Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs!

The bottom line is: If you smile, be kind but firm, and do not accept ‘you cannot do that’ you can accomplish anything. Oh! And it helps to talk just loud enough that another worker hears you and has a solution!

So you can stop reading here if you wish!

I have spent a bunch of hours dealing with issues associated with the church’s locking mailbox being broken into. For a variety of reasons, we now have a PMB (Private Mail Box). Who knew it could be so tough dealing with:

  • Placing a hold on mail
  • Arranging for a PMB
  • Doing a change of address

Placing a hold – wow! You can do this online…….sort of. It only works if the ‘business’ for which you’re placing the hold is recognized by USPS as a business. Who knew ‘St. Columba Episcopal Church’ would not be considered a business? The error message is not specific enough to figure out what ‘invalid entry’ meant until after several tries and a LONG wait time for assistance the hold had to be placed with an individual’s name – any name would do. Since the hold is for all mail to the address it does not matter what name is used. Also, it is best to go to the Post Office as a supervisor said he has no idea how the hold created online actually works. Also, the easy way to hold mail is to just not have a mailbox. If there is no receptacle mail is taken back to the delivery office to be held. Gee! No form. No line. No waiting. Just take down the mailbox! Wow!

Ah! Local Post Office – to accomplish these things one must go to the office that delivers your mail. I’m an internet person – nope! You can’t find which office delivers your mail online. You can find which of several MIGHT but not which specific one. So call the USPS call center – TWO HOURS on hold and I got what I needed however the individual could not answer questions about putting mail on hold, could not answer about the need to have a box at all (see above) and what would happen if we took it down, nor could he say what type of box was required assuming one was required which he did not know! On the other hand, the local supervisor was a wonderful customer service agent once I figured out which office.

Arranging for a PMB – make an appointment and show up at the store of your choice. OOPS! To get a PMB for a business you need business license, documents of incorporation (or the like), authorization by someone in authority that you may do this in the name of the business. OOPS! A church you say? Well in that case we just do all paperwork for whoever is present and put the name of the church on the box too. Oh! That means mail addressed to a different name without the name of the church will be returned to sender. Oh well not too huge an issue.

Doing a change of address – wow! You can do this online…..maybe. It only works if you have a credit card with either the new address or the old address and a non-business name on the card and are changing the address of the person on the card. OOPS! Does not apply. Recommendation to save time – go the post office that delivers the mail to the old address. Thank goodness I’d already figured out which office this was. OOPS! They are out of change of address cards! Call FOUR other local Post Offices – all are out of change of address cards.

Here is where the Bottom Line mentioned above comes in – Smile. Be Kind but Firm. Talk just loud enough that a worker nearby says – ‘I saw a few back by the ….’ HOORAY! Change of address form found! TRIUMPH!


Author: bdeshaw

Mom, Grandma, raised a puppy for Canine Companions for Independence

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