Stranger Than Fiction?

Another Postal Service SNAFU.

On August 21, I placed an order. The shipment was correctly addressed. First it went to Ohio, then to Indianapolis, IN (far south of where I live), then to Evansville, IN (the opposite end of the state from where I live, and the farthest south you can go and still be in Indiana), then to Pennsylvania (WHY???), and EIGHT DAYS LATER, it has ended up where it began: MICHIGAN.

Anybody willing to hazard a guess about where it will go next? Or when it might show up at my house?


SNAFU PIC #1: Screen shots of package tracking information. SNAFU PIC #2: A transcript of the two tracking records. (The transcript columns are reversed relative to the screen shots. On both, read from the bottom upwards to track the peregrinations of my package.)

I suppose the thought processes have gone something like this:

Michigan postal employee: “I never heard of such a place. Oh, I know – it’s been mislabeled. I’ll bet it’s supposed to go to Columbus, Ohio.”

Ohio postal employee: “This package says ‘Columbia City,’ and besides, there’s no such street name in Columbus. Oh, I know – it’s been mislabeled. I’ll bet it’s supposed to go to Columbia, Indiana. That’s in the Indianapolis region.”

Indianapolis postal employee: “Why is this package here? Columbia is an unincorporated wide spot in the road. There’s no such street name there. Oh, I know – it’s been mislabeled. I’ll bet it’s supposed to go to Columbia, South Carolina. I’ll just drop it in the Evansville bin, so it’ll go south.”

Evansville postal employee: “What the hey? There’s no such street name in Columbia, South Carolina. Oh, I know – it’s been mislabeled. I’ll bet it’s supposed to go the District of Columbia. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania region will get it there.”

Pennsylvania postal employee: “Fer cryin’ out loud, they’ve done it again! There’s no such street name in Washington, D.C. Better return it to sender, so they can get this straightened out.”

Michigan postal employee: “Gee, I wonder which bin I should throw this into? Eenie, meenie, miney, moe….”

To be fair, we’re not the only ones with this problem. When one of my French cousins sent me a package from Lourdes, it went to the Republic of Colombia in South America, first.

But to judge from this map, I’d have had a better chance of getting this package on time if it had been sent by way of the Underground Railroad:

Writing Prompt: What kind of story can you imagine that involves misdirected mail?

 

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