Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cranky, Whiny Letters

It's not all fun, games, and travel all the time, is it?

1. Hey coworkers, how about throwing your food trash away in the kitchen and not in our warm, enclosed draft-free (by your choice of course) office? Those of us with overly-keen senses of smell may not be digging the rotting-apple-core aroma.

2. Hey mother-in-law, how about not waiting two months to forward mail for us that comes from a collection agency? Or hey, how about not waiting two months, period? (Helpful historical reference post: collection agency issue)

3. Hey collection agency, how about using the address I sent to you instead of continuing to send things to my mother-in-law?

4. Hey hospital-where-I-saw-my-doctor, what the hell is up with you sending me refund checks saying I overpaid while at the same time having a collection agency chasing me down for nonpayment? It's one or the other.

5. And hey insurance company, I haven't forgotten your role in all this. Why didn't you pay the hospital like you said you would?

6. Dear Havana restaurant in Heidelberg, your food completely sucks, your drinks aren't very good, your service is ridiculously bad, and your patrons are irritating. Why do all the people I hang out with keep wanting to return to you!?

7. Dear Deutsche Post, I paid you to forward my mail when I moved. You forwarded less than half of it. The other half languished around at my old address until someone found it and left it in my husband's lab. One thing got sent back to the sender, all while you were to be forwarding. In addition, I no longer receive any mail worth waiting for thanks to you completely defeating the will of all my friends and family, with perfectly well-addressed (we think, but for some reason they will never tell us) packages being returned to them citing "insufficient address" - in some cases more than once. Thanks for taking one of the little joys away. I cling to every one I can get being this far away from everyone. So it really does hurt. Oh, and while I'm at it, why do you need to be closed for two hours in the middle of the day? Surely employees can alternate their lunch breaks? And who needs two hours to eat lunch anyway?

8. Dear Sigur Ros, I just can't get into you, even though everyone tells me I should. Sorry about that.



  1. Cami,

    what exactly is written on the packages that are returned to sender due to insufficient address? We have several stickers and stamps that we use to return to sender, but "insufficient address" isn't really covered on any of them.

    If you can find out what the exact message is, maybe I can help you solve that problem :-)

    My hairstylist is always bugging me to go to the Havana. I guess I'm not misisng anything?

  2. Martina, there is dancing at the Havana downstairs - maybe that is fun; I haven't tried it. Their drinks are definitely below the caliber of other places around town, though, and the food/service are just bad without question.
    Re: the packages - one person told me "Apparently, it made it all the way to Munich, then they decided to send it back to us. It has a note about insufficient address or somesuch." The other person actually did have a wrong PLZ the first time. The same week she got it back I saw a piece of mail for someone who doesn't even live in our building and had the wrong PLZ on it that made it to the building despite this so I thought that was a bit sucky. Then she tried to send it again with a correct address and it came back again, thus she gave up. She didn't tell me what the problem was the second time, though, and she got rid of the package and brought me the contents when she visited.

  3. I think I did tell Damon once (although my memory has never been what people call "good") that I addressed it exactly as I was supposed to. The handwriting was even legible. Sorry for not trying the resend.

  4. Ah, another satisfied Deutsche Post customer ... my mail was probably left in your husband's lab too. As for Havana, yep, it sucks ... just a chic name. Also no good Mexican in these parts. And worse than apple cores are rotting banana peels.

  5. I am convinced the German post system is crap (don't tell my boyfriend that - it makes him furious) but still. I have things mailed to my corporate apartment in Switzerland because everything arrives safely there. In Germany, forget it. You have to sign for almost anything, we are never there, then they are never open so we can pick the stuff up. Boo!

  6. Maybe the secret to having packages get through is to know just enough German to call them idiots if they don't get it to you? 'Cause so far what I mail you makes it. (Note that I said "so far.")

    I dunno. When I mail stuff I worry about it making it OUT of Pageland, not IN to Germany.

  7. Do you have a Packstation nearby?

    Works great and no waiting anymore.

  8. Nathan, yes, but Damon doesn't remember if he told you the street address or the Packstation address! Don't feel bad, it's just frustrating because you aren't the first person this happened to and we can't figure out why!

    Mike B: ew. Rotting fruit just has such a cloying and pervasive smell.

    Michelle: We always had pickup problems in the US too, but we always got our mail, no matter how badly it was addressed! Once my sister sent me a letter when I lived in Chicago - it was missing the zip and the street number was incorrect - and it still got to me!

    Dru: Sara's always get here too, but I'm not sure she knows how to yell at someone in German ;) It's a mystery to me.

    German Guy: We actually do have a Packstation now after we had so many pickup problems. I think it's cool, but I wish it worked a little differently - that you could still use your street address and then if you're not home, they put it in the Packstation. I think it's confusing for people that we now have one address for large things and a different one for regular-sized mail.

  9. Awesome list! For me there is nothing worse than the small of a rotting banana peel in a wastepaper basket. Blech. I sympathize.

    When we moved and wanted to have our mail forwarded I think they said the service didn't include magazines and parcels, but parcels not getting to you when they have your new address on them is just plain wrong. Shame on Deutsche Post. Sometimes I think the letter carriers are just too damn lazy to bother doing a little research.

  10. Christina's right, when you have your mail forwarded, the postal employee will ask "do you want P├Ąckchen and Pakete forwarded?" as these costs extra per package. If your German wasn't good enough, you might not have understood the question, in which case the postal worker would click the "no" option.

    So if any of the packages were ones sent to the old address, that might explain it.

    That would also explain why the packages made it as far as Munich, because that's where the office is that deals with post forwarding.

    I've seen mail make it to the addressee where at least half the address was wrong, so I'm a bit stumped what happened with yours.

  11. Christina, rotting fruit haters unite! Who would stand against us?
    I don't remember what we selected for forwarding but it doesn't matter in the case of the packages because they were sent to our new address.

    Martina, we set up the forwarding online so there wouldn't have been any speaking issues. I don't remember if we selected parcel forwarding but they were sent to our new address anyway, so that wouldn't have mattered. It was letters/bills that weren't getting forwarded. It was a credit card bill that got sent back - resulting in my card being blocked d/t the incorrect address! (Which was silly anyway, because I get my statement online and told them to stop sending me paper ones.) I can't figure out what could have gone wrong either, but I heard a story from someone else that they had a package that was returned because it was missing an umlaut in the address! How can that be?!

  12. Returned because of a missing umlaut?!?! You'd think they'd try a little harder to deliver something before sending it back thousands of miles.

    Come to think of it, I once sent a book and it got returned to me. I forget the exact street name, but the addressee (an American) had told me her address spelled with a "c", when in fact it should have been a "k" (something along the lines of Americastrasse instead of Amerikastrasse).

    Makes you wonder sometimes.

  13. I guess I've been really lucky in having no Deutsche Post issues so far - except one time I got a care package that seemingly spent some time at the bottom of the ocean, but I don't know if that was Deutsche Post's or USPS's fault. The DP guy spent several minutes trying to convince me not to accept the package in that condition (if it was a company I wouldn't have, but it was from my brother so there was no legal recourse!).

    My mailman here is awesome. I was expecting a package last week and was several streets away from home driving out of town when he saw me and ran after the car to make sure I wouldn't have to go to the post office to pick it up. So there are some benefits to living in a tiny Bavarian village ;-)

  14. Oh yeah, I have to say that our parcel delivery guy is really nice too. He will also stop and give me a package if he sees me walking around town. 1 point for Deutsche Post.

    I think sometimes it the new employees who are unfamiliar with the route or neighbourhood who might not take the time to try to figure out an address.

  15. It's definitely not the "old-timers" who are messing up the postal delivery. The post contracts out delivery routes when the regulars are sick or on vacation. You should see some of the people delivering mail. We had one guy who would deliver a newspaper to the wrong mailbox each and every day. Completely different name, completely different street - I think he just wanted to get rid of it. We didn't know it, but the wrong recipient was walking two streets over to the correct recipient and delivering it herself. Finally it dawned on her that if she continued to do that we'd never know there was a problem and she'd be delivering the darned paper until the guy got another route. She brought us the next paper, and we explained to him what was going on, but I just don't think he quite got it. He's working at the post for a few months until he joins the Bundeswehr in September.

    Don't get me started on the guys who pick up the outgoing mail - they don't have customer contact, so often they don't even speak German. Or English :-)

  16. I sent the package BEFORE you got the packstation address, and we got it back AFTER you got it. Damon gave them both to me at one point or another.

  17. So it definitely wasn't a Packstation issue....

    Pretty much all the Deutsche Post employees I've met so far have been completely friendly and helpful too...don't know who these guys returning our packages are~


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