Joseph Devon vs The United States Postal Service

I paired up with GoodReads again to offer up a large giveaway for Probability Angels. This led me to order a ton of books which were to be delivered by the United States Postal Service.

Okay, so here we go.

Coming home one day I found a “peach slip,” as it’s known, in my mailbox. Someone had tried to deliver my multiple boxes of books, I wasn’t home, so they leave me a slip. The slip says I could either go to the post office and pick up my boxes or schedule a redelivery. This was fine. This was what I had been expecting. Obviously, though, I’m not going to walk down to the post office and carry home seven boxes of books so I had to schedule a redelivery.

And, hey! Written on the peach slip there’s not only a phone number to call but a website to visit to get your redelivery scheduled. So I go to the website and start filling out the information they need. Only some of the information is missing from my peach slip. All right. That leaves the phone number. I give them a call and it’s this massive automated menu system that takes forever to navigate. On my first attempt I made it basically to the end of the process and then the service hung up on me. I was told that they suddenly weren’t taking calls anymore which. I have no idea what that meant. Score. I call back again later and navigate the menu and manage to schedule my delivery for Saturday.

I sit around Saturday waiting for my books and nothing comes. So, Monday I head down to the post office and seek out the redelivery desk in the bowels of the building and talk to an actual person. She is, right off the bat, angry with me. “Oh you’re the guy with seven boxes sitting back here. You know how much space those are taking up?” Because the post office lacks the space  to handle packages apparently.


“But,” I tell her, “I scheduled a redelivery with the automated phone service.”

She snorts in reply and waves me off. Then she gives me the real number to call, the number of the local post office. I manage to work out a redelivery with her for a few days later and I head back home.

While at home my mailman shows up and gives my apartment a buzz. I like my postman. He’s very friendly, very helpful and is always smiling and greeting people on the street when he’s making his deliveries. He’s like A Sesame Street character. He shows up and wants to make sure I know that these boxes are waiting for me. Yes, I tell him, I know, and I just was at the post office and I spoke to someone there and I think it’s all cleared up. But then I tell him that, at first, I called the number on the peach slip to try and get my stuff redelivered.

He laughs. “Oh,” he says. “That number doesn’t do anything. That’s the runaround number.”


This is the guy who put the freaking peach slip in my mailbox to begin with. The useless automated number is ON the peach slip. He then takes out a blank peach slip and writes the real number to call on there. He suggests I give them a call early on the day I’m expecting my redelivery, just to make sure there are no mistakes.

I gave them a call early this morning. I get put on hold. What’s playing while I’m on hold? An ad for the post office’s helpful website and automated phone line that I can use to schedule re-deliveries.

This sort of stuff reaches a point for me where I can’t even be annoyed anymore. It’s too much for my brain to handle. I have to detach and act like I’m viewing some strange exotic culture who’s customs are foreign to me.

Anyway, the books are here.

Also, due to a very long night of drinking and a cab ride home that I don’t remember on Saturday, I apparently ordered the latest Pokemon game off of Amazon.

I have never played a Pokemon game in my life. I have no idea what prompted this purchase. But that showed up as well so I’m off to unwind with a little defending of Pokemon Castle or bouncing Pokemons into buckets or pitting my Chimchim against a Pufflesnarf or whatever the fuck one does while playing Pokemon.

Stupid post office.


  1. Hello Joseph. I like your stories but the text on this page is very hard to read. There are two columns of blurriness going down every page.

  2. hahahahaha! i love this story. the difference between delivery dudes and station workers is huge, cracks me up. best to you and yours.