Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Props to the USPS

Who knew I'd be writing in praise of the United States Postal Service? The post office. I get on their case so often I'd forgotten how much they get right. And I needed to remember that we all have faults. That "we" include entities. Like the post office.

I've folded my hands and held them on my lap three times since writing the sentences above. The keys felt hot every time I reached out to write about the bad things they do and have done in the past. But I won't write about those, even if I have to sit on my hands. This is about looking at the good. And lessons learned in the everyday-isms of life.

I ordered a pane of International Stamps, and a pane of Black Heritage Stamps. I have a thing for stamps. I buy special postage and I save at least one stamp for my journal as a keepsake. I think I've bought several panes or rolls of every single Black Heritage Stamp that's been made. They were primarily for mailing the Armstrong Family Reunion Newsletter I rolled out each year. Some in my large family caught the wave and started using BHSs, too. One of my mom's cousins said, "I might not write a lot of letters, but I sure use them to mail my bills." Now that's something.

So, give the USPS one gold star. They make Heritage stamps. That encourages people to use them. It also makes us feel included in the nation's history. If a stamp can't encourage you to research and read about your ancestor's and your nation's history, then genealogy will. But that's another duck that needs plucking at a later date.

As I was saying: My stamps arrived in today's mail. I am here to tell you that the packaging made me proud. "Neither rain, nor snow . . ." Or any other type of inclement weather would breach the plastic envelope the USPS used. I tell you nothing but the truth when I say, "The plastic package was seamless!" And I am not a member of the Plastics Fan Club.

The plastic envelope could outlive my great grands, if I ever have any. I cannot reuse it, so it will have to be trashed. But. I learned this: The USPS knows how to wrap a package. The two panes inside the plastic envelope were wrapped in seamless cellophane packaging. They have a card board backing. Nothing in my shipment was bent, torn, warped, chewed or bored into. No Russian spy could have breached the security that envelope guaranteed. The post office knows how to package and protect.

Here's another point for the USPS. They know how to advertise. Either they're subtle or I'm slowing down, because I did not get the message right away. I was too busy admiring their handiwork. Check it out. See if you get it right off. Take a look.

Relax your gaze. See what's there. Then tell me what you notice right off the bat. Hint: They have used the basic principles of Ad Design. I am not about to tell you what to look for if you won't take the time to see for yourself. 

Then there are these:

They're the cutest of the lot. If you go in for things like these. I'd wear the one with the black band. Heck. I'd pretty much wear either one if someone gave it to me. 

I feel the same way about white watch bands pretty much the way my mother feels about white cardigans. I bought her one for Christmas. She did not mince words when she said, "You know you shouldn't have given me anything white." I said, "Why? It's not like you're a mechanic and will be working on your car. And you don't break-dance do you?"

She wouldn't even answer me, so I asked, "What color would you like instead? Black?"
She bought the black bait, and tossed back the "white" sinker with a barb of, "That's better. And I do thank you for thinking of me though." 

Not to be outdone, I came back with, "Well, Mama. I thought white would be okay. It's not like you have to do much more than sit and look cute all day." A longer pause and I knew good and darn well she did not want a cardigan from L.L. Bean. So, "Mama, I got you the sweater because I wanted you to have something light to keep you warm inside the house."

That's probably how I'd feel if someone gave me a watch with a white watch band. And yes, I do a whole lot more than sitting and looking cute. I can sit and look curious too. But I plucked that particular duck the other day.

But, all in all, the USPS did me proud. So proud am I, I'd wear this watch, too, if someone gave it to me for Valentine's Day, for Black History Month, or just because I help support the USPS by buying so many stamps every year. If someone presented me with this one, I'd say, "Thank you! And I appreciate you thinking of me." Then I would write to the USPS and thank them too.

Write a letter today. Mail it tomorrow. And keep the USP employees busy.

Write on! 


This Limner

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