Thirty miles can be pretty close or pretty far, depending. This time it was pretty far. I know the Post Office has been having trouble, but when the tracking number on the package said it was “being held by customer request” (wrong) at a Post Office thirty-plus miles away, I had to wonder. I still remember when zip codes were made mandatory for mail. They would give the Post Office a more precise set of coordinates to get to your house or apartment. The funny thing is they’ve been vastly outdone by other delivery services. Amazon makes mistakes too (they recently delivered something I’d ordered for myself to my mother—thankfully it wasn’t too embarrassing), but less often. It would seem that if you pay someone to bring you something, they should be able to manage a bit closer than thirty miles.
I went to the website where delivery instructions was an editable field. In it the PO had helpfully written “DI not available for this delivery.” If you want it, you have to drive over sixty miles round trip to get it. Only during office hours. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve always been a supporter of the Post Office. They generally get things to you—it’s pretty remarkable. (Junk mail inevitably arrives, of course.) I even used to collect stamps. I’m still reluctant to not save one or two that catch my fancy. But thirty miles? You’d lose at both hand-grenades and horseshoes with that kind of accuracy. When I called they offered to put it back in the system, but that would add several days to the delivery schedule. Who’s to say that it might not end up even more than thirty miles afield?
If it were an atomic bomb, or a volcano, thirty miles would hardly seem far enough. It’s a matter of perspective, I suppose. So it is with most things in life. Nine hours isn’t long if you’re engaged in a task you really enjoy. In fact, the forty-eight hours of the weekend go by so fast that you’re left wondering where they went. If you take nine hours and put them toward a dull and tedious task, however, they stretch to monstrous proportions. Science tells us that the amount of lapsed time—or space—is the same. It’s just our perception that changes. In the larger scheme of things thirty miles in the middle of the day can take only a couple hours, with traffic. From that perspective it’s better than a nine-hour drive to the original shipping location. It’s all in how you look at it.