How not to deliver the mail

Several months ago, the main post office closed, we assume for renovations. We hope. We discovered this when N found a notice taped to the screen of its bank machine. “Go to the next town,” it said. Okay, that’s not exactly what it said, but you get the idea.

There is another much smaller branch that offers reduced services (not including an ATM, obviously,) at reduced hours. It is so tiny that the line often goes out the door, down the street. Even in the rain.

A couple of days ago, while I was giving Pata a bath, someone rang the buzzer. From the number of rings and their duration, I guessed it was the mail carrier. I couldn’t answer the door but I expected that he would leave a notice of a delivery attempt. When N came home that evening, I asked him if he had found one in the mailbox. He hadn’t. Strange, I thought, I wonder who it was?

The next day, we found half a sheet of white paper that had been slipped under the front door. It was a notice that someone was holding a letter for us, and it included a number to call to arrange “una nuova modalità,” (a new way!) of delivery. Apparently, now that the main post office is closed here, they aren’t holding mail or packages that haven’t been delivered on the first attempt. Instead, they’re turning them over to a company that uses poorly photocopied notification forms and provides only the cell phone number of the deliveryman.

Yesterday, I called to arrange a delivery. The man I spoke to said, “I can’t deliver it today.”

“That’s fine,” I told him. “What about tomorrow?”

“It depends,” he said. “If it rains, I can’t deliver it. That’s why I can’t deliver it today. I was going to work this morning, but I changed my mind because of the rain.”

I paused, not really knowing what to make of that.

“I’m on foot, and I carry the letters in my hand. They get wet if it rains.”

Had it never occurred to him to put the letters in a bag? I decided to be non-confrontational because he had our mail. “Oh, I understand,” I told him.

“If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I can deliver it. Will there be someone at home?”

“Well, I have to do some shopping. Do you know around what time you’d deliver it?”

“No. But if you go out you can look for me. You can call me to find out where I am.”

At that point, I was wishing I could just wait on a long line in the rain at the tiny post office to get the letter. Because it would be so much easier.

Today it looks like rain.

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12 responses to “How not to deliver the mail

  1. That sounds horrible! I always complain about how long the mail seems to take to get to Sicily, but it always does arrive in the end and we have a functioning post office! Hope you get your mail soon and happy anniversary.

  2. Well everyone, I’m happy to report it didn’t rain until the afternoon so he did drop the letter off today.I called him this morning at nearly 10 and asked him if he were going to be making deliveries, and if so in the morning or the afternoon. He told me the morning. I mentioned that I was just about to go out and he told me not to worry about it, that he wasn’t going to start for another hour and a half! Some job, really- he doesn’t work if it rains, morning deliveries begin after 11. It’s all so silly.

  3. We take so much for granted here in the states. The mail system in Italy is enough to make anyone crazy. I remember sending packages to my daughter and they sometimes took months to arrive! You have to plan WAY ahead to get something there in time for the holidays. And cross your fingers.

  4. You’re right Gail, and I feel like they’ve really outdone themselves this time! Even if the mail did finally arrive, the incompetence displayed by the Poste, then the deliveryman, is just breathtaking.

  5. That story seems funny-if it’s not you mail and is not happening to you. I hope it was sunny and you got your letter.P.S. what kind of nuovo modalita’ is there for delivering/getting the mail?

  6. I think the nuova modalità was just having to wait for a day without rain so that the guy would decide to deliver the letter.We did get it, and it was important too!

  7. Hmmm we’ve been having problems with our mail here too. The other day a note was left on our gate (no one had even rung the buzzer and i’d been home all day) from SDA that there was a package to be delivered. It’s lucky i saw the note as it ws a v windy day and flapping in the breeze. Anyway, the name on the note was for my neighbour 3 doors down. SO i took it to her and she mentioned her mail had been coming in ‘batches’. Like ‘oh look, we’ve a good pile of stuff for her, better deliver it’. She would get things like her new credit card and the PIN slip in the same ‘batch’ (i think banks send them out days apart). Yesterday she – the neighbour- came and ‘delivered’ to us a huge chunk of mail, some for me, some for my husband and some for my MIL and BIL. Just as well we all know each other. And BTW our PO is open and functioning ‘ normally’….. There is also a courier guy who routinely delivers mail to us for my MIL as he ‘can’t be bothered’ driving up the road to deliver it to her….. Vanessa

  8. You’re back in Italy! I’m currently composing an installment of the further adventures of AIL to send you. That situation is ridiculous! What’s disturbing is that you don’t know if the mail is being held in batches at the post office or by the delivery guy until he feels like doing his job. Either way it’s a problem, but if it’s the delivery guy who holds on to it when he doesn’t feel like delivering it, that’s scary!

  9. We have the same problem, seems as if the postman delivers only when HE wants to deliver the mail and seems as if he holds the mail till there is “enough” to deliver. Also seems like he’ll deliver what he wants to deliver. Bills arrive no problem of course, but anything else is a gamble if it arrives. Magazines, packages from abroad, plastic from the bank, maybe they’ll arrive, maybe they wont.

  10. Hmm, we seem to get a lot more bills than other mail. I wonder…And you can never complain either, because there’s too great a risk that it’ll just get worse, because of course they’re not going to fire them for any of this.

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