As I’m bouncing around the Bay Area, I went into the post office to open a P.O. box, so I have a steady way of receiving mail. Now, it’s no revelation that the post office is a wretched place to be. The line is long, there’s always a whining human child, there’s no consistent average amount of time per transaction so you have no idea how long anything is going to take, and the people working behind the desk are clearly more exasperated than the customers that they serve.
In other words, I wasn’t expecting a smooth ride. Yet regardless, I left the post office so angry that I wanted to come back with a blowtorch to burn through their colossally shitty rulebook.
You see, all I was looking for was a P.O. box. I didn’t have anything to mail, I had my driver’s license to show as ID, and I had already paid for the box online. The only thing i was expecting to leave with was a key to my temporary mailbox.
But staying true to the rule that most public administrators are total failures at life, I was turned away for not having two forms of acceptable identification. Granted, I had a valid driver’s license, credit cards, a social security card, but as the worn out mongoloid behind the counter mentioned, “social security card is not ID”
In order to receive a post office box in the United States, an applicant must also furnish one of the following: (1) Current lease, mortgage, or deed of trust, (2) Voter or vehicle registration card, (3) Home or vehicle insurance policy.
So I, who just moved to a new city without a car, am unable to qualify for a post office box. It also means that 90% of the people who actually have a reason to apply for a P.O. box can’t actually get one. Sorry, people who have moved. Sorry homeless people. I’m sure the creator of this policy will tell you from his or her home in Reston, VA that these new policies are a byproduct of post-9/11 concerns. Never mind that any terrorist worth half his salt could create a fraudulent apartment lease. It’s policies such as this that really argue how little public administrators have in common with the people they’re entrusted to serve, and it definitely makes me ashamed to have ever spent any time studying this field.