Some of you may remember the story I told back in February about how my passport got lost in the mail in Tokyo and I missed my flight back to San Francisco. Afterward, my dad and I filed a claim with the post office. Missing my flight had cost me about $500 and a lot of stress, and since the whole reason I couldn’t get on the flight was because the postal employees couldn’t find my package (which was sitting right on their shelf the whole time), could they reimburse me? We kind of knew the answer would be no, but figured it couldn’t hurt to try — at the very least, we would make things a little bit better for future customers by making sure this doesn’t happen again to anyone else.
In response to our claim phone call, the post office sent us the above letter a couple of weeks later. We wrote them back refuting many of their reasons and telling them that more than anything we were disappointed in their services and had lost faith in a system that we had once trusted. A few weeks after that, two postal service employees showed up at my dad’s office. One was the branch manager, the other was just some dude. They had come to apologize and, while they couldn’t offer monetary compensation for our losses, they brought us a nicely bound book of collectors’ item stamps. When my dad called to tell me that, I just laughed. As with most adverse situations, I had gone through the pain of it once, let it soak in, and then moved on. No point continuing the fight. The book of stamps was a peace offering, and we accepted.