Okay, so this is basically the most TL:DR post I've ever done. Long story short? The Post Office lost a package, and they don't give a flying f*ck.
Want the long version? Here we go.
December 11: I mail a package full of Christmas presents via the United States Postal Service. Expected delivery date? December 17.
December 13: Package is processed through a facility in New Jersey.
December 18: Package is processed through a facility in Dallas, TX. Twenty miles from its final destination.
December 18: Package leaves Dallas facility.
December 18: Package falls off the face of the earth.
December 27: I call the Post Office's 1-800 consumer help line. I am told that it is "not unusual" for a package to take sixteen days to be delivered. I am told to call back the following week.
December 27: I go on line and file a complaint at the USPS site, although the site is byzantine and has no clear instructions on HOW to officially file a complaint. The site says I will get an email response in two to three days.
January 2, January 3, January 4: I call the 1-800 number. I speak with a representative, am given a case number, and am told to call back the following day.
January 7: I receive an email response to my on-line complaint of December 27. I am told to contact my local Post Office and file a Mail Recovery Center Report. The "local Post Office" phone number the email gives me is for a Post Office in Texas.
I call the Post Office in Texas as instructed. The woman I talk to tells me I need to come in a file a report in person.
Road trip! I wonder if the Post Office will comp my expenses. Decide probably not.
January 10: I go to my actual, local post office - the one I mailed the package from. I take my paperwork with me, and tell the woman working there, a woman who has worked for the postal service for as long as I've been working for MY company, that I need to file a Mail Recovery Center Report.
She's never heard of it.
She takes my information and phone number, and promises to look into it for me.
January 11, now ONE MONTH after my package was mailed: The woman at the local post office calls me back. She says that she's done some digging, and my package was apparently reported as "damaged in transit" on December 19 in Dallas, and opened by a postal inspector. She tells me that damaged mail is sent to the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, and gives me the phone number of the Mail Recovery Center.
January 11: I call the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta and get a recorded message which says, "If you know your party's extension, please dial it now. If you do not know your party's extension, there is no one available to take your call and you may not leave a message." *click*
*insert head exploding sound here*
I call a few more times and miraculously somehow get a live person on the line. She asks for the zip code from which the package was mailed, and informs me that I need to call a USPS Consumer Affairs office in Albany, New York, to file a Mail Recovery Center Report. No, I may not file the report with her, even though SHE IS PROBABLY IN THE SAME LOCATION AS THE PACKAGE. You can't file a Mail Recover Center Report WITH the Mail Recovery Center! Don't be silly!
January 11: I call the USPS Consumer Affairs office in Albany. I get an answering machine. I leave a message. I receive no response.
January 14: I call the USPS Consumer Affairs office in Albany. I get an answering machine. I leave a message. I receive no response.
January 15: I call the USPS Consumer Affairs office in Albany. I get an answering machine. I leave a message. I receive no response.
January 16: I call the USPS Consumer Affairs office in Albany. I get an answering machine. I leave a message saying that if I don't hear from someone by the following day, I will contact the state Attorney General's office. I get a response. A very nice woman calls me back, stating that my local post office, the one I visited on January 10, should have been able to file a Mail Recovery Center Report for me.
Oh for the love of CHRIST.
The woman in Albany prepares the report. She explains that she will email it to the Mail Recovery Center, and that I should give them two weeks to find the package, after which time I will be welcome to start the entire process AGAIN. Because, after all, she says, the Mail Recovery Center is the size of three football fields, and every piece of damaged mail in the COUNTRY ends up there, and what are the odds of them actually locating my package on the first try?
In the meantime, I mail a SECOND package to the same location, using UPS. It gets there in five days.
This is why the Post Office is going broke, folks. THIS is why.