Thou shalt have your mail delivery resume when USPS tells you! has a feature I loved until a few minutes ago: schedule a hold mail. When traveling, I’d rather the post office hold my mail than my mailbox on the street. In the past, I had to go to the post office and fill out a card. Now, you can fill it out on their Web site, and it’s great, unless …. you are traveling for more than a month; the system only can look ahead one month at a time. After you authenticate your address, you have a drop-down menu to select the date when you want them to start holding your mail. The next menu is for the date you want delivery resumed. This one only goes out one month: don’t you dare traveling longer! You can choose between “the post office will resume … ” and “I will pick up …”, meaning I could just tell them “after this day drop off my mail and start delivery again” and I’ve done it a few times and it worked perfectly. But since I’m going away for more than a month, I though I’d just choose “I’ll pick up” and avoid the one-month-only duration. No such luck. Even when I choose “I’ll pick up” they won’t let me continue until I enter a resume date. In the confirmation page they promise me to resume normal delivery on that day. But wait, I don’t want you to, I won’t be home yet. So I thought I’d outsmart them; I’ll just schedule another stop starting the following day. Are you kidding me? Outsmart the bureaucracy, armed with a computer program? Forget about that. You cannot schedule another hold while you have one registered already. So, if you know you’ll be traveling three trips in a row, and you’d like to schedule them all in one sitting, the bureaucrats and the programmers have ganged up against you. They just want you to come back again. I’m still trying to figure out how to stop them from delivering my mail a full week before I’m back.

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