Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going Postal

(Phone rings)
Me: Hello?
HP: Hi, this is HP customer service. We recently received an order for a laptop and want to confirm shipping information.
Me (snickering to self): Yes?
HP: We have here a delivery address of (reads off our post office box), and a physical address of (reads our house addy).
Me: Yes, that's correct. The laptop needs to be shipped to the post office or it won't get to us.
HP (after a few moments of silence): It won't?
Me: No. We don't have home delivery here.
HP (after another few moments of silence): You don't? At all?
Me: No. If it's coming via UPS or FedEx, it will go from Anchorage to here through the post office anyway. Don't worry, I'm sure we'll get it.
HP: Um, okay. If you're sure. Thank you. (hangs up)

I'm sure. Really.

Let me explain a little something about small town living. At least living in THIS small town. We have a very nice post office, with very kind and helpful postal employees. Everyone in town has a PO box. Everyone. Want to look in the phone book to find the physical location of a resident or business? Not gonna happen. All you'll see is a PO box listing. You'll have to call the place to get instructions. Granted, most businesses are within a four block area and not hard to find, but some are tucked into buildings and have no obvious signs. Locals just "know" where to go. It's very quaint. And a tad frustrating when you're new in town. It's like you have to be told the secret handshake or something. Luckily, we've been here long enough that we've become privy to the majority of hot locales. If you consider the lumber yard and laundromat "hot."

A number of years ago there was a community-wide vote regarding the US Postal Service and home delivery. An overwhelming majority voted down home delivery. (The postman doesn't ring at all here, let alone twice.) Why? Because like in most small towns, certain public places become the local equivalent of nature's watering holes. Grocery stores, gas stations, post offices, eventually most everyone hits these places because they have to. And want to. It gives people an excuse to get out and about on an almost daily basis. Or at least weekly.

Oh, and even if I were to tell you the name of my street, good luck finding it. There is no street sign and even locals have asked where, exactly, we live. If you come visit, I'll give you the secret handshake ;)



At 7:19 AM, Blogger Writer and Cat said...

Oh, man, I would hate that! I'd have to leave the HOUSE!

A lot of sign-ups I've seen refuse to accept a PO box. How do you counter that?

And you should know my verification word is fartiono. The mind boggles.


At 9:15 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Well, when hubby is in town, he checks the mail on his way home from work. If he's traveling, I go in every other day, unless I have a package to get together or whatever.

As for sign-ups, I don't do them if they require a physical addy.

As for your verification word, an odiferous magician comes to mind :P


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