For this article, the neighborhood mechanic is my office, the waiting table is my desk and my phone serves as my typing apparatus.  Pictured below, you can see the nose of my cardboard mobile through the door.

I’ve had some time to think – about yesterday’s mail, in particular.   I was happy to get in a piece of mail that contained both a 1985 and 1986 Topps Achievement award brochures.   Let me give you some history on them.

From 1959 to 2004 (to my knowledge) Topps would hold a banquet for Topps all star rookie cup winners.   These are neat, because only those who went to the banquet would get one.  These are pieces of Topps history, and matter to me because the 1986 basically acts as an announcement that Canseco’s most famous Topps card, the 1987 rookie cup card would be made.  Upon further investigation, I found that the 1985 version had some minor league hopefuls and Jose was in it.  This is likely the first Topps piece featuring his picture.   Not only that, but they used the picture that I have the original press release version of!

1985 Topps Baseball Achievement Awards Program

Shown above is what is inside the 1985 Topps Achievement Banquet program and my original from Sporting News … you can see Topps removed the darker background – and his mullet.  Strange they did that, because clearly they LOVE his mullet now.

2017 Topps Allen & Ginter Rip Card /60

Anyway, now that you know the significance of these, let me show you what was in my mail box yesterday.

While the achievement awards were bent, thankfully I have 2 others that will suffice as these were meant to be replacements for the the first two I received.  The first two were a bit dinged up, but compared to the two that came in yesterday, I’m not complaining and will just be happy with what I originally got.  But what if someone sent me something like this that were irreplaceable?  You would have a very upset Tanner.  This happened a while back as well when I received a free autographed 8×10 of Pat Sajak and Vanna White.  (Check out the Wheel of Fortune website – if you request an autograph from their contact form, they tend to send one to you for free!)

It’s all fun and games until Vanna comes bent 🙁

Has this happened to you?  Do you speak your mind to the postal worker the next day?

For me, this is not the answer.   In my experience, it only angers them and gives them an ax to grind.   Let’s face it: complaining is not going to get the disgruntled government worker to try harder, but it might get you more pieces of mail accidentally delivered elsewhere.

I’ve always had a policy of being kind to whomever is delivering the mail, and it has served me well for the most part.   Unfortunately, if it doesn’t look like I’m home, then larger pieces tend to get shoved in my box with complete disregard to the rigidity of said mail and warning messages reading “do not bend. ”

Do you face  similar issues?  Here are some suggestions that will help.

Be Friendly
This cannot be overstated.  When your postal worker sees you, they should be greeted with a smile and a “how are you?”.  When they leave your presence (and “presents”) they should leave by hearing you say “Have a great day!”  Their route can be monotonous.  The last thing you want is for them to have a negative stigma about you.  They are, after all, the keeper of your precious mail.

Offer a drink
During the summer, it can be hot out there!  Offer them some bottled water.  Label it with their name, and for extra bonus points, might I suggest drawing hearts and smiley faces on the label.  This gives you the opportunity to have more face time with the keeper of your precious, however, it is also recommended that you install a drink holder on your mailbox.  If you are familiar with Pavlov’s Dogs, you can put this into play.  If, after offering the postal worker a drink, they STILL will not properly deliver your mail, continue to offer them water.  This time, replace the smiley faces with disgruntled faces and the hearts with broken hearts.  If it persists for longer than a week, graduate to poo-mojis and skull/crossbones.  You will have your postal worker clamoring for your approval in no time.

GPS Tracking
For maximum effectiveness, one may consider placing a GPS tracker on their vehicle.  This will open up a world of “random” opportunities for you to bump into them during their route.  Nothing will brighten their day quite like seeing your smiling face on the street of 28 different neighborhoods they deliver throughout the day.

Holiday Treats
Everyone loves the holidays and the food that comes along.  Why should your postal worker be any different?  Bake them up a tray of cookies, or even a cake.  If you know their name, draw it in icing on a cake.  For an extra laugh, give them a large slice of triple layered cake, with no utensils, and discreetly follow them to watch them eat it with their hands.  A picture may or may not be taken later for blackmail purposes.  Just kidding.  Don’t blackmail them.  Just enjoy watching them eat cake with their hands.

Get to know (about) them
Let’s face it:  An interaction of a few seconds a day is simply not enough time to learn about your postal worker.  Consider doing some light Facebook stalking to learn more about their hobbies, favorite movies, foods, etc.  You may even consider hiring a Private Investigator.  Nothing says you care quite like mail sent to their private residence.  Sign off as “Your favorite person on your mail route.”

Get a bigger mailbox
If you have read through everything so far, it is my hope that you are able to easily separate seriousness from satire.  I do not condone and do not suggest stalking or general overall creepiness.  I do recommend being polite, courteous and positive.  They are in the middle of their work day – be a person to make the day more pleasant.  In addition to this, it does not hurt to get a mailbox that is large enough to fit all of your mail.  Take it from me – all the smiles and “have a great day” wishes may not help your cause at all if you aren’t at home.

For less than $35, I was able to get a larger mailbox.  15″ x 12″ x 24″ from Amazon.  This bad boy can hold pretty much 98% of whatever I have delivered to me.  Not only should it alleviate the worry you have of a postal worker cramming your precious oversized items into the box, but you will also be a hero to them by saving them multiple trips to your door.

And with that, my friends, my car is inspected and ready to hit the road.  May all of your experiences with postal workers be pleasant this holiday season!