I've been working at Y & M for the past 28 years, and for about 25 of those years our mailman was Paul. He was the best mailman, always so pleasant, taking the time to chat a bit as we exchanged mail and little tidbits of our lives. He was a single guy for the longest time, so when he announced one day long ago that he was getting married I was so happy for him. His new wife had a daughter from a previous marriage and Paul adored her. She grew up and eventually moved to the mainland, and even though Paul's marriage didn't last he made sure he still kept in touch with his stepdaughter. I think one of his proudest moments was when he got to give her away at her wedding. Paul retired a few years ago. He was to me still a bit too young to be retiring, but he said that he had put in enough years and now needed to take care of his mom. I was so sad.
In the years since he's been gone we've had a succession of different mailmen as well as the installation of a mail box thing downstairs on the first floor. The mailman now puts our mail into our designated locked box and we slip our outgoing mail into these slotted receptacles. It works out okay except on those days about once a week when we send out our boxful of billing. It won't fit. On those days, we would leave a little note asking the mailman to please come upstairs to the second floor to pick up our outgoing mail.
We got a new mailman today. He said that if we want him to come upstairs to pick up our mail we have to go online and request it the day before we want mail picked up. Can you believe that? So I went online and got to USPS. It said that I needed to create an account so I did. I then found my way to "Scheduled Pickups" where it said that I can schedule pickups for the next three months. Our heavy mailing days vary so I chose Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It only allowed me to select days for the next two months (not three). But I figured that's okay. I just gotta request it every two months . . . better than daily.
So I made it past "Schedule Pickup" and was now into "Package Detail". It said "Package quantity is required" - I dunno . . . 200, 300? Then "Package weight is required" - I dunno . . . 1 ounce x 200, 300? Then "Pickups must contain at least one Overnight Guaranteed, 2-3 Day or International Package" - I got none of the above. So now what?
I miss Paul.
7/24/10 update: I talked to the mailman and told him that I tried to go online to schedule the pickups but wasn't successful. I also mentioned how it was a pain in the butt to do. He said he'll come upstairs to pick up and drop off our mail everyday. Nice yeah!!
I wanted to get him something for his kindness so I called Dale at Taro Ko to order some chips. Dale said, "I no more taro . . . maybe in September. I'll call you if I get." I said, "So what you doing?" He said, "Sweet potato." Unfortunately, the sweet potato chips are not as good as the taro chips. I hope he calls me soon. I wanna give the mailman about 5 bags . . . after all, he gotta deliver um too!