Back in April 2012, I was at the center of a very bizarre circumstance. What resulted was my conclusion that my mailman is a thief (or opens people’s mail at least – both Federal offenses for a mail carrier). However, I’ll leave it to you to decide for yourself. Here’s my story:
After interviewing for a potential internship position, I decided to send a good old fashioned thank-you note to the person that interviewed me. On my way to my part-time job (one late Friday afternoon), I dropped off my sealed, stamped envelope in a blue USPS mailbox just a block from where I work. I thought nothing of the simple task at the time.
However, that weekend while at my part-time job (I work at a high-traffic facility), I happened to glance down at a filing box that sits on a table near the front desk and saw my thank-you note’s envelope sitting quaintly inside of it (thank you note itself was nowhere to be found). It seemed as though someone deposited it there on their way out or in the front doors.
The envelope was crinkled, opened, and had writing on it. But how did my envelope end up there? I dropped the note off in the blue USPS box late Friday afternoon – after the mail would have been checked the last time that day, and that weekend my note is found in the most bizarre (but publicly accessible) place, my work. *AND I FIND IT MYSELF OF ALL PEOPLE!*
While I’m not completely sure what the writing says or means, it looks like someone scribbled street addresses or names on the envelope. It seems like a simple note-to-self, but not a note by anyone – by a mailman. “From 1053 Tr%$vivi Mud to 1053 G%L#L$% Spittler.” Sounds like a route, or a notice of something particular in that area, or so on.
The handwriting is particularly messy, and it sees to fit what the mailman’s handwriting might look like. I had the same mail carrier at my apartment and at my work. Also, the blue USPS mailbox is located right outside my apartment building. I assume the same mail carrier would pick up mail at the blue USPS mailbox. One extra note: where I work, the mail carriers have always used the place as a rest-stop.
The following week, when the regular mailman was delivering mail to my apartment complex, I walked up to him and showed him a picture off of my iPhone of the envelope with writing on it.
“Is this your handwriting?” I asked confidently but casually.
“No, no it’s not,” he replied.
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation word for word, but I do remember him being curious of the photo, and I briefly told him how I sent a piece of mail and it somehow turned up back in my hands with strange writing on it.
And with that, I decided to contact the U.S. Postal Service. I turned in the envelope to the local post office, and they said someone would look into it. I got a call a week or two later from a larger USPS facility telling me that they would look into the situation and I’d hear back if they made any progress. As of 2013, I have yet to hear anything, and I assume the envelope has since been lost or thrown away.
I didn’t have any handwriting samples from the local mailman other than the single envelope, and I was not about to have him write some words down for me so that I could play detective. I’m also not the confrontational type. But a few months ago, after having moved into a new residence even closer to where I work (and where I still have the same mail carrier most days), I got what I was asking for. The mailman noticed that we (my roommate and I) had yet to put our names on the slips that go inside our mailbox. He wrote “Names?” on them and then placed them back inside the mailboxes.
Although I am not a professional handwriting analyst, I believe that the handwriting on the slips and the envelope are from the same person. So what do I do? Do I take any further action, or sit back and hope he isn’t doing this to dozens of other residents? What other possibilities are there of how my piece of mail ended up opened, with writing on it, and disposed of at a place where if anyone else found it they would simply toss it away?