By The Big Guy
It’s the holiday season, time to wrap those Christmas presents, put them in a box and send them off to family and friends in distant places. And thanks to the TSA many of us are sending gifts ahead to wherever we may be flying to celebrate because the days of throwing a bunch of wrapped gifts into a shopping bag to carry onto the plane are long gone. Try it. It’ll get you laughed right out of the airport.
So let me give you a tip. If you’re planning on using the United States Postal Service for on-time delivery I strongly suggest you look elsewhere. However, if you’re insistent or if you haven’t got the cash to go to the higher priced services, be wary of something the USPS humorously calls Priority Mail. Apparently the priority is to infer promises they can’t keep and make as much money on the deal in the process.
The inference I spoke of is that when you ship your stuff via Priority Mail at the post office your package will get anywhere in the good old U.S. of A. in two to three days. Of course Alaska and Hawaii may as well not be states because they’re too far away to count. But if you’re talking the forty-eight contiguous, two to three days. Promise. Sort of. And the thing that makes it “sort of” is that there’s no guarantee involved. There are no consequences. Nothing whatsoever. I suppose you could call the 800 number and get a lovely apology from someone on the other end of the line but the fact of the matter is that it’s a two or three day thing if we can and if not, well, just be happy the package showed up at all.
I mailed four identical packages a week and a half ago. They weighed about three pounds each. Two were traveling about ninety miles and the other two were going 850 miles in different directions. Two to three days giving Postalville the benefit of the twenty-four hours that they allege not needing online where it just says two days. The results are in. Four days for one of the 850 mile packages. The two 90 mile trips took five days each, start to finish. And bringing up the rear was the other 850 miler which took a full week to make the trip. There’s nothing like checking the progress of your package at the USPS website where it says delivery by December 4 and it’s December 7. Nice goin’ guys and gals.
In deference to our postal friends who all seem to be sweet people, it’s a high volume time of year for all the package delivery services and there’s plenty of opportunity for things to get a bit sluggish. But you will notice that the “sort of” promise about delivery from the USPS does not change: two (to three) days and your package will be in the hands of your loved one. Don’t bet on it.
One final warning: Use your own box. Go to Staples or the Container Store and spend the money and buy a box if you don’t have one to reuse. Those “free” flat rate shipping boxes the post office is happy to give you wind up costing you about ten bucks, unless you’re giving blocks of concrete for Christmas. Happy Holidays.