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Post office adventure


I walked to the post office today to mail a letter that had to be postmarked today. I asked for it to be hand cancelled so that I could take a picture of it and have a record that I had mailed it on time. After I asked if I could take a picture of the cancelled stamp, I thought the reaction of the woman behind the counter quite odd: she nearly refused to let me take a picture. She held on to the envelopes (I had given her two, even though I needed only one to be cancelled), and hesitantly pushed the one I cared about to me. "You can't have any one else in the picture," she told me, as she released the envelope. Both of the envelopes in her hand were mine. I had just handed them both to her. I'm pretty sure I could take a picture of both of them if I could take a picture of one of them. Her reaction was just plain weird.

The only thing I can think of is that she didn't want me to run away with the cancelled stamp. Which also doesn't really make much sense to me, since I clearly wanted to mail the envelope.


Before me in line, as I was waiting for the hand cancellation, was a guy talking to the Postmaster. "If I send unsolicited email," he started out, "to you without your consent, I'm violating a law, and I get fined. Yet, you deliver all this mail to me and I can't stop it. Why is that?" He went on for a while about how he receives all this junk mail when he leaves for two weeks, and it's this giant pile, and he doesn't want any of it, why don't they stop. The Postmaster tried to explain how once mail is in their hands, it is their responsibility to deliver it. The first guy didn't want to hear it, and became more agitated.

I wish the guy had realized his analogy was flawed. The post office isn't the same as the guy sending the spam email, the post office is the ISP that delivers the email. Would the guy be ranting to Google about delivering the spam to him? He might complain about bad poor spam filters, and switch to a different ISP provider or set up filters of his own, but he wouldn't be screaming at Google about *sending* the email. I'm not sure why he thinks the Post Office is responsible for the mail sent, when it's the spam/junk senders.

The sad part was that if he just shut up for 30 seconds, the Postmaster would have given him the resources he needed to remove his name from various junk mailing lists, reducing his mail pile. I used one about 8 years ago and went from about 36" of mail a month to about 6" of mail a month, most of that wanted. The company I used (Green Dimes) isn't in business any longer, but 41 Pounds is. If I were that guy, I'd start there or maybe Catalog Choice.


I find it intriguing that you measure the thickness of your mail.

I should be using centimeters instead. Sounds more impressive.

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