Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rite of Package

I live in a set of condos that has 20-odd buildings surrounding a "club house" containing the pool, exercise room, and management offices.  Most frequented by me is the mail room, where I have my own lock box, indistinguishable from the scores of others save for a small number.  These boxes are small and only nicely shaped boxes -- say, the size of a DVD case -- can fit comfortably inside.  Even then, there'd better not be any other mail.

Larger packages that get delivered by the US postal service get shuffled away to a little room by the office.  For the years I've lived here, fetching a package was as easy as stopping by the office during business hours.  Upon my return after the holidays, there was a sign on the mail room door: "Beginning January 4, packages can only be picked up between 4 and 6pm weekdays."  Kind of inconvenient for me, seeing as how I now had to think carefully about when to pick up my package rather than just toddling over whenever the spirit moved me.  Ah well.

At the start of this week, a new sign appeared.  "Beginning March 4, packages will no longer be accepted by the office."  Gee, that stinks.  I assume that means I'll now get a colorful piece of paper left in my mailbox, letting me know I have a package that can be picked up a specific local mail branch at such and such a time.  UPS and FEDEX drivers tend to stop by my individual unit door, so those packages won't be effected -- unless I happen to not be home.

Is it really so tedious to handle packages for residents?  I guess it must be.  I figured having a set time to pick up packages was a good solution, consolidating all the requests to a specific period instead of having people trickle in throughout the day.  It's even the maintenance man who does it, not the apparently-overworked front office lady.  But no.  This must be what it's like for people who grind their teeth and say "Things used to be nice here.  Gas used to be a nickel!"

This is relevant to me because a package I ordered got delivered today to the office.  I missed the pickup deadline because of lessons.  Tomorrow, I could be at the office at 8am, but they're no longer giving out packages at that time.  And I'll most likely miss the package hours again tomorrow.  Good thing I don't have anything going on during the hours on Friday.  I'll have to make sure I don't take a nap at the wrong time.  If I do, it'll be Monday before I can nab it.  

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