Thursday, December 11, 2008

Work Order

OK, so last week I broke my mailbox key off in the lock. I should have seen this coming since every time I check my mail it becomes an epic contest of strength and will to get the key in and out of the stupid lock. So when it snapped off last Monday I was like, "pfft, whatever. I'll deal with this later." Also, I decided to keep the broken bit on my keychain because it makes a surprisingly excellent bottle opener, and also serves as a good warning to my other keys.

Fast forward, um, a week (I might need to repeat a couple of grades in mail-checking school). I felt the tiny wand-tap of the mail fairy indicating that it was once again time to ceremoniously relocate supermarket circulars and credit card offers from my mailbox to the recycle bin. But then I remembered that my stupid key was still broken, and the bit in the mailbox was still there, and the mail-relocate ritual has been interrupted! The recycle bin will look longingly to the mailbox, but no word will ever come. Heartbreak.

So I went and bothered our homeowner's association president to see if she had a copy of the master key, but she was like, "master key? What?" And then I explained that there is a master key that opens the whole mailbox at once so that the mailman can bless us all with supermarket circulars without opening each individual box, but she just stared at me blankly, so I left. Prez 1, Grant 0.

So then, um, a couple of days later, when I remembered about my mailbox and my captive supermarket circulars and my sad recycle bin again, I decided to call the post office.

Okay, so here is a really important note for this really important story: I have this very intense rivalry with the postal delivery person. We are two foes, equally matched in skill and determination, fighting for a cause that is yet unknown. I will strategically not check my mail for a week or so, and he will cunningly counter by bending the magazine offer from the Smithsonian that clearly says Do Not Bend. You dog! I'm pretty sure he (or she) takes great pride in wadding up my mail and stuffing it as deep into my tiny box as possible (anything to say about this, Kyle?) Also, and I haven't confirmed this, but I'm reasonably certain they just take my ceremoniously discarded supermarket circulars out of the recycle bin and give them back to me as if to say, "I don't think you thoroughly read this the last time I gave it to you. Have you even considered this excellent deal on eggs?" Anyway, the point is that the postal delivery person clearly hates me, and I am passionately indifferent toward them. It is an epic battle for the ages that will be remembered long after our bones, locked together in a strangling death grip, become dust, and that dust fertilizes the soil, and in that soil grows trees, and those trees become paper, at that paper becomes supermarket circulars.

So I call the post office and get transferred around a few times until I finally reach the Interbay Postal Annex (woooo Interbay! [cue sound of one guy clapping in an empty auditorium]). I inform the dude that my battle with the postal carrier has been put on hold by key/lock mechanical failure and that if he wants to witness the next exciting round we should put differences aside and he should fix my mailbox. So he says, "alright, I will put in a Work Order for you," to which I reply, "awesome. So how long will that take?" And he replies, "I don't know, that's not my department." And thus is the end of our phone conversation. Sweet! I haz a Work Order!

So a couple more days go by, and the post-Work-Order honeymoon glow fades, and then I start considering the information exchanged with the Interbay Postal Annex Department Of Dudes Who Are Not In Whatever Department I Need:

Information given:
  • I broke my key
  • My address

Information NOT given:
  • My name
  • My phone number
  • Any sort of confirmation

I don't put it past the post office to have complete mastery of the complex sorcery required to magically reconstitute my mail key out of the two separate parts, and perhaps when I draw the broken Shards of Keysil (this is what I call my mail key now) out of my pocket it will be made whole again [UPDATE: not yet], but you'd think they'd at least have given me an indication of what to expect. You know, the spell only works within a five-mile radius, or make sure I don't have my key in my pocket when the spell hits, or be sure to wait an hour before swimming. Also, "Work Order" is a pretty boring name for a magic long-distance metal reconstitution spell.

But really, what the hell just happened? What is this "Work Order" even going to do? How will they contact me? Mail? I think I just got swindled by USPS.

Maybe "Work Order" is a special advanced mail-delivery move the postal carriers do where they insert pictures of my friends with their eyes X-ed out into supermarket circulars and then urinate into my over-stuffed mailbox. Looks like this rivalry just moved up a notch. Those of you who live in the Interbay area should be on the lookout for my next move: a postal delivery person who looks like a normal postal delivery person with the subtle exception that they will be on fire and pursued by bees. I call this move "The Invoice".

Seriously, though, I should probably call them again.


noisy penguin said...

Ha ha, they're totally going to leave your new key in your mailbox. For security purposes and all.

Kyle said...

Dammit, penguin up there beat me to it.