For a part-time job I collate and deliver flyers in the rural route around my house. The compensation is actually much higher than most would assume and the entire cheque goes into my retirement savings plan. Pretty smart eh?
As we all can appreciate, each new opportunity we embark on comes with both, good and bad, challenges. Since I operate approximately 250 mailboxes weekly I feel I am a good judge of character for what’s good and bad about the mailboxes and their owners.
So with that said, let’s talk about mailboxes and their owners. You’re going to be amazed at the variety readily available for any delivery person in a rural route.
Some people are creative. I have a snoopy mail box on my route, a Great Dane canine shaped mail box equipped with even a tail and big ears, one that has ‘HI’ in pink lettering, a mailbox with Jesus on the cross, one with hearts all over it and of course business related mailboxes that carry their company name and/or logo. These mailboxes are my favourite. They are clean and I feel safe opening and closing them as they are all in wonderful working order.
No. Not Creative.
There is one mailbox that has corn stalks. A messy dirty dried bunch of dead cobweb infested corn stalks, tied to the mailbox with some weird faceless pumpkin dudes tied to the stalks. This isn’t fall themed coloured corn stalks, this is stale, brown crusty corn stalks from your local farmers field. This is not creative by my standards, this is just creepy and annoying. I have to fight with the leaves to open the door and I drop the F bomb at least once during the stalk box visit. It’s dead corn stalks for crying out loud. Tie them to your front door and leave the mailbox out of it. I will tell you what your husband, neighbours and friends are afraid to tell you!! NO ONE is impressed with your dead dirty corn stalks. Just let us do our job without having to tackle the jungle to do it. While you’re at it, do us all a favour and give the dead stalks back to the farmer whose field you stole them from. We all know you walked across the road and cut yourself a few stalks. Stalker.
Now that the creators are out of the way, we have the majority to talk about. Mailboxes are gross. They almost always have spiders, cobwebs, earwigs and duck tape, are falling apart in one way or another, missing pieces and man, I just don’t understand people. You know what I have? I have a friggin mailbox! No duct tape holding it together, no threats inside written on paper, no missing door, it’s not bent and wobbly. It’s a mailbox with a fully operational door.
I don’t want to have to go to the emergency room and get a tetanus shot when I cut my hand again trying to reach in your rotting, falling apart rusty mailbox, that also has its door hanging off by one sliver of a rusty hinge. CHANGE IT! If you ask me real nice I’ll drive it over and you can call the city and say someone knocked your mailbox over. Lucky for you, they’ll send someone out to repair it. But once they see your rust bucket, they’ll spend the money you aren’t and get a real one. Geesh! Why is it so hard?
If your mailbox has spider webs, spiders , earwigs or any bug on it when I arrive, I can guarantee you without a doubt, I will bet my house and children, that I used YOUR flyer to beat and kill the pests and swiped all the webs away before I put your flyer set inside your box. It’s not dirt smears on your flyers, it’s your friendly neighbourhood spider. If it’s sticky, it’s just the webs. If you have a mailbox and see the flyer in your driveway and wonder why. Check your mailbox. It could of been so gross that I wasn’t willing to battle the arachnid farm living in and on your mailbox. Fix it or next week you’ll get the flyer in your driveway again.
Side note: House #4935, the next time I open your mailbox and hundreds of earwigs fall out I’m burning it down. To the ground.
I do not want to battle duct tape. I checked my contract with work and not anywhere does it say I will need to battle hanging sticky bunches of duct tape while trying to get the flyers in the mailbox. If your mailbox needs duct tape, I’m going to go out on a limb here, but it just might need replacing.
For those of you that think it’s hilarious to weld and make your own two thousand pound mailbox I’m not laughing. First. Rule 101. Mailbox doors open down not up. So it’s bad enough you feel the need to build a missile and terrorist proof mailbox, but to have a door that weighs a hundred pounds open the wrong way is not cooperating with flyer delivery physics. Because of your terrorist proof mailbox, I felt the need to accept your challenge and started lifting weights. Carry on neurotic.
There is a mailbox, rusty, bent and clearly in need of retirement on my route, like so many. This one I’m not so sure I need permission to drive it over. It just might accidentally happen one fine day. The door is not hinged on, like you would assume. I open the door and let it go thinking it’s hanging on by hinges. You know, like it should be. It falls off. I constantly forget because it goes against mailbox door policy. Hinges! I have to pull forward and get out, get the door and put it back on. Eventually I got fed up and just threw the door in the mailbox. The door remained inside the mailbox for over a month. Recently the door was back on. I said to myself “Oh good, someone fixed it”. I pulled it down letting the door go again and what does it do? Falls into the tall grass surrounding the mailbox AGAIN! I’ve had enough. So you understand trickster, I drove over your door, reversed and drove over it again, forward shift. One more time driving over it for good measure. I have your door in my car. You will never see it again. I hope your mail gets snowed on!
Is this massive structure really necessary for some envelops and a few pieces of paper? What exactly are you expecting to get delivered? Mail order a new car recently? Seriously, knock it down a size, you look pretty silly. You know what women say about guys who drive trucks with stupidly large tires. Well your friendly neighbourhood group of fine ladies would like to know if your mailbox is compensating for anything.
Let’s talk about some of the people now.
Love letters. Some people are just bat shit crazy. Obviously this poor guy is at his wits end and left a love letter for his federally criminal thieves. Why would you take someone else’s flyers? Oh right, cause you’re bat shit crazy that’s why. Leave his flyers alone.
I have a few regulars who wait or come flying out of the house when they see the delivery lady. Interesting for sure. One gentleman is a bit much. I’ve actually informed the office that they may have to intervene if he can’t get his wackiness under control. Fortunately they know who I’m talking about from previous experience. Everything with this guy is a conspiracy. Oh wait, this is the best. He says one of the local grocery chains in the next town over is prejudice because they won’t put Merry Christmas on their flyers so he won’t shop there. Of course he told me this in July. Makes total sense; When you’re a nut job. He also wants to know why they aren’t saying God bless in schools anymore. But wait, this is what he actually says “Fuck. I want to fucking know, like fuck, why they aren’t fucking you know, saying God fucking bless in schools any fucking more? Fuck.” This is a 50+ year old man who clearly role models ZZTop. After ten to fifteen minutes weekly, of listening to his rants for 4 months, I finally told him I was an atheist and a spy so I had better get back to work before my boss, a bigger spy kicked my ass. I haven’t seen him since. Magical.
One elderly lady every week tells me she doesn’t want the flyer anymore, opens it and says oh yes this one I do, it’s the other one you deliver I don’t want. After several attempts to explain, I only deliver one set week after week, I now respond with “yes ma’am, you have a wonderful day” and I carry on.
Ok, these type of people make me want to get out of my car and kick them right in the. Shins. Yes shins. They look at me as I approach their mailbox like I’m committing a criminal act or like the act of delivering to their mailbox is some foreign action that they can’t seem to comprehend exactly what is happening right before their very eyes. Listen. Let’s cut through the red tape. You have a mailbox for a reason. You open your mailbox and collect papers and envelops. I know you collect from the mailbox, because it’s empty. Surely you must understand that by having a mailbox this means It will likely get used. STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE I’M A CRIMINAL. It’s going IN your mailbox, not OUT of your house.
To wrap up the variety show, let’s talk about our local serial killer. There is a house hidden way back in the trees. The only reason I know there is a house in there, is because of the mailbox and driveway. If there was a universal sign for ‘A Serial Killer Lives Here’ this would definitely be it. Yup. Here we have it. A stuffed large dog tied to a tree with a real dog leash. No seriously. Look at the picture. This is the real thing. Once in a while I guess the wind knocks the dog over and the next week it will be propped back up.
I’m just waiting for the day the forensics team shows up and a graveyard is uncovered. I’ll be there with my hand on my hip saying what took ya so long?
I throw a flyer bag in their driveway while driving because I don’t want to stop for their
mailbox. A lot can happen in 60 seconds. What I do know for certain is if these guys were my neighbours you’d see a ‘for sale sign’ the exact same day this dog went on the front lawn. Four months later, still no forensic team. Go figure.
I must say I do have a little bit more empathy readily available for Canada Post workers. A little bit. For the most part I laugh most of it off but I can see how some of it could easily get on your nerves if it was five days a week for twenty-five years. When I get to telling my stories to family and friends we get a good chuckle from it. But what if one day I stop laughing at it all. Will I go flyer postal?
Next time you go to your mailbox, ask yourself if it’s a user friendly mailbox. If it has duct tape holding it together, or parts missing, know that all us delivery folks are talking about YOU being crazy and cheap!
Now I’ll leave y’all to debate if mailboxes should be one word or two.