Monday, November 7, 2016

In Praise of the USPS

Like most modern quilters active in the blogging world I ship and receive fabrics, blocks, etc a lot. Ever since Covered in Love started my dealings with FedEx, UPS, and especially with the USPS increased exponentially. So I want to take a moment to say "thank you" to everyone who works in the postal service.

Most months I receive between twenty and thirty envelopes and small packages of blocks from around the nation, not to mention boxes of quilts returning from the quilter and my own orders of fabric, thread, and the occasional roll of batting.  They arrive at their correct destination, undamaged, almost always in a timely fashion, delivered to my doorstep by my friendly postal delivery lady. She always has a smile and never complains about so frequently having to drive up our long drive way since often there are too many parcels to fit in the box.  She pays the difference on the occasional package with insufficient postage and refuses to let me pay her back.  She knows the trick to shutting our garden gate properly and always takes the time to make sure it's done so the dogs stay on the right side of the fence.

I ship multiple packages a month: blocks for my do. Good Stitches circle, tops to the quilter, baby gifts and other quilt-y stuff.  The postal clerk at the tiny post office is ship from is kind and friendly, calls me by name, and always makes sure things are labeled clearly and packaged securely.  On the one occasion a box I shipped went on the lam the people on the phone were competent and fixed it right away.

Yesterday it occurred to me that I reordered CiL labels from Spoonflower a few weeks ago and they really should have been here by now.  Going back in my email I found the tracking number indicating that they had been shipped, made it a couple of cities over and then apparently got stuck.  I filled out the inquiry form on the USPS website, but lo and behold the missing labels showed up this morning.  I'm not sure what all happened. The packing was pretty beat and the original label was completely illegible, like it got soaked in water and then scraped up.  Somehow it arrived at the North Texas processing facility, unaddressed and open, where someone named Blanca took the time to look at the invoice, repackage it, and send it on its way.  Happily, the fabrics are unscathed.  Oh, and that online inquiry I completed? A the local postmaster called me a day later to help resolve it. Fortunately I could tell him the mail was already found :)

I know that with the volume of packages the USPS handles these things happen sometimes. I'm just glad it never happened until now and that someone made it right.  As Blanca noted, it's always good when shipping something to pack your items inside a bag or saran wrap and include inside that an additional address label in case they become separated from their outer packaging.

Thank you to each person who works for the USPS (and other shipping companies), who handle our packages with efficiency and care, who place mail where it won't get rained on and latch our garden gates, who make sure that 99% of the mail gets where it's going smoothly and who try to rescue the 1% that doesn't.  We appreciate you!


  1. I so appreciate and agree with your post. In a time when people are quick to complain about everything in our country, it's so nice to remember that we have the best, most efficient postal service on earth. And the private delivery companies are excellent as well. I had an Etsy business for six years and shipped thousands of orders of lace and fabric all over the world. In all that time, only two deliveries were not made (and I'm pretty sure that one of those WAS delivered, but that's a long story). Anyway, I applaud you, your Covered in Love project (which I may join sometime, but I sew quilts for pet shelters), and the delivery services. Please keep your positive "glass half full" perspective!

  2. Here, here. Three cheer for caring postal workers!!

  3. I'm glad your Spoonflower labels were found! I agree that the vast majority of USPS packages travel quickly and safely to their destination. In over 12 years of nomadic life, we've had our mail forwarded around the country many many times. We've only had a handful of problems, and never a package completely lost.

    I try to be pleasant and cheerful while interacting with postal employees, because I know the public can be hard to deal with.

  4. I agree. Our postal workers have always been great and the employees at the PO that I use are always so nice and competent. It's frustrating to see how mean, irritable, and in some cases just plain stupid people can be to postal employees and also people who work retail, wait staff etc. I actually saw someone roll a tire into the PO one time. A tire. And he wanted to ship it to another country. No packaging or anything. I didn't stay to see what they told him.

  5. Most people in our service industry are very competent and caring people. Its the bad apples that get all the press. (boo-hiss). Glad you got a good one there, and this is a good reminder for all of us to put who-and-from labels in our packages.