For this month's confession I've chosen to write about something barely pencil-adjacent. This idea came from a conversation I had with Alyx last Monday about the US Postal Service--mostly about how we think they deserve a little bit more credit than they're given. Let's face it--it's really easy to get angry with the post office. Packages go missing, don't show up when they're supposed to, the lines are really long at the post office, the employees sometimes seem to not know what they're doing. It can be a struggle dealing with mail--believe me, I deal with a LOT of this as a regular part of my job. But think about it: this stuff has to be collected, sorted, transported, sorted again, etc until it magically shows up on your doorstep. Mistakes happen. During our first Christmas in business they managed to completely lose a 60 package batch we sent out on a single day. I've forgiven them, and as much as we like to focus on the things that go wrong, you mail and packages probably do show up exactly as they're supposed to 90% of the time.
I live in the East Village and my local post office is the Cooper Station location--which I consider an excellent post office by NYC standards. The line is never long, the man at the package pick up window is pretty efficient and when I went in last week to have 60 of my friend's wedding invitations hand-cancelled the clerk at the desk offered to do it before I even had the chance to ask. I understand that this isn't always the service one can expect from the post office, as I've learned at the one nearest the shop where no one ever seems to know what I'm talking about (our delivery and pick-up people are SUPERB, however--our package dropper-offer gives me hair advice, and our letter carrier smiles every time we give him a stack of elaborately decorated outgoing mail). That said, I get it, it's really hit-or-miss. Next time you go to the post office, whether it be to buy stamps or solve a frustrating problem, be nice. It goes a long way. Anyway, our postal service is still A LOT more efficient and affordable than those in most other countries.
Speaking of stamps--whenever you're feeling down and out about our nation's ability to deal with mail I recommend an internet deep dive into the world of stamps, past and present. Have you seen the new thermochromic solar eclipse stamps? They're AWESOME! And the WPA posters from earlier this year. Or the new Disney villains? Come on, we're pretty lucky to have such fun options.
Fed often jokes that my actual dream job is to be a postmaster. I can fantasize all I want about being at the helm of my own small town post office but the reality is, it's a really hard job. I don't know that I'd have it in me to deal with angry people's mail problems all day long so I'll stick to being a friendly patron of my local branch for now. And someday when I die, I can only hope that the USPS will still be doing really special posthumous stamps and that I will be famous enough to have one of my own (just kidding--but really, how do I get on a stamp? #dreams).