Do you know about this? I just became ‘informed’ this week – both in knowledge about the service and in signing up for it.
Informed Delivery® is a service provided by the USPS in which I can ‘digitally preview incoming mail and manage packages scheduled to arrive soon’. Each morning, just before 8:00am, I receive an email from the USPS stating “COMING TO YOUR MAILBOX SOON.” The body of the emailed contains scanned photos of the envelopes I can expect to see in my mailbox following that day’s mail delivery to my neighborhood.
I learned about this magical miracle in technology while in a meeting at work. Others seemed to know about it. I’m still unsure about whether everybody but me knows about it, or whether I’m at least a little bit on the cutting edge. Although I’m already signed up and am using it, I admit my first reaction was dismissive. Why do I need to see what’s in my mailbox before I pick it up later today? But of course I realize that not everyone has the same US mail principles that were instilled in me.
My dad was a lifelong stamp collector, a philatelist to those who know what that is and that it isn’t anything risqué or illegal. Part of the mail principles held by philatelists, and typically passed on to their progeny include…
- Be a good correspondent.
- Always use a commemorative stamp when sending personal mail. (Yes, I am the irritating lady holding up the line in the post office because I’m asking to see the latest stamps that have arrived.)
- Pick up the mail every day.
- Tear any ‘worthy’ stamps off envelopes, even if those envelopes are not addressed to you.
In addition to stamp collecting, my dad was a great one for letter writing. When I was in college, I loved seeing an envelope from my dad in my mailbox, and not just because it often contained five or ten dollars.
I realize a lot has changed in the way of communication since my dad has been gone. Quick communication via smart phones, Skype, emails, and texting have done much toward the elimination of personal snail mail. I hear people say that the only thing that comes in the USPS mail anymore is bills, and even those you can get electronically. People seem to not really be interested in picking up their mail these days. A short time ago, one of my nephews mentioned that he moved and hadn’t gotten his mailbox key yet. He hadn’t picked up his mail in over a month. After I quit hyperventilating, I asked him to never say anything like that in front of me again.
I admit, it has been fun opening my email from the USPS to see what will arrive today. So far it has been accurate with one exception. The day my son’s W2 showed up on the scan, there was also a picture of what appeared to be a W2 from the same company for someone we didn’t know from another town. While at first I concluded that this new system apparently wasn’t going to improve the accuracy of the mail delivered to us, when we actually retrieved the mail from our mailbox, the stranger’s W2 was not there. Hmmm. Very curious.
Since we stop at a mail kiosk to get our mail, I do like the idea of not stopping at the mailbox on inclement weather days if there is nothing of interest waiting for me. No more sloshing through slush, getting drenched by rain, or working the key with frozen fingers only to disappointed if something you’re anxiously waiting for has not been delivered. You can be disappointed from the comfort of your home or office by checking out the Informed Delivery email in advance. As for Dad, and what he might think about Informed Delivery, I’m pretty sure he would like it. Shortly before he passed away, the office he worked in invested in the newest technology and had a computer installed for each of the employees. He proudly showed me the computer on his desk that he hadn’t yet learned how to operate. I imagine he might need my help to get signed up for Informed Delivery. But he would use it. He would check it out every day, right before his daily walk to the post office.