Monday, May 12, 2008


I just returned from my first visit to the post office a couple of blocks from our house. Since we moved to our new neighborhood last fall, I have managed to avoid a trip to our local post office. On the few occasions that I have needed to go to get something at the post office, I've either gone on my way to school (in College Park, MD) or visited the post office by our old apartment while out running errands.

I had planned to visit the post office in our old neighborhood today at the end of a run, but I decided not to venture out for a run in the rain during the downpour. Instead I took my umbrella and walked over to the local post office.

I had two objectives during my post office trip: 1) to mail some pictures to my Grandmother (yes, they were pictures of Baby Dawson), and 2) to double-check that I had the correct postage on a couple of letters I needed to mail (the price of a stamp went up 1 cent today). For each of the letters I needed to mail, I used stamps we found while cleaning David's mom's condo. She had each book of stamps marked with the value of each stamp, but I wanted to double check the value of each stamp with the post office. Each letter I had ready to mail had a 39 cent True Blue stamp (seen below) and a three cent stamp (for a total of 42 cents) on it.

When I handed the woman behind the counter my envelops, she scolded me and told me that the True Blue stamps were worth 3 cents. I began to argue with her and insisted that the stamps were 39 cents. I even told her that I received numerous wedding invitations during the spring and summer of 2006 with the True Blue stamp. She wouldn't budge. She told me my letters only have five cents worth of postage and that I had to pay the remaining 37 cents for each letter.

Knowing that I wasn't going to win an argument with this woman and seeing that the line behind me was growing, I forked over the 37 cents per envelop and walked out of the post office. I came home right away and googled the True Blue stamp only to find that it was worth 39 cents (just like I told the lady in the post office and David's mom had marked on the book of stamps). Finding the value of the stamp made me madder than it should have because the woman at the post office assured me there was no way to go online and verify the value of a stamp which is no longer in print. I showed her...

So now I must ask... do I go back to the post office and demand my money back from the post office employee? Should I go back there and tell her she was dead-on wrong about the value of my True Blue stamp? Or do I just let this one slide? I really want to go down there and stick it to her, but is it really worth the effort for a stamp? What do you think?


Carla said...

that's a hard one, beck. the irrationale side of me would definitely print out what you found on the internet, storm over to the post office, ask to see the manager, explain the situation (making sure that the nasty clerk was there as well), and ask - or demand - for a refund and an apology. i'm sure with your raging hormones this already is at the top of your list.

the rationale side of me would say: it's just a stamp. and in the case that you would use those stamps again: go back to that post office, but be sure to bring a print-out of the info you found as ammo. that's the more passive-aggressive approach, i think, which is what i would probably end up doing.

Jill said...

I'd go to the post office, ask to speak to the manager, explain the situation, and demand my money back. Stamps ain't cheap, and there is nothing I hate more than being ripped off (and general incompotence).