the lost art of finding my lost art

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recently, i ordered a painting online from an artist i’ve admired for a while and i really looked forward to finally having a piece of her beautiful work up on my wall. within hours of my order, amelie personally responded with a thank you, told me she lived in poland,  said she’d post it the next day, and that i should plan to receive it within a week’s time. i happily awaited its arrival. this was where things began to take a turn. 

true to her word, within a week, i arrived home and found a ‘you were out when we tried to deliver your package so you missed this chance and now we need to come up with another plan’ note from the post office, stuck to my door. the choices offered on the note were that i could check a box to have my package redelivered and left in my door, or i could pick it up at the post office. i went with the pickup at the post office option. 

the next day, i waited in the long line, made my way to the front, and presented the woman at the counter with my note. after looking in the back, she came out empty-handed and announced, ‘funny, we can’t seem to find it. maybe it never made it through customs.’  i replied that i thought it was odd because it obviously had made it here as it was ‘almost delivered’ the day before.  her response, ‘well, maybe it will get delivered to your house tomorrow or it will turn up back here. if you don’t get it tomorrow, call us or stop back in.’ 

the next day: still no package. i went back in, stood in line, got to the front, gave them my note again, all with the same results –  no package to be found. they called the manager of the branch to the front who she said she would look into it and do her own investigation, as she could not figure out where it could be, told me to give it a few more days. 

in the meantime, amelie emailed me from poland to see if it had arrived safely, and i told her it had been here, but was now lost. she wondered if said if perhaps her english wasn’t good enough because she didn’t understand. i assured her that i had a pretty good command of the english language and that i did not understand either. 

in a few more days: still no package. i went back in and this time, the post office said, ‘hmmm, this has happened to a few other packages here, i think the night guy just likes to clear them out of here and sends them on. i’ll check into that. do you have any insurance on your package? i’ll let you know tomorrow what i find out.’

the next day: ‘oh it’s you again. let me get the postmistress to help you.’ she comes out and this is our conversation:

pm: for some reason it looks like they’ve forwarded your package on. do you have some other address or a forwarding address of some sort?’  

me: ‘no i do not. i have lived in my house for 10 years and have no reason to forward my mail anywhere.’

pm: ‘well, for some reason it’s been forwarded, though we can’t tell where, probably downtown, and because it will get there with no forwarding address, it will be forwarded back here. we’ll call you when it gets here, it should only take a week or so for it to get forwarded back here.’

me: ‘so, are you saying it was forwarded somewhere but you don’t know where or why and because i don’t have a forwarding address it will be forwarded back here and somehow find it’s way back here to you?’

pm: ‘yes.’ 

the next week: i went in, brought my tattered note, and waited in line one more time. upon my arrival at the counter, the postmistress appeared at the counter, retrieved my package from the back, covered in postmarks and stickers, with no further explanation. i went home with my painting, emailed amelie to tell her it was in my hands at last, and assured her that her english was just fine. 

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how the postal workers at the counter appear. everything is under control.

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what is really going on in the back. their system is up and running.

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when it all gets to be too much. where some of the lost mail goes missing.

 

 

 

28 responses »

  1. This reminds me of trying to post a package from a small village in Poland; i don’t think anyone is fully adult until they’ve tried to do this. How frustrating for you! Glad you finally got it, tho…. any pics of the pic?

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  2. i believe the Polish Postal System has a promotion going, where you can send your package the usual way or opt for the “All Inclusive” tour of 4 or 5 different US Post Offices. Of course, because it was a package that took the tour and not you or Amelie, we’ll never know exactly what happened.

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    • so true and ironic that it got all the way here from poland with no issue in less than a week, and it took almost 3 weeks on the ground here to get from downtown to my hands.

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  3. So glad you were FINALLY able to receive your artwork! I am always appalled but find times where the post office here is not so great, either! I loved your funny sense of humor and how you recounted this story! The pictures really were hysterical!

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  4. What an absolute kafuffal as we would say – or is that just me? Our postal service is JUST as bad believe me! We get notifications that they tried to deliver, then we have to trail back and forth and not to the nearest most convenient Post Office, but one quite some way down the road! Frustrating. Glad you finally got it – now you have to put a picture of it up 🙂 x

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  5. Seriously??? Thank goodness it wasn’t a life-saving drug that you needed within a week. I just saw a thing on the news last week where a woman with the post office or Fed Ex was throwing all of her packages on the back of the truck instead of placing them gently. The caught it on film so she got fired but I’m sure there are a ton more out there doing the same thing. I was hoping you were going to show the piece of art you received after all that! What was it of??

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  6. Dealing with the post office can always be such a confusing experience! My boyfriend no longer allows me to go alone because I always end up arguing with them… you took a much kinder approach 🙂 Glad your painting finally made it to you!

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  7. The people at the post office are not the smartest bunch in the group. I work in an office with over 20 people and yet we still get those annoying notes saying no one was there when they went to deliver the package. I mean are they that lazy that they can’t pick up the phone in the lobby and say I have a package! You need the patience of a saint when dealing with them. 🙂

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  8. I live in a very small town, with an equally not-busy post office. They know most everyone. If there is any delivery problem, they take it personally. After living here for over 30 years, I don’t think I could ever move to a larger town. Glad your story has a happy ending.

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