Once approximately every six months we must change our mail, television, phone service, and a few other things as we migrate back and forth between the snow and cold of the Salt Lake Valley and the relative warmth of St. George UT. Once again we are going through the miseries and frustrations of trying to get our mail correctly forwarded and delivered. We needed to postpone our relocation to St. George since one of our granddaughters decided that she wanted to get married the day after Thanksgiving. We were happy to oblige by postponing our departure so we could be at her wedding.
So. . . we made a trip to the local postoffice. I explained to the clerk that what we wanted to do was to postpone mail forwarding from SL to St. George for a month, and to continue forwarding mail from St. George to SL for another month. Complicated? The clerk couldn't fathom what I was talking about. A manager was called in who understood quickly what I wanted and said he would forward the request to St. George to continue forwarding our mail from St. George to SL for another month.
Lo and behold, miracle of miracles, our neighbor in St. G. called us to tell us she was at the mailboxes in St. George when the mail delivery person was dumping a load of mail in our box that should have been forwarded to SL. So, another phone call to the St. George PO to straighten it out. Now, we must confront the probable issues when we actually make our change. I can truthfully say that in 15 years, the post office has never gotten our mail forwarding changes right. One summer, we didn't get our mail for 3 months. Turned out the regional PO had filed the wrong forwarding card in front of the correct card and was, therefore, sitting on our mail for 3 months.
Of course, the problem of never following through and of making errors in doing things is not unique to the post office. We typically also have problems with the TV, phone service, and internet service and have to make a half dozen calls or so to straighten them out. This experience is delightful since one must deal with automated horror machines that leave you dangling forever while continuing to tell us that our call is important to them and that if we will just patiently wait for another hour we might be privileged to speak to someone. Changing the Salt Lake Papers to St. George involves speaking to an outsourced call service in Honduras. Totally disgusting. We could save all of these problems if we would just cancel TV, phone, internet, magazines, newspapers, and other such stuff and go back to living the standard of living I grew up with in northwest Wyoming.
Meanwhile, would it be possible to try and train people to doublecheck what they do and make sure they get it right? At least for those slow on the draw who don't have brains or professionalism enough to check stuff without mommie standing over them and reminding them? Is that asking too much? My new secretary when I became department chair at BYU asked if I had any instructions for her. I said no, other than making sure that you doublecheck and proofread everything. She was competent enough to already be doing all of that, one in ten million. And, to my knowledge, she never made a mistake. And our department nominated her for the All-University service award for outstanding secretary which she breezed through and won, much to the consternation of many secretaries old enough to be her mother.