for granted, and I have recently purchased a hoard of stamps (like those gorgeous Ruth Asawa stamps!) just to give them some float. USPS, we need you, indeed!

  2. Funny you should write about USPS because I’ve noticed that since I’ve returned home that mail sure takes a whole lot longer to get to its destination! I thought I’d do a little experiment to see how long it would take to go 20 miles. Back in 2007, it took one day for a letter to go that distance on our little island. In 2017, it took 4 days – 4 days!!! That’s how long it used to take for my letter to go to the mainland back in 2007! What happened in 10 years??? Is it a lack of people or people lacking the ability to do the simplest of things? I don’t think it’s the former as I’ve noticed a dramatic increase of workers at the post office and I know that the amount of mail has dramatically reduced after emails became the norm so I can’t help but think that it is the latter. What I have noticed, though, is the lack of attention to details and the reason why I say that is because of the high number of letters arriving in my mailbox which aren’t delivered to the correct address. I have always relied on USPS (a ton of stamps purchased over the years to add to my ever-growing collection that I’ve had since the 3rd grade and boxes going to my pen pals located all over the globe) but I’m beginning to wonder about their reliability. The number of smashed packages has increased to the point where I am surprised when I get one that isn’t damaged. Thanks for letting me vent!

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  5. Hi, nice choice of USPS gear. I’ve bought that T-Shirt in the past, and have the stamps you bought. I have their Christmas ornament of the mailbox.

    I’ve pondered the book bag, but don’t really have a need to carry one. Now that I see what the little Postal truck looks like, I might get one.

    Please keep in mind the attacks on the Post Office have been ongoing for a decade or more. Congress approved the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006 on a Lame Duck unrecorded voice vote. It put the USPS in debt, which was the goal. Easier to privatize that way.

    I know this much because I wanted to hold my US Senator accountable for his vote. That’s how I found out it was an unrecorded voice vote (or who can shout loudest).

    What we need to do is write our Congress people either by letter or online asking for Postal Banking. It would be a boon to people in rural America, and maybe the rest of us who have too many banks to choose from.

  6. Who knows what is really going on with USPS but we need them so I keep writing letters. I sent a letter to a friend who lives 7 miles away and it took 5 days to get there, but my new Conway Stewart pen sent from London, England, arrived here (oregon) in 2 days!!!!! TWO days!. Not sure how that was even possible.
    Like you I try to match my stamps to the personality of the recipient. Same for my wax seals. When I visit friends in London I always go to the post office to buy stamps even though I can’t use them here. But the art work on their special stamps is out of this world. They look hand painted. They have some of the most lovely stamps at Christmas. I scored on a stamp that commemorated the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla but the wrong date is on the stamp as they postponed the wedding for a few days. Could it fund my retirement? Not sure I could part with it anyway.
    Do you match your pens with your ink colors and how do you know which ink is in which pen? I match mine and then I write with said pen in my Traveler’s Journal with an notes about pen and ink. otherwise I’d never keep them straight.
    Thanks for this post.Loving your blog.
    We must keep supporting the Postal Service.

    • Absolutely agree about supporting the USPS. I have a little log where I list pen/ink combinations, as well as how the pen is filled so I don’t forget if something is eyedroppered and open it over carpeting (she said from experience). Thanks for comments and kind words!

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