A few months ago, I needed to mail a birthday card. In order to get the birthday card to its recipient on time (i.e., on her birthday), I had to make sure it was mailed that day. However, it was already five o’clock in the afternoon when I obtained the birthday card, and I knew that the post office near my home was closed.
I called 1-800-ASK-USPS to find out if there was a late pick-up anywhere near my home. They were unable to tell me the latest pick-up near me; they could only tell me the latest pick-up within a specific ZIP code. So I gave them my home ZIP code and they told me the latest pick-up was at five o’clock. I already knew that. Then I gave them my work ZIP code. Five o’clock. Then I gave them an assortment of ZIP codes all over Orange County, including all the Santa Ana ZIP codes I could think of since Santa Ana seemed most likely to have a late pick up. Once again, five o’clock was the latest pick-up. The woman at the USPS told me that five o’clock was prob’ly the latest pick-up in all of Orange County.
Knowing that there was a nine o’clock pick-up at the main post office in Long Beach, I got off the phone with the USPS and drove twenty miles to Long Beach to mail the birthday card.
Yesterday while driving an unusual route to work, I noticed that there’s a post office about a block away. So naturally when I had some cards to mail this afternoon, I drove to the post office near my office to mail them. The label on the mailbox informed me that the last pick-up was, and had always been, at nine o’clock in the evening.