My mailman is a loser. There is no other word to describe a person who is not only terrible at his job, but has no desire to do anything about it. He is lazy and impolite and quite brazen about it. He lies frequently and shows no remorse. If my mailman were my boyfriend, my friends would be afraid for my life. This dude is totally not my boyfriend, though. I think a boyfriend would try to make sure that I have all the books I order off Amazon in my possession. I don’t know the guy’s name or I’d happily tell you. Just kidding, I wouldn’t. I’m physically afraid of him because he’s confrontational.
When I figured out that this guy was going to be a problem, about a month or so into living at this apartment, I tried to befriend him. One morning I waited until I heard the mail slot squeak open before running down the stairs with a plastic bag filled with cookies I’d just made. I swung open the door and took my mail from his hand as introduced myself and held out the bag. He accepted the cookies and said hello then nothing else, so I prompted him to give me his name. Before turning away he said, “I try not to tell too many people that.”
I found all of this to be extremely odd, especially since the guy looks like what I’d imagine Snoop Dogg’s grandfather to look like. I’d expect that Snoop Dogg’s grandfather would be very chill. He wears the USPS trucker hat style and has what my friend Blaire calls a greazy braid. Not greasy, “greazy,” because it’s beyond oily. It’s a matted braid that’s so full of straight-up tallow that it couldn’t be saved if he wanted it to be, though I’m certain that he doesn’t. This is a look that he had set out for and achieved. I’m so thrilled he’s accomplished at least one thing in his pathetic life.
He wears his Blackberry on his belt, which may be the standard in other areas, but not here. Usually they keep their phones in their tight government-issued short pockets. He keeps a Discman (a Discman) on his belt, too. There was a time when I admired both of those accessories because I also love connectivity and who am I to deny anyone of some solid tunage? I think both of those things are great if you can manage to enjoy them while also doing your job. It’s like having a radio in your cubicle and calling into the local top 40 station to win Bon Jovi tickets on your lunch. You can do that and still be a great employee.
However, at least once a week I walk down the stairs to my front door and there’s a little orange piece of paper on top of my mail, the USPS door tag. I work from home and like to be here even when I’m not working, so I should never get a door tag. Unless homebro is delivering my mail while I’m making a 10 PM run to the liquor store for some six-dollar cabernet and ranch flavored Doritos, I should never get a door tag.
The door to my apartment is so thin that my guy friends pull me aside at parties and tell me to make sure I’m locking my door at night because I have weird neighbors who engage in things like gang activity and they don’t think my door is very safe. It’s at the bottom of a flight of stairs, so when anyone even walks near it, you hear an echo throughout the entire two-bedroom apartment. It’s so loud that I’m always startled by it, even if I know someone’s coming over, and my Chihuahua immediately goes into attack mode. He doesn’t knock. I have a dog, I have proof, and it’s final.
When I have a filled out door tag with redelivery instructions, I listen for the mail slot to open before handing it to him and pointing out that I’ve checked the box for him to leave it behind if I don’t answer the door. He responds to this by throwing his hands up and claiming that he tried to knock but I wasn’t around to hear it. I tell him that I don’t care what happened in the past and to please bring my package the next day. Then he says something about how it’s up to the people at the station to make sure that the package gets on his truck, and he’ll get to it if he can.
Things got kind of heated between us once during one of these back-and-forths, and he raised his voice at me. He was saying something about how it wasn’t his job to make sure my package was on the truck and I said something about how I wasn’t sure whose job it would be since he was the one who took the door tags. He raised his voice at me and I told him he needed to cool down and bring me my package and my roommate stood there watching the whole thing like, “Damn, girl. I didn’t even know you had postman drama.”
On Mondays and Saturdays, other people deliver the mail, so that’s when I can expect my parcels to come. I managed to catch the Monday mailman a few weeks back and asked him if he knew what the regular mailman’s deal is. He told me that Snoop’s grandpa had been suspended a few months back for doing poor work and was known for having an attitude problem. I wasn’t at all shocked to learn this, but I still felt a great sense of disappointment, which is an emotion that losers often invoke.
So I called the USPS last week and reported him. I was afraid to do it because I take people’s livelihoods pretty seriously and I don’t want anyone to lose their job, even if they are a loser. I know that cutting out one breadwinner could devastate dozens of people and it’s not my intention to ravage a family because I didn’t get my used copy of The Fantasy Bond in a timely fashion. I told that to the operator that I spoke to on the phone, too. I didn’t want her to think that I was the kind of person who waits in line to sit in the audience of game shows and then calls up customer service hotlines and tries to get people to fired from their jobs. You know, like one of the ladies on Extreme Couponing or something who isn’t doing anything illegal but has basically figured out how to get a bunch of free stuff and kind of ruin people’s lives by being a pain in the ass? Like, a shiesty person? That’s not me.
Don’t worry, the dude’s not fired, although the woman that I spoke to on the phone about him seemed overly familiar with the behavior I was describing. She sounded like an elementary school vice principal who was getting a call about the one second grader who wont stop acting all beastly because his parents are getting divorced or he has to live with his grandma or whatever. It was all sighs and “what did he do now?”-s on her end. That loser hasn’t delivered any packages this week, but he also hasn’t delivered any door tags. I don’t know if he’s taken something from his most recent come to Jesus or if he’s just shoving them in the bushes. Maybe all my door tags are stuffed up in that greazy ponytail of his, I don’t know. All I know for sure is that he’s a loser and I’m never baking anything for him ever again, which sucks because I’m an amazing baker who’s also attempting to be super well-read. I don’t even need his packages. I am the package, thank you.