By John Hubbuch
Having seen Mandela yesterday, I appreciate not receiving any mail for 4 days is not all that big a deal in the greater scheme of things. The 900 block of South Euclid did not receive any mail delivery on Saturday January 4, Monday January 6, Tuesday January 7 and Wednesday January 8. I went to the post office yesterday and was able to collect Saturday's mail. The whereabouts of the rest of my mail is a mystery.
Now I do appreciate that a big snow storm followed by historic cold is no doubt a big part of the explanation of the missing mail, but the question is: at what time should I get upset? What if there is no mail delivery today? tommorrow? next week? next month?
I have lived in Oak Park since 1976, and my best recollection is that only 3 or 4 times was the mail not delivered , and then only for one day--not 4 and counting. I wonder whether Berwyn, River Forest and Chicago have been without mail for the last 4 days.
Catastorphe response is hard to analyze. On a much larger scale, I remember Hurricane Katrina and the inundation of New Orleans. Apologists could afix no real fault because the natural disaster was of such epic scale that no human response could have been adequate. Others faulted city, state and federal governments both past and present for inadequate preparation and response. The nuclear power plant melt down in Japan, the 2008 US economic collapse and the Iraq War are similiar examples of these two competing analyses of disaster accountability.
But back to the much more mundane mail mess. It would help if there was a better explanation than the cryptic " short staff". I wasn't clear if that meant snow drifts prevented tiny mail carriers from reaching my mail box, or carriers couldn't make it to work, or what. Also, it would help if there was information or communication as to when mail delivery might resume rather than checking the mail every couple of hours to see if this day might just be the day the mail arrives.
The real reason I'm upset is that I'm waiting for my Netflix DVD delivery of the next season of "The Wire" which I was hoping to help pass these cold winter days and nights. Also, as a senior citizen the aging process causes brain changes that create a need to look at the mail each day even if the delivery only brings Eddie Bauer catalogs, Jewel ads and AARP solicitations.
It's warmer today so I am hopeful that today just might be the day I get some mail. Wouldn't it be great if I received a letter from Publisher's Clearing House that I had won one million dollars a year for the rest of my life? It could happen. But I would settle for the current edition of The New Yorker. Hope springs eternal.
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