Monday, March 18, 2013

While Nothing Stops The Mail, It May Become Lost And Delivery May Be A Lot Slow At Times

While some things get better with age, its best not to be kept waiting for 60 years.

The Detroit News: Letter from boot camp in 1953 returned to sender

An ex-soldier living in southwestern Michigan says the U.S. Postal Service has returned a letter he wrote to his wife from boot camp 60 years ago.

A 60-year delivery time is nothing to sneeze at. He could have walked to deliver the letter and walked back to boot camp hundreds of times at that rate.

Then-Pvt. Bob Rodgers says he'd just arrived for basic training at Fort Campbell, Ky., when the power went out, prompting him to write to his wife Jean.

. . .

On March 7, New Carslisle, Ind., Postmaster Connie Tomaszewski hand-delivered the letter to the 79-year-old Rodgers. She tells the South Bend Tribune she did so the same day it arrived at her office.

Postal authorities say they don't know what happened to the letter in between.

Unfortunately the delivery was much too late for its intended recipient:

Jean Rodgers died of cancer eight years ago.

While the Post Office may even be 90% effective, that remaining 10% is a ton of lost mail.

That the letter survived floating around the mail system for that long is rather impressive.

Unsurprisingly, the Post Office doesn't release statistics regarding the amount of lost mail, and the 60 year arrival time for this letter just played hell with their delivery speed statistics.


Expatriate Owl said...

All of the lost mail goes to the Dead Letter Office where, as Herman Melville recounted, Bartleby the Scrivener, upon being tasked to deliver the letter, said, "I would prefer not to."

Aaron said...

Indeed, and this was quite the example of a dead letter.