I met my new letter carrier today. "I took over for the old man," she told me. She's been on the route three days, so I can't blame her (or even question her) about all the missing mail.
She rolled her eyes as I walked up to her truck parked in my driveway this afternoon. It was my second march down to the road to check on the mail, and when I saw her drive up I made sure she knew I wanted to talk to her. She was trying to phone in to her boss when I interrupted.
My complaint that I didn't get any mail Saturday didn't seem to alarm her as much as it did me. I think she took it as a joke. She doesn't know me well enough to know how seriously I take these things. She handed me two red Netflix envelopes and I told her that was all I really needed.
Then the bad stuff started coming. She found a whole pile of bills and two notices from the bank. So far they've paid three checks (two checks and my automatic satellite billing, actually) against insufficient funds, to the tune of $18 each. Not the kind of tune I want to hear again soon, but there might well be more.
The three payments were made the day before my big deposit last Friday, so I'll be waiting for tomorrow's mail with a-tremblin' with fear. I'm not in a position to be paying the bank for every math error I've ever committed. I might do a little bookkeeping here at the office, but I transpose numbers all the time. All the time. So far I mostly get away with it, but $54 and counting means I didn't get away with it this time.
My carrier was a friendly sort, and I learned a little of her life story. She lives in a granny unit and is thinking of moving, but not very seriously. She asked for this route when it became available and hopes to keep it. She wanted to know how much rent I pay and how big the lot is. She thought I lived a little close to the road, but we agreed that you get used to the traffic noises.
Then she said, "You know, I really have to call my boss," and I apologized for taking up her time. "It's okay," she said. "I like to meet the people on my route. See you around." I hope that this good relationship we've started means I can count on her to deliver all my mail, every day. Maybe I should have asked for her home number, just in case.