My USPS Experience Solidifies My Belief in Small Government

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

From time to time, we see calls for the government to take over a sector of the economy. For sure, the left is always calling for bigger government by default, but the calls for the feds to nationalize health care or something like the energy industry come in waves.


I’m a small-government guy, so I rail against any calls for increasing government intrusion, but a recent interaction with a government entity has further solidified my position.

Late Tuesday morning, I got a call from my sister, who lives next door to me.

“You won’t believe what I just saw,” she began.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“A delivery vehicle just brought a couple of packages to your house, and the driver forgot to close the back. There are six packages all over the driveway,” she explained.

She and I gathered them up and put them on my carport. I realized that they were all Amazon packages, so that’s where I started. The Amazon rep asked for one of the tracking numbers, at which point I realized who “delivered” them: the U.S. Postal Service.

The Amazon rep said she would try to get a message to the USPS from her end but also advised me to call the USPS myself. Thus began the next phase of my adventure.

(Bear in mind that, all this time, I’m supposed to be working, helping our writers deliver the best possible product for you, the PJ Media reader. So I had to reach out to my fellow editors to let them know why I was off the grid, so to speak.)

The first number I dialed was for my local USPS carrier annex, which services several post offices in my area. It rings and rings — 12 times — before a fax machine picks it up. A fax machine. What is this, 1996?


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Google doesn’t have a direct number for any of the post offices near me, at least not as I’m searching on my phone. All of those locations point to the 1-800 number for the USPS. So I call it.

Thank you for calling the United States Postal Service. Para continuar in español, oprima dos.

Yeah, I’m good. Let’s run with English.

To hear our privacy policy, press two.

That’s not going to do a thing to help me. Let’s keep going.

USPS is pleased to announce that all US residential households are now eligible to submit a fourth order for free at-home COVID-19 tests with each order including four rapid tests. To hear this message again, please say, “Repeat.”

Seriously? Who needs that repeated?

Service alerts: For free at-home COVID-19 test information, press one.

That again? Good grief.

If you are experiencing delivery issues, press —

Now we’re getting somewhere! At that point, I had walked back outside, and my screen door slammed. The recording goes silent.

I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. For technical support, press —

Sigh. I press 0, hoping to get a real-life public servant.

I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. For technical support, press —


Again? I try 0 one more time.

I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. For technical support, press —

It’s time for a new strategy. I press *, thinking it might take me back to the main menu. I’ll even listen to the COVID test spiel again if it means I get another chance to get some help.

I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. For technical support, press —

Just then, I hear a car drive up. It’s the delivery person, and she told me she didn’t realize she had left her back gate open. She thanked me for “rescuing” the packages, loaded them up, and went on her way.

Fifteen minutes of my valuable time wasted trying to track down the person who dropped some mail in my driveway. And the left wants the government to take over more aspects of my life? No thanks. Just leave me alone.


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