In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 2, 2011 / 2 Menachem-Av, 5771

A Man in Search of His Mail

By Tom Purcell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A man reaches a point in his life when he realizes what he really wants. All I really want is my mail.

I opened a post office box a few years ago. I have all my business correspondence sent there.

Last September, I moved temporarily to Washington, D.C., to work on a six-month project. I returned to the Pittsburgh area every six weeks and retrieved my mail from the P.O. box.

Last spring, I knew the six-month bill would be coming due soon, so I went to the post office to pay it in advance.

"You can't pay until the bill is due," said the woman at the counter.

"But I will be gone for six weeks and wish to pay it now."

"Our systems don't allow you to pay in advance."

I drove back to Washington and worked hard for six weeks. I returned one evening, eager to retrieve a half-dozen checks waiting for me in my P.O. box.

It was locked.

Annoyed, I returned the next day to pay the box bill and retrieve my mail.

"We sent your mail back to sender," said the woman at the counter.


"Because you didn't pay your bill."

I explained that I had tried to pay in advance -- that I was working out of town on a project.

"You're supposed to fill out a form to let us know you will be out of town," she said.

She took pity on me, though. After I paid the bill -- I was charged a late fee because that is how the postal system works -- she gave me the name of a fellow at the main processing center.

He helped me track down some of my mail, including some checks. I always look forward to depositing checks.

I figured all was well. It wasn't.

For the next several weeks, clients phoned me to tell me that checks they'd sent to me were being returned. The little yellow return slips on the returned mail said my P.O. box was canceled.

I called the post office and talked with a supervisor.

"It shouldn't be doing that," she assured me.

"I agree," I said. "How do we stop it?"

She told me to bring in one of the little yellow return slips. I had one of my clients scan one and e-mail it to me. I brought my computer to the post office and showed the woman at the counter what the little yellow slip looked like.

"Yep, it is being blocked at the main office," she said. "It shouldn't do that."

"I agree," I said. "How do we stop it?"

"It should stop anytime," she assured me.

But it didn't. A few weeks later, I phoned again and got another supervisor. This fellow, thankfully, was extremely professional, knowledgeable and apologetic.

He told me the problem was in the computer system and he would fix it. I could hear him typing as I waited. He promised it would take one day to register, then all would be well.

I was delighted that the problem finally was resolved.

I hold nothing against the people who work for the post office. Most are crushed under the weight of outmoded business processes and bureaucratic inanities.

Most lack the organizational support to service customers as well as they would like.

Which raises an obvious question:

In an era in which consumers can make convenient transactions over the Internet, shouldn't we move away from the old bureaucratic government model -- rather than closer to it, as we have been doing the past two years?

But then, what do I know? I'm just a man in search of his mail.

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© 2011, Tom Purcell