Christian Schneider

Author, Columnist

A Postal Conundrum

Our mailman, Darryl, is awesome.  Sometimes, when he drops off our mail, he’ll stop and chat for a little – about Netflix movies, world events, whatever.  (And if that means your mail is delayed by 40 seconds, my apologies.)  When word got out in our neighborhood that Darryl might be reassigned to a different route, a dozen or so neighbors wrote to the post office to make sure we got to keep him.

(How these people find these things out is beyond me.  Maybe there’s a short wave postal service personnel scanner that they can sit at home and listen to.)

My wife found out, however, that Darryl has to have surgery in a couple weeks.  He’s going to be laid up for a month or so.  One of our neighbors apparently has his address, and offered it up to people that want to send him cards and such.

But here’s my question – what if we send him a card before he actually has his surgery?  He’ll show up to our house and pick up a letter that has his address on it.  Freaky.  Can he then just take it home, or does he have to take it to the post office, run it through the system, and sit at home and wait for it to get to him?  Doesn’t it seem like it would be breaking the law for him to just shove it in his pocket?

I guess the other option would be to send him an e-mail.  But you’d think postal workers loathe e-mail – it’s like the auto workers of the ’80s suddenly being replaced by machines.  Now, I can do all my stalking of old girlfriends for free on the internet, rather than having to pay to mail them pictures of myself riding a horse while wearing leopard print spandex.  And that COSTS PEOPLE JOBS.


  1. Darryl is pretty great. He has those great big pullover snow boots. He was literally the first person in Madison that I met that I wasn’t related to by marriage. You might ask him if he wants to move routes before petitioning the PO to keep him on ours. With seniority he might be trading for a shorter, easier route well away from the goofballs in our hood.

  2. Mr. Pelican Pants

    January 10, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Another option is to leave the card for him with just his name on it, outside of the letter box. I think once you place an item in the box, it has to go through the normal postal channels. But if you wedge it into the space between the flag and box with just his name on it, he could shove it in his pocket. We used to do that when we wanted to give the mailman a Christmas card.

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