post travel, seattle

When your local post office is not local

It was like I was in that episode of Broad City where Abbi had to trek to North Brother Island to pick up a package.

I, however, was at North City Annex, my local post office. This “local” post office is situated eight miles away from my residence. It’s not even in the city of Seattle where I live! Who has even heard of North City? What is North City?

I still don’t know the answer to that last question.

Bryce and I walked into the former Office Depot building, the North City Annex post office. There was no normal post office counter in the front. There were no racks of flat-rate boxes for sale. There were no posters of the various forever stamps plastered to the wall. There was no line of customers waiting to mail packages.

Instead, there were postal workers walking by every which way. It was just a big warehouse … of mail.

Like I said, there was no front counter. There was a plastic roller-cart in the front with a paper taped to the side that read “ring bell for service.” We rang the bell. And, nothing happened. No one seemed to notice us.

One worker finally stopped by and asked us if we had rung the bell. We said “yes” and he replied with “good.” He rang the bell again (for good measure, I guess?) and walked away.

A second person came by and asked if we rang the bell.

Was anyone actually going to assist us? Or did they only care about the darn bell?

Finally someone approached us to assist. I showed him my ID and he left and returned a few minutes later with my mail.

Why did I have to pick up my mail in the first place, you ask?

After being on vacation for two weeks in Japan, I needed to pick up my mail that was being held at my local post office. But, this was the first time I was picking up mail after moving into our new place so I wasn’t 100 percent confident in which post office was my designated “local post office.”

I called the post office in closest proximity to me. This one is located 1.5 miles away. They told me I was not their local post office. They told me my local post office was one in Mountlake Terrace. I couldn’t believe it since 1) that’s nine miles away and 2) that is not even in the city of Seattle, where I live!

I called another post office that is 2.5 miles. They also confirmed that they were not my local post office. But, even more confusing was that they told me a different post office was mine — not the Mountlake Terrace one that the first postal worker on the phone told me!

I was even more confused. I tried looking online but the United States Postal Service makes it impossible for a new resident to figure out exactly which post office is their “local post office.”

Moral of my story is if you ever need to have USPS hold your mail while you are on an extended vacation, just have them deliver it in a bundle upon your return. I did the “pick up at my local post office” option because I was worried that two weeks worth of mail may not fit in my mail box.

Next time I’ll risk it. I have no desire to return to North Brother Island Annex in North City, Washington York Terrace.


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