August 25th, 2021
Mailbox Down! Or I suppose I should say, another mailbox down. I think this is the 3rd or perhaps 4th time since we lived here. sigh.
This time I actually saw it happen. I was in the kitchen and something out the window caught my eye so I looked up. And out the big bay window by the kitchen table where I was standing, just as clear as day , I watched as a school bus very slowly backed into our mailbox. I had to blink a couple of times to be absolutely certain of what I was seeing.
When something unexpected happens, I do not leap into action. Nope, I am stunned into immobility. I do not scream or shout or faint. I just stand there. So yeah, I am not the person you want close at hand during an emergency. It's as if, when something outside the norm happens, my brain goes "tilt" and just shuts off for a second or two.
Once all of the marbles in my brain fell back into the proper holes, I went outside. By the time I got to the mailbox the big old yellow bus was trundling on down the road. BUT I did make note of the identification number on the bus. And the nice lady who was driving behind the bus made it a point to stop and give me that bus ID number as well. "Can you believe that?" she yelled to me out her car window. Clearly we were both surprised.
In my usual slow witted fashion, at first I just stood there assessing the situation. Both pieces seemed to be intact, just separate and a little scuffed up. The scuffing doesn't affect function so my first move was to shove the post into a more upright position. It was a little wobbly but still perpendicular to the ground which is always preferable. Then I tried putting the receptacle back on the post. No matter what I did or how hard I tried, I could not make it happen. That's when I saw the split and slight crook in the part that the receptacle slides onto. Dang.
It seems that that booboo was just enough to keep the two parts as two separate parts. Ratz. There was no way I was going to be able to make this happen on my own. I picked up a few of the mailbox numbers which had, once again, fallen to the ground and brought them into the house with me. Tim had one heck of a time getting those numbers to stick in the first place, now they were off again.
I debated with myself for a couple of minutes. Should I call and report this? Or should I just let it go? I hate to be a complainer. On the other hand, this is the first time of all the broken mailboxes we have endured since we lived here, that I actually witnessed the perpetrator in action. With the exception of the first mailbox destruction which was clearly done by a car (we found car parts like side view mirrors mixed amongst the broken mailbox pieces that time) perhaps all of the broken mailbox damage was done by various school buses? It's possible.
So, feeling rather curmudgeonly, I looked up the number for the county school transportation office and politely reported the incident, assuming that would be the beginning and the end of it.
Instead, the person on the other end of the phone was so very kind, "Oh dear!" she said when I reported the incident. "I am so sorry that happened" she commiserated. She asked all of the necessary question for the incident report and then collected my contact information and assured me that there would be an "investigation" and someone would be in contact. I thanked her and went on my merry way.
Within a a half hour someone else had called to confirm all of the information and to apologize for the incident. And within another half hour, and just as I was starting to prep dinner, a man in a truck showed up. I walked out to meet him as he was heeling the post back into the ground properly. He smiled and introduced himself and apologized one more time as he magically, somehow, managed to get the receptacle back, securely, on top of the post. "I think that'll do" he beamed, so proud of himself. He attempted to wiggle the mailbox indicating how securely it was back in place. "Good Enough" I smiled back.
Before he left, he asked why one side of the mailbox said we lived at 34 and the other side said we lived at 44. I laughed and said the house number is actually 344 and that the bus knocked the other numbers right off". He assured me that today he would replace those as well.
So my Goodness! What a lovely experience. I mean if you have to have a bus back into your mailbox, this is the bus company that you want to have to deal with. Every single person I had contact with apologized and thanked me for being so nice about the situation. I was reassured multiple times that the bus driver in question would undergo some "retraining". Our mailbox is back in place and so very quickly too. I am impressed as all get out at the Sarasota County School Transportation folks. Cannot say enough positive things about them! Woohoo!
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.