Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dear USPS and/or La Poste,

Though I must admit that at the moment I am not sure which one of you is at fault, I am inclined to believe that the blame for my current postal dilemma lies squarely at the feet of La Poste, based entirely on previous mail catastrophes sustained at it's hands.  You see, the objective was quite a simple one to attain, or so I foolishly believed.  My only goal was to succeed in getting my recently printed acte de mariage to make the trip from France to Ohio sometime between January 15 and the date of my departure for my rendez-vous at the French Consulate in Chicago on March 14.  I truly did not believe that this was too much to ask.  After all you had two months to accomplish this rather basic postal task.  And once the Mairie du KB succeeded in processing my request for a copy of my acte de mariage in a surprisingly efficient and timely manner, I thought for sure I would be happily in possession of this one crucial document well before the scheduled date of my visa appointment on the morning of March 15.

You see, I could not have given you more than two months to accomplish this task; the consulate requires that this document be printed no more than two months prior to the date of my appointment.  However, as I have consistently and repeatedly seen mail be successfully and safely delivered between these two countries in a matter of only 5-7 days, I really was not worried.  And that was certainly my first mistake.  I clearly have a tumultuous history of repeated disasters at the hands of various national and international mail delivery services, and I should have known that I could not rely on you to promptly, or even not so promptly, deliver my mail safely into my mailbox.  I suppose I should have paid more attention to the signs; this has been another miserable year for me in regards to postal services.  I should have known ahead of time and planned to fly to Paris to go to the mairie in person and have the required document placed safely into my waiting hands.  At least then I could have ensured its safe arrival on American shores.  But, you see, I foolishly believed that this would be the one time that the postal service would not fail me.  Plus, I rationalized, I had two months to make sure the mission was accomplished and I certainly didn't have the extra financial resources to personally go and pick up the document in France myself.

Unfortunately, it appears my logic was flawed and I clearly should have known better.  I mean, you obviously have never done anything previously to gain my trust, so why should I have had faith in you this time?  Why would I have thought that just this one time you would manage to provide one of your most basic services and ensure the safe delivery of a simple envelope?  Yes, clearly I should have known better but I made a mistake and showed a serious lapse in judgement when I tried not once, but twice, to send this important document to the US via your uncertain and questionable delivery services.  And so now I find myself sitting here, less than a week until my appointment, questioning my decision making abilities while simultaneously stressing out about whether or not I will receive this one paper before my departure for Chicago on Thursday evening.

As a result of your combined ineptitude, my in-laws had to travel all the way to Paris today to go to my old mairie and pick up another copy of my acte de mariage, which they then took straight to the post office to send Chronopost to Ohio in hopes that it will arrive by Thursday afternoon.  Unfortunately, the Chronopost can only be guaranteed to arrive in the Cincinnati area in 2-5 days, adding to my increasing stress levels and my concern over seriously diminishing postal capacities.  However, as it turns out, Chronopost could have guaranteed delivery of my package to the Chicago area in only 2 short days.  I wish I would have known this; I could have had my in-laws send it directly to the hotel.  Unfortunately I was at work and unreachable, completely oblivious to the mail disaster occurring around me.  Though I quite frankly find it shocking that I should expect to wait an extra 1-3 days for delivery to Cincinnati which is only a 5 hour drive from Chicago.  But thank you, thank you for reminding me of your complete and total inability to perform even the most basic of your services.  I had almost managed to forget as I have been living a complete shipment hell at work with FedEx.

To USPS, I have defended you repeatedly as Americans constantly argue that you should be shut down and I have blamed Congress for the majority of your financial woes.  Now I know that is not so and you are entirely to blame for your current situation and loss of Saturday mail delivery.  If you could be trusted people would certainly utilize your services more often and your financial situation would be less dire.

To La Poste, hello my old enemy.  Once again you are trying to defeat me.  I must commend you for your unwavering commitment to your desire to bring me down, to prevent me from getting my letters and my packages, to your refusal to open my bank account in what could even remotely be considered a timely manner and to your obvious delight in making my professional life, even in the US, hell.  I am starting to seriously wonder if there is not a La Poste blacklist somewhere with my name at the top of it.  It really is quite shocking the number of problems I have had thanks to my rather short, but tempestuous, acquaintance with your institution.

Despite the significant odds against me, I continue to hold out hope that one of my actes de mariage will successfully arrive before I leave.  However, should all my hopes eventually be dashed, I will just have to attempt to get by with a scanned copy at the Consulate, which I am sure they will not deem acceptable.  Of course, I am quite convinced that upon my return from Chicago, and my certainly unsuccessful trip to the Consulate, I will open the mailbox on Monday to find not one, but three envelopes containing all seven of my recently printed actes de mariage.  This will, of course, allow you to insist that you did indeed properly perform your task, but I will naturally be even more convinced of a postal conspiracy against me.

Now please, I am begging you, in an attempt to appeal to your kind and generous side, deliver at least one of these envelopes to my mailbox by Thursday afternoon.  I have a non refundable hotel in Chicago and neither the time nor the extra money to make an additional trip to this city for a second visa appointment.  And if this isn't enough, please remember that I am celebrating my 30th second 29th birthday while there and my acte de mariage would be the best gift I could possibly receive.

I thank you for your time and consideration and for your willingness to grant this one simple request.  In return, I promise not only to never speak negatively about you again, but also to never take all of my business to the one shipping service that has not yet failed me, UPS.

Yours truly,


  1. Sorry about all the hassle with La Poste.

    I hope you get the documents in time. I'm crossing my fingers for you!

  2. That was a very eloquent and well-written letter!

    My fingers are crossed you get what you need for your appointment day. I've been in that situation before, too, and it sucks.

    Let us know what happens!!

  3. Oh no, so sorry! Been there, done that. I hope your papers arrive in time!!

  4. Den nation - I did get the papers in time, thankfully! Though they sure gave it to the last minute!

    Crystal - Thanks! Luckily that one precious document showed up on Wednesday, just in time for our departure Thursday!

    Alisa - I know, I think we've all been there. Luckily for once it worked out!