As an employee of Tatiana, Ltd., I’m obliged to run certain errands. Last Sunday afternoon I was told to visit the Beverly Blvd. post office and send a stuffed plastic envelope (first-class) to an eBay buyer in Miami. Because it was Sunday I had to slip the parcel into a large blue post office bin that had a relatively thin drop-off slot. The bin was pretty well stuffed, I quickly realized, but I managed to push the package into the slot, about 10″ to 12″ deep.

After driving off into the West Hollywood maze I called my superior and explained what had happened. She didn’t like the package being vulnerable to passerby thieves, and ordered me to go back and retrieve it.

I returned to the post office about a half-hour later. I put my hand into the bin but couldn’t find the Miami parcel. Other packages had been jammed in on top of it. I called Tatiana with the news — “I can’t find it…it’s been pushed deep into the bin so it’s probably okay.”

The USPS online system always notifies senders when their package has been scanned and put into the system. If you drop a package off on Sunday you’ll see a USPS online confirmation by the following morning. On Monday morning there was no confirmation of any kind.

I was sent back to the Beverly Blvd. office on Monday afternoon to inquire. The first postal employee I spoke to looked at me impassively, like she was a wood carving, and basically washed her hands. I double-checked the USPS scanning system and reported back to Tatiana. “Ask someone else,” she ordered. A second employee was more responsive. She went into the back room to check. She said the package was probably okay and would most likely be in Miami by the coming weekend (3.26 or 3.27).

Tatiana is convinced that I screwed the pooch by pushing the parcel into the bin in the first place. I should never have dropped it off into an overstuffed bin! “You may have ruined my reputation as a seller and sender,” she said. Furthermore, she said, if the package doesn’t arrive this weekend I will owe her the cost of the contents.

Plus she’s just told me I can’t divulge the contents or their value. I live under a Putin-like regime.