Blogs by Stephen Kata
7/14/2011 3:52:46 AM
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You never know when a small decision turns out to have greater meaning than you thought....
It's a yellow house with brown trim. The yard is well kept, and newly clipped bushes border the dwelling. As a postman will, I have spoken at times with both the husband and wife who live here. They are pleasant people.
I thumb through my two bundles of mail, and discover that I have a large manila envelope for them, the size of a magazine. I just now notice that it is postage due. To properly handle the piece and recover the revenue, the rule is that I should return the article to the Post Office, show the receiving clerk it is postage due, and hand it over to them. Next morning, another clerk will bring the item to me as accountable. I will sign for it and deliver it, collecting the money due. This seems ridiculous to me, on several counts. First, I'm a lousy rule-follower. Second, it would entail the expense of the time, effort and salary of three additional people handling the item. Third, the piece will be delayed in delivery an additional day as well. The revenue I would collect wouldn't make a dent in what has already been spent, much less justify the additional labor expense.
My decision doesn't take long. The piece has been marked 'postage due' by an efficient clerk, but has been additionally handled by several people who have not noticed it. I deliver it. Since it is oversized, many of my coworkers would just fold it and stuff it in the box to spend the least time at it. I have no idea what it is, but the people may not want it bent or creased. Their cars are gone; no one is home. I place it between the entry doors and walk on without a second thought.
The next day, the wife meets me when I walk up to the mailbox. "I believe I owe you some money," she says.
"No, it's all right," I tell her. "No one caught it until it got to me, so I just left it to save time and hassle. I didn't pay for it."
She thanks me profusely. "We've been waiting a long time for it," she says. "It was my son's death certificate. He was killed in Iraq."
Sometimes a small favor is bigger than you think.
More Blogs by Stephen Kata
Religious Arguments - Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Woids - Thursday, December 08, 2011
Games - Saturday, October 15, 2011
Excerpt - Friday, October 14, 2011
Writing - Sunday, August 21, 2011
Perspective - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Quote for the day - Friday, July 29, 2011
Involuntary Actions - Thursday, July 28, 2011
Illegal Aliens - Monday, July 25, 2011
A Sense Of Wonder - Monday, July 18, 2011
Going Postal - Friday, July 15, 2011
Postage Due - Thursday, July 14, 2011
Communication - Tuesday, July 12, 2011
What Is Your Life? - Thursday, July 07, 2011
Quote - Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Just ruminating - Wednesday, June 29, 2011