A note for the U.S. Postal Service

A couple years ago, I took a trip down to the Los Angeles area to be trained for my ill-fated stint with the U.S. Census Bureau.

I lost my identification at the front desk of the hotel. No credit or debit cards were involved; I kept those separately.

When I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, I did all the appropriate stuff, moved on, and mostly forgot about it.

Today’s been one of those days. I should be out working already but there was an oil change and two grocery deliveries to deal with. At the end of it, I bought gas, got the car washed, and stopped by my mailbox to pick up some packages that had arrived yesterday.

I knew about four of them; in fact, there were six, including one from my old mailbox in Sebastopol (they forward my mail to me weekly). The latter included an envelope from the U.S. Postal Service marked, “Found Loose.”

I opened it and found the old identification wallet I’d lost in Los Angeles. The identification mostly—not entirely—had been superseded, first by replacement documents, and second, when I moved to Pittsburgh. But there is the sentimental value of that wallet.

A little over twenty years ago, I started working for Linuxcare as a contractor. Eventually they hired me on as an employee. This is the one real job I’ve ever had my life. It actually began to pay me what, for San Francisco even at that time, was a livable salary. But when they hired me, they gave me a few things—“tchotchke” in industry parlance. The tee shirt has long since worn out and disappeared. But this wallet I used for identification, embossed with “Linuxcare,” was the one I had lost in Los Angeles.

I don’t know precisely where that wallet has been all this time. I assume a mailbox someplace. But I also have to wonder what would have happened to it had it been turned into what neoliberals want to replace the Postal Service with, an outfit like FedEx or the United Parcel Service.

The Postal Service returned it to me. I doubt those other outfits would have.

So a note of appreciation is in order here for the Postal Service and whoever dropped that wallet in some Postal Service receptacle somewhere. Thanks!

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