Monday, September 25, 2017

How Contacting My Congresswoman Solved a Major Problem



Mike & I moved into our new apartment on May 1st, just a few blocks away from our old apartment. Our neighbor at the old place reminded us to please make the appropriate change of address with the post office, & I of course assured him I would. I did, too, & almost right away - but little did it matter, as, two months into our new living arrangement, Mike & I had yet to receive a single piece of forwarded mail.

Obviously, this was a bit of a problem. There was no way to know what mail we're not receiving, & though I tried to pick up our mail from the old apartment as often as I could, I knew things must be falling through the proverbial cracks. When a new tenant moved into our old place, I knew I had to move things along with USPS to figure out why we weren't getting our mail.

It was not an easy process. 

In early July, I went to three local post office locations, & at all three, I was told that I had to go elsewhere. Finally, I ended up at the main post office near downtown, which is not actually made for customers. I couldn't even figure out where to go in! I shared what I thought was a funny, if frustrating, Instagram story about the experience; I rang a buzzer & sat in front of three doors labeled by zip code & waited 20 minutes for someone to help me, Wizard of Oz-style.

The manager I spoke to was A) rude, & B) unhelpful, saying he couldn't figure out what had gone wrong but he would call me with an update. Did he ever call? Of course not. When I finally reached him by phone two weeks later, he told me, "Oh, yeah, I remember your case. What's the issue?" I explained again, & again, he said he'd look into it & follow up with me.

But fool me once, shame on you, & fool me twice, shame on you. I wasn't about to wait for this guy to get his act together.

Enter Congresswoman Marcia Fudge's office. Rep. Fudge represents Ohio's 11th district, which comprises my neighborhood. When a friend who works in politics originally suggested I reach out to my member of Congress's office, I thought I'd first give USPS the benefit of the doubt - but when that fell through, I decided to ring up Rep. Fudge's Cleveland office.

The guy I spoke to was immensely friendly, helpful, & trustworthy. Immediately, I had the feeling that he'd help me get to the bottom of it - & I was right.

Less than a week later, I received a call from the local acting postmaster himself, explaining what had happened, apologizing profusely, & assuring me that our mail would start being forwarded ASAP. He even gave me his direct line so I could easily reach him should the issue persist - though he swore it wouldn't.

It still took another week or so for us to start receiving our forwarded mail - but it did eventually come. We also received a letter from Rep. Fudge's office confirming their involvement in sorting out this issue - something I have no doubt would never have happened had I relied solely on the rude, derpy guy from the post office to make it happen on his own.

Congress is here for more than just taking away our health care. Make 'em do their jobs. They work for us! Have you ever contacted your Congressperson for help like this?

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