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Generic Brad's Journal - Archives
Posted by Generic Brad in The DU Lounge
Wed Jun 14th 2006, 10:01 PM
There are days when we have bizarre encounters. Today was such a day for me. Late in the afternoon I received a call from an excited clerk in the mail room at the place I work. She was upset because one of my employees was trying to send mail to a non-existent address. ďHow do you know the address is invalid?Ē I asked. ďBecause thereís no zip code or state on the envelope,Ē she replied. What ensued is one of the most memorable conversations I have ever had.
ME: What does the envelope say?
CLERK: The first line has a name. The second line has an address. The third line has a five digit number followed by Paris, France. I canít mail that.
ME: Why not?
CLERK: Thereís no zip code.
ME: Right. Why is that a problem?
CLERK: Thereís no zip code. The post office will return it.
ME: No, Iím sure that wonĎt happen. They would send the envelope to France.
CLERK: No, they canĎt deliver it. France is not a state.
ME: I know. Itís a country.
CLERK: Right. We can only send mail to states.
ME: Come again?
CLERK: We can only send mail to states with zip codes. France is not a state and thereís no zip code. I donít know what to do with this letter.
ME: I see.
CLERK: Is it OK if I just write in California as the state?
ME: Why would you want to do that?
CLERK: So theyíll deliver the letter.
ME: Where do you think it would go if you did that?
CLERK: France, California.
ME: Youíre sure about that?
CLERK: Maybe. But then thereís still the problem of no zip code.
ME: But there are numbers on the envelope?
CLERK: But thatís not a zip code. You donít put the zip code first and try to pass France off as a state.
ME: Iím fairly certain the post office will send it to the right place anyway if you just put the postage on and drop it in the mail. Weíve done it before.
CLERK: To France, California?
ME: No. Paris, France. France is in Europe.
CLERK: We canít send no letters to Europe without a state or a zip code.
ME: But they donít have states or zip codes. Theyíre different countries.
CLERK: Youíre trying to tell me different countries donít have states or zip codes!
ME: Iím fairly certain. Iíve traveled to a few countries in my life and donít remember any of them using United States zip codes in their addresses.
CLERK: Now Iíve heard everything. Thatís one of the craziest things Iíve ever heard!
ME: Would your manager happen to be available?
CLERK: I am the manager. But I donít know for how long. You try doing your job when people keep sending you stuff with false addresses. Itís enough to make you want to pull your hair out. You tell me, how is my staff supposed to get itís job done if we keep getting these crazy ass addresses sent down here from upstairs?
ME: You have a point there. I think youíve helped me completely understand the situation now.
CLERK: Good. Because we canít keep having your people sending us letters to France, California without zip codes.
ME: That is a problem.
CLERK: You got that right.
ME: How about if I drop by on my way out and pick up that letter from you. Iíll talk about this with my staff tomorrow and make sure they know to stop sending you letters to addressed to France. Would that help?
CLERK: Yes, it would. That would help. Itís good talking to someone who understands what Iím saying.
ME: You have no idea.
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