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Beau's Journey » Blog Archive » October 2, 2009: No kidding! The government! How not to send mail.
Friday, October 2nd, 2009

October 2, 2009: No kidding! The government! How not to send mail.

  So, we had to mail a package yesterday and this package was on a deadline.  It was going outside of the country.  Now – I have mailed many packages to other countries.  This is particularly true of Canada.  Having friends up in Canada means that from time to time a package will be mailed up to the great white north.  No big deal.  Right?  lol

  Enter stage left the United States Postal Service.  Also set in front of you a box.  A small box.  No bigger than 10 inches wide and 14 inches long.  Height of the box was about 3 inches.  Small box from Amazon.  No big deal.  Simple.  I just need the United States Postal Service to take this box and get it to Canada with next day delivery.  Simple enough!  No mess – no drama – nothing.

  So, we get to the post office and approach the lady at the counter.  I show her what I want to do.  I tell her how I want to do it.  She looks everything over and asked me if we had filled out the customs form.  I said – no we have not filled that out yet.  She proceeds to hand me the form.  Joey fills it out.  Asking a few questions here and there – what goes in this blank or that blank. 

  Meanwhile, the lady behind the counter asked me if we would like an envelop or a box to put the Amazon box into.  I told her that perhaps the small box she was showing me would work just fine.  Great.  Now we have the customs form and the box to put the Amazon box into.  Making progress.

  A few minutes go by.  She is asking me questions – how much is the package worth – where is it going – weighs the box.  She then asked me what is in the box.  I told her what it was.  She looks and looks and looks over her computer.  She starts reading me the options.  I tell her it is electronic.  She reads from her list of electronic devices.  Not hearing anything that sounds like what is in the box.  Okay – no big deal.  She keeps reading – we are standing there and Joey has finished the customs form.  Finally we settle on just calling it a dvd decide.  Apparently nothing else on her computer screen – which she turned the monitor around for me to look at (but I couldn’t read anything because it was a green monocrome screen and was so dull that the letters were not distinguishable) matches what is in the box.

  OK – well we have the customs form finished and we have the box on the scale.  The lady then asked me if we had filled out form 1660 (or some number).  I said – no – what would that form be?  She says it has to be filled out in order to send the package.  I said – OK what is it.  She said it was something that showed what was in the box and what it was worth.   I looked at her for a minute – then I said – OK that would be this custom form.  States right here what is in the box and what the value of the merchandise is.  She then said – well no that isn’t it.  She says – this is a specific form stated on my computer screen that is required to go with the package.

  I said – OK where do we get that form.  She said – I don’t know.  It should have come from Amazon.  I said – hmmm no I don’t think so.  I asked her – why would Amazon send us a customs form for Canada?  That didn’t make any sense.  So – she looked at her screen some more and then turned it around to me and pointed at the screen – she said it says right here that in order for you to send this to Ontario that you have to fill out this form.  I then said – OK what is the forms name.  She then said – PS 1660.  I said – isn’t that a form that you would have?  She said – no.  This form had to come from Amazon or we had to supply the form.  She suggested we go online and try to find it on the Amazon site.  I said – hmmm that doesn’t sound right.  I then asked her what PS stood for.  I said – doesn’t that stand for Postal Service.  She looks for a bit and then looked at me.  Looked at her computer screen.  Then she went over to the corner of the building and started to dig through papers.  She was gone a good three or four minutes. 

  She came back – she said well you only have a few minutes left to mail this off.  I said – why?  She said because at 15 till we can no longer put boxes over there where the pick up is.  I was quiet for a moment.  I looked over at the pile of out going mail.  I wondered to myself – sooooo we are standing here with a box to mail and if we don’t finish in the next few minutes you are not allowed to take this box and put it on that pile over there?  That is what I was thinking.  But – trying to maintain my cool and not get upset – I simply said okay.  Well, we need that form.

  I asked her – when can you get the package there if we do all of this.  She said – looks like tomorrow – October 2nd.  I said – great.  That is what we need – this is a very important package and we need it to get to Canada by tomorrow because our friend is leaving town.  She said – okay fill all of these forms out.

  She then said that she really had no idea where to get that form.  She suggested we needed to go online to get the form.  I told her that I didn’t that she was correct.  That this had to be some form the postal service would have.   She left for another minute and finally came back with a bunch of forms.  Six papers.  She said – you were right – that is a U.S. Postal form.  She said – you have to fill alllllll of these papers out.  I looked down and no kidding – in front of me was form after form after form after form.  I laughed out loud a little bit.  I looked over at Joey and said – well I guess we need to go over here and fill these out.

  So – we left the line and went over to the desk in the middle of the post office.  We started filling out forms.  Duplicate after duplicate – all asking the same thing.  It took several minutes, but we finally got all of the forms filled out.  We gather up all of the papers and the box and headed back to the counter.

  She then looked over everything and started to punch in keys on her computer.  A minute or two passes.  She then says – well we can get it there by October 5th.  I think – she says.  She looks again and says – yes we can get it there by October 5th.  We don’t work Saturday and Sunday.

  I said – you just told me you could get it there tomorrow.  She said – yes, but that was a few minutes ago and before the deadline.  You are a few minutes past the deadline and the computer won’t allow me to do that.

  There was silence for a few moments.  I sighed.  But, kept my cool.  Having learned in the past that it is never productive to get upset.  I should say that I have learned that many times in life.  lol  So, I asked the lady at the post office – can’t I just take this down to Federal Express and have them send it and get it there quicker.  She said – yes perhaps you could do that.  They are open until 5 pm.

  I looked at Joey – gathered all of the papers up – grabbed the box – we headed out the door.

  We then went to Federal Express.  I walked into the door with all of the papers and the one box.  I looked at the lady and said – we have a box that is going to Canada.  We just came from the U.S. Postal Service (and she laughed – didn’t say anything).  I said – we need it there tomorrow.  Can you do it.  She said here – fill out this one form and bring it back to me.  She handed me a piece of paper that was about six inches long and five inches wide.  It had two sets of questions – who it is going to and who it is from.  The value, as well.  That was it.  NOTHING ELSE.  JUST ONE FORM.

  I gave her the form and the box and she said – okay you are done.  That will be X amount of money.  I paid her and looked at her.  I said – that’s it?  She said – yes.  I laughed and said something about how our government could learn a few things.


the government can’t run anything efficiently. 
If you are going to mail something – mail it through Federal Express.  Next time that will be my first stop. 

  I will say that it was entertaining and fun, though.  Took my mind off the house building for a little bit.  🙂



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