Fighting the Post Office

How does one prove he or she doesn’t have something?

Sure, there’s the conspicuous absence of the item in question. You can throw open your door to strangers, let them poke through your underwear drawer or recycling bin for evidence of what you never had. The local authorities can conduct an investigation or hook you up to a lie detector. But how can you truly prove to others that the thing you know is missing was never actually in your possession?

I pose this question for a very mundane reason: I’m not receiving my mail.

I wish some of that was for me.


My boyfriend and I have had issues with our mail delivery for a while now. I’ve joked on Twitter that it took so long for me to get copies of the New Yorker or Boston magazine that I was pretty sure my mail carrier was reading them before placing them in our mailbox. It’s frustrating but ultimately not that big of a deal.

It seemed like we hadn’t gotten very many Christmas cards, but I didn’t think much of it until, at the very end of December, a massive pile of mail showed up one day. Cards postmarked weeks prior had just arrived. Again, I shared my consternation on social media. Things got back to normal.

Two weeks ago, I went on vacation. Before leaving, I placed an order with for a universal charger for all my electronic devices. My Prime membership dictated that it should have arrived the day before I left. It didn’t. On the afternoon I was heading to Logan, I checked again. Nothing. showed the item as delivered, but it had never arrived. Frustrated, I packed all my chargers and went on my way.

When I returned, my boyfriend broke the news that during the entire week I was away, we’d received exactly one piece of mail: A cellphone bill for me. In that time, we should have gotten:

  • My Birchbox (the tracking saying it was delivered–it wasn’t)
  • The universal charger (ditto)
  • The Elisabeth Moss issue of New York magazine
  • The latest issue of Boston magazine
  • Results for the bloodwork I had the day I left for vacation
  • Several bills

Furious, I went to my local post office to complain. Shockingly, I got to speak for the manager right away and explain the situation. After searching the back recesses of the facility, she said there was no mail on hold or returned for me or my boyfriend. She took our names and pledged to talk to the carrier.

We let it ride a few days. Still none of the mail we were waiting for. We got some addressed to our condo board, but no blood work and no makeup samples.

On Saturday, we left a note in our mailbox for our mail carrier. We opened the box. The note had been pulled off the door, but not opened or responded to. Still no mail.

Livid, I called the delivery manager today. Who, shockingly, called back as promised with the news that they’d found an issue of Boston magazine in the day’s mail but nothing else. The “letter mail” had not yet come in, but we should get the magazine as long as it’s addressed to us and our names are on the box (yes, and yes).

Guess what? Still no magazine. Still no letters. The letter to our mail carrier continues to sit unread in the box. Our neighbors are tossing Trader Joe’s fliers into the communal recycling by the bank of mailboxes and we haven’t gotten as much as a Stop and Shop circular in three weeks.

I don’t know how I can prove I’m not getting mail that I should when even the tracking service says I’ve gotten it. Am I slowly going crazy?

The one reason I know I’m not totally losing it is because I’ve heard from others in my town that they’re not getting all their mail either. Is this a problem at the distribution center? Is this guy my mailman? Is there some mail carrier selling black market Birchbox samples and clean blood labs pilfered from those of us on her route? Is the carrier putting the mail into our neighbor’s box and he or she is just stealing it?


Hope my local post office staff get used to hearing from me. I’m going to be calling them every day until I start getting all of my mail. I’ll go straight to the postmaster general, USPS. Get ready to get a lot of phone calls from your girl Derjue.


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