I am a super loyal customer of the US Postal Service. I've shipped orders while I was an ebay seller, then etsy seller, as a kit club owner, and for personal things all through the USPS. I have had ALOT of crazy dealings with them though but this holiday season, it seems to be the worst.

The High Desert is no stranger to crimes involving the mail and postal service. Growing up in Phelan, I knew all too well that mail was something that regularly got stolen. Since the houses were spread far apart in this rural area, we had roadside mailboxes which were largely unsecure.

Source: Chron.com - these aren;t our mailboxes but they are really similar to the ones we have. Plus, this illustrates how easy they are to damage and steal from.
Source: Chron.com – these aren't our mailboxes but they are really similar to the ones we have. Plus, this illustrates how easy they are to damage and steal from.

 

Then community mailboxes were installed- think of it like a bank of PO boxes on a post. Those were even better targets because the back can be pried off and now you get not just one person's mail but 24 people's mail. Not long after that, probably when I was in middle school, my family went to using PO Boxes inside the post office and never gave out our physical address again for mail.

Fast forward to now, where I live in an actual city with curbs (novel to us country peeps!). We have community mailboxes but things are pretty safe even though Hesperia is still super rural compared to the rest of Southern California. I don't mail anything from the community mailbox – maybe it's a leftover result of  my childhood experiences with those community mailboxes. I mail everything from the Post Office. Usually from INSIDE the Post Office. But the last batch of Christmas cards I made were sent with Xaver and he was super tired, it was late at night, and he dropped them in the drive-up mailbox at the Post Office in Victorville, on Saturday night. 

So imagine my surprise when I get a phone call from a frantic (and kinda looney! I won't lie…) woman who says she found my ripped open and crumpled Christmas card on the side of the road?!

The new scam is for criminals to apply adhesive to the inside of the mailbox, You slip your mail inside and it sticks to the adhesive, rather than dropping all the way down into the box. Then criminals them come back and fish out the stuck mail, ripping it open to see if there is anything of value inside. They toss your mail (cards, letters, personal stuff) it into the street when they're done. Classy.

I don't think the postal service will do much of anything about this issue. Which is kind of sad. How many people mailed gift cards or money gifts this year and the person who was supposed to get them never got them? And because they don't know which envelopes have anything of value inside, they're taking everything they get and ripping it open. The card I sent did not have a gift card so it was a total waste on all accounts to rip it open. I know you are not supposed to mail cash but people do. I have over $100 in gift cards to clients and design team members that went out in that batch of cards. Who knows who won't get a card now, whose feelings will be hurt. It's a bummer.

The icing on the cake was this lovely package delivery from the Post Office this morning:

2014-12 Smashed Box USPS hydrangeahippo
A friend mailed this box – it looks like someone at the USPS played football with it and used it as an ottoman for 6 weeks. But that can't be because she mailed it 2 days ago… the bad service needs to end!

Thanks for doing a Mexican hat dance on my gift from my friend, Mr. Postman. Thanks goodness she packed everything well and nothing was damaged! The Post Office is just winning all over the place this holiday season… I hope your packages arrive safe and on time, friends!!  Fingers crossed they catch these bad guys and do some internal fixing…well, a girl can dream.

 

Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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