We live on a fairly busy road – since our house was built in 1817, obviously the road out front used to be the main trail past this homestead. That means that our house sits fairly close to the road – maybe only about 15-20 feet from the pavement to our front porch. Since we are so close to the road, and it’s part of a straight section that teenagers (and older guys who act like teens, like our next-door neighbor), it’s the perfect spot to act like it’s a speedway and race on by…never mind the ‘donuts’ the neighbor decides to do in the middle of the road in the middle of the night…evidence of which (besides the ringing ears in the silence of the night) are the circular tire marks left behind…).
At any rate, since our driveway runs beside our house to the back, and the parking is ample between our house and the barn, we adopted the ‘Small Town America’ attitude of ‘friends use the back door’. We have a beautiful set of double doors in front, but since any visitors have to park behind the house anyway, why make them walk all the way around to be greeted for their visit? So we have the front doors ‘blocked’ on the inside – not permanently, as it’s only blocked by 2 extra dining room chairs and Princess Nagger’s interactive kitchen. Would we be able to utilize our double front doors in the case of an emergency? Sure, no problem! Do we ever use the front doors as entrance and exits? Absolutely not! The previous owners had a small sign ‘Use Back Door’ taped to the garish storm door that we removed (much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye without that enormous monstrosity!) So I replaced the original sign with a nicely framed one to carry on the tradition of everyone using the back door.
First she made up stories, like when she would only leave a notice in our box (without getting out of her vehicle and knocking) by claiming “There’s nobody ever home…” Uh, wrong! I was home all day every day with my infant… I raised a big stink about a ‘Final Notice’ I got – that was the only notice I got – she claimed she attempted delivery of my Express Mail package 3 times prior – only I never got any of the previous notices, only the ‘Final Notice’ one. She got in trouble from the Postmaster on that one. But since that didn’t work, she decided her best bet was to file bogus complaints about our dog – a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier named Elvis.
She claims he ‘charged’ her – that incident I witnessed (though she didn’t know I was watching), and sure, he ran up to her because he wanted to play, but in no way did he ‘charge’ her or even look like he was ‘charging’…especially when he got up to her and stopped short and wiggled his stub of a tail so hard his whole butt was wiggling. No barking, no growling, no teeth baring – no charging.
Turns out she’s afraid of dogs (then why in the hell do you become a mail carrier???) OK, so people have different fears of animals – my husband is afraid of horses, but like he said, he’d never take a job at a horse farm or racetrack, so why would someone who says they’re afraid of dogs take a mail carrier position? Don’t they hear all those jokes about them or read the stories?
Fine, you’re afraid of all dogs, including my ball of fluff wuss dog, so I’ll accommodate you… First of all, we have an invisible fence – my dog wears a collar that will zap him if he crosses the line. Second, he’s a spoiled rotten ‘inside dog’ – one that only goes out when we’re out, or goes out quickly to do his ‘business’, then comes right back in and curls up on the end of the couch he’s claimed as his spot. So if the mail carrier would at the very minimum pull into the driveway and honk her horn (since we don’t have doorbells in this old farmhouse), I would even meet her out at her vehicle and she wouldn’t have to get her lazy ass out of the vehicle to deliver my packages.
The invisible fence keeps Elvis strictly in the backyard – he isn’t able to go to the sides of the house, he’s unable to get into the driveway or parking area out back, either. The Postmaster came out and checked things out, we agreed that Cindy could easily walk down the sidewalk of our house on one side and drop the packages on the back porch without getting close to any encounters with Elvis. Whenever I’m expecting packages, I make sure Elvis is confined to the house at all times – between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. – the long window being that I never know when my mail carrier will actually show up. Mail has even been delivered at 7:00 p.m.! Still don’t get why there isn’t some sort of ‘regular’ schedule like every other mail carrier I’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with. I have absolutely adored all my previous mail carriers – they’ve always been extra nice, go the extra mile when they aren’t asked to or don’t have to, and were just a joy to interact with on a regular basis. This mail carrier is horrendous both in personality and attitude…not to mention not fully committed to her job!
Rather than make it easy on herself (and me) and pull into our driveway (so she’s away from the speeding traffic out front) and have me meet her at her vehicle to retrieve my packages, she insists on coming up on the front porch and knocking on the front door – ignoring the ‘Please use back door’ sign clearly posted in front. If I want to make sure that I get my package that day, I have to be fast on my feet, make sure I have shoes on at all times, so if that knock comes, I have to race out the back door and around the house and hope that she doesn’t speed off before I get to the front yard. Major inconvenience to me in a big way! Cindy’s due to retire in about 5 years, so I’ll be counting the days when I can finally have a great mail carrier again…I love the days when she’s on vacation or out, because at least the substitutes are willing to accommodate our back porch delivery request! Well, except for those substitutes that Cindy trained – she trains them to only deliver to the front porch, ignore the ‘Please use the Back Door’ sign altogether.
So the battle goes on – UPS and FedEx have awesome drivers who have absolutely no trouble walking around the house and leaving my packages in the protected area of our back porch. I keep telling them they can pull into our driveway to make it easier for them, but they not only don’t do that, they actually park across the busy street, cross over with my package(s), then walk down the driveway to the back and still leave the package(s) on the back porch…with no complaints! I have utilized the same consideration for the UPS and FedEx drivers that I utilized for USPS – keeping my tame/playful/non-threatening dog in the house until after any deliveries are made. I’ve had the UPS and FedEx drivers actually ask me to let Elvis out so they can pet him… Needless to say, I’ll be utilizing UPS and FedEx 99.9% of the time – and only use USPS when I have to, not because I want to.