Day 90 – August 3rd – Lost Mail Black Hole

Lost Mail Black Hole

I accidentally put the button necklace I made a few days ago in a mailbox with a bunch of other things to be mailed out. It was in an envelope with no address, as I wasn’t planning on mailing it just yet. I called the post office, and got transferred to four different people, all who said just about the same thing. I started to think that there is a script that postal workers are told to read from when people do such things. It goes something like this:

1. When a customer calls to report that they have accidentally dropped something in a mailbox, act like they are the very first person to ever have done such a stupid thing.

2. Say “OooH NooO… Welp, its gone. I don’t know where it could be!”

3. If the customer says, well it has got to be somewhere, Say – “I don’t know. I don’t have any idea where it could have gone.”

4. Ask customer if it had a return address on it. When customer explains (again) that, No, there are no addresses on it because it wasn’t intended to be dropped in the mailbox, confirm that there was absolutley no way that there could have been a return address on it by saying “So… there was no return address at all? Anywhere on it? You’re sure?”

5. Transfer customer to the 1-800 number.  ***If you are an employee at the 1-800 number office, follow steps 1-4 then transfer customer to her local post office.  ***If you are an employee at the local post office, and customer has already talked to the 1-800 people, follow steps 1-4 then transfer her to your supervisor.  ***If you are a supervisor at the local post office, and customer has already talked to an employee of yours, and the 1-800 people, and another employee of yours, follow steps 1-4 then transfer her back to the 1-800 people.

Repeat above steps until customer decides it is not worth pursuing the matter further. Go to break room. Eat cake.


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One Comment

  1. Posted August 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    While I do love our tiny local PO and have gotten used to their individual quirks (Ralph says my “F” looks like a “T” and Lois has been cool since I asked her for a “fragile” lable), I think you’ve nailed the system as a whole. Also, with just a change of nouns, this would cover the DMV and likely any other government office you can think of.

    Enjoyed this immensely and loved the image.

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  • About the Project

    I have been influenced by the "100 day challenge", or the "100 days of summer" that creative people continually participate in. In such a project, an artist, photographer, videographer, writer, etc. will create one thing everyday for 100 days in a row. This summer, I have decided to launch my own creative challenge that draws from this premise. I have sent out requests for addresses of all the people who are important to my life in one way or another. Instead of choosing an arbitrary number, such as 100, I have decided to make something creative everyday for as many days as there are addresses of people who have influenced my life, and in turn, influenced my art. Each day I will make something new and different and, at random, pull one of these names from a box. The item for the day will be mailed to that person. If they choose to participate in this collaborative project, I ask that they change, alter, add to, or respond to the item I have sent in any way they like. Each day I will photograph and post the item to be mailed out. When I receive them back, I will update that day’s post with a photo of the finished collaborative piece. The thumbnail for posts that have been updated will show a red triangle in the top right corner.

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