It is pretty common these days to butt up against rules that defy logic. It happened to me the other day. I had come across an old slide of Warren Jones, local cowboy and character. I had taken the photo in the early 1980’s and for decades, Warren has asked me for a copy. For a long time I couldn’t find the picture, so when I did, I printed it off, and then it sat on my desk for a couple of months.
Finally I made myself put it in an envelope so I could send it to Warren.
Here in our little village, we don’t have mail boxes in front of our house, we all have box numbers and have to drive into McBride to pick up our mail. I didn’t know Warren’s box number, so on the envelope, I just wrote his name and McBride, BC. and took it in to the post office. The workers there all have the box numbers of everyone memorized.
When I got to the counter, the Post Mistress, noticed that there was no box number on the envelope, and said that I had to have it on the envelope. I told her I didn’t know it, and she said I had to have it. When I asked her why, she said that there might be more than one person with that name and the mail might be put in the wrong persons box. Okay, but in our small village everyone knows Warren, and there is only one person with that name. There isn't any place that I know of where you can look up a person's box number. I asked her if she knew his number, and she indicated she did, but she couldn’t tell me--stupid, stupid, stupid.
It is not her fault, it is a post office rule, created in some faraway distant urban area. She had been reprimanded previously for helping people out by just putting the mail in their post office box without a visual box number on the envelope, so I don’t blame her, and in the end she did take the envelope and put it in Warren’s box.
It is frustrating that rules have to be obeyed despite common sense in situations like this when everything would be so much more efficient and easy, just to put the envelope in the post office box of the recipient.
Look at my paintings: davidmarchant.ca
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