Some people have obsessions. Usually it involves cleanliness or order or some such thing. That’s surely not me! But I have always been just a little bit obsessed … with mail. I know, it’s crazy, but I can’t help obsessing over when the mail will arrive.
I actually have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the USPS, but I suppose the days I hate them are probably still related to my mail obsession.
My Past Obsession Was Worse
At one point in time, quite a few years ago, I had 5 different addresses / mailboxes to check. Some were P.O. Boxes (personal and business), and one was a rural road box. Every morning, I drove down to the post office to check the boxes, and then every afternoon, I walked down the long driveway to check the box on the street. (I also spent a lot of time replacing that mailbox as it got knocked down by bored kids fairly often).
My Present Obsession Is Mild
I only have one mailbox now. I think I’ve gotten a handle on my obsession, honestly, but it would still drive me crazy if I couldn’t check my mailbox on any given mail day.
Our current mail lady drives a mail jeep that has a very distinct motor sound. I can hear her passing down the street no matter what part of the house I’m in. Only really loud sounds like when I’m right next to the A/C vent, will prevent me from hearing her. If I haven’t heard the jeep by noon, I get anxious. Did I miss the sound? Should I go check the mailbox, just in case? (I usually do, unless I’m really busy).
Anyway, now that you’ve been let in on my little secret, I want to share a little secret that you might actually be interested in, and that might help ease my own obsession a bit.
Did you know that the Post Office now has a serviced called Informed Delivery? What is that?
Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon! Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages in one convenient location.*
* Images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment
That’s how the USPS describes the service, but I can explain it better.
Every morning, before the mail lady’s jeep toodles down the street, I receive an email from the USPS that shows me images of the envelopes that will be in the mailbox that day.
Ok, I admit that when I first signed up for the service – which is free, by the way – I thought they would let me know that the mail had just arrived in the mailbox, and what was in it. That’s not the case. I still have to listen for the jeep if I want to know if the mail has arrived. But the fact that I know what will be in the box before it’s put in there…that’s magic!
Here is the email I received today. (I blurred out the address, so the other crazies of the world don’t come traipsing to our door).
How cool is that!
They mention that they only show images of letter-sized envelopes, so I won’t be able to see small packages that get placed in my mailbox. Still, this is a really cool service for people like me who are obsessed with mail…or for people who might often be anticipating something important.
I’ve only had this service for 3 days now, but so far, each day’s mail has matched what they say will be in there.
It Might Help and It Might Hurt
This can actually be useful in quelling the daily obsession too. If I already know that there will be nothing in the box that day, or just junk mail, I might be less prone to worrying about it on that day.
Of course, if there’s anything that might worry me – like an envelope from the IRS for example – my obsession would be worse that day. I’d be sitting around worrying about what might be inside that scary envelope!
So that’s it. If you’d like to know what the mail person will be placing into your mailbox, just sign up for the USPS Informed Delivery service. It’s free and easy to do. Each morning you’ll receive an email showing what you’ll receive in your mailbox that day. Enjoy!