Wednesday, April 16, 2008
April 15, 2008
From beginning to end April 15, 2008 was about as stress-filled and frustrating a day as I can remember. Not only the last day to file federal income tax returns, but working from an office at home, it was calamitous when just after 9 a.m. the power went out. I called Tacoma Power to report the outage and had a bizarre conversation with the man who answered the phone. Here I'm calling to report the power is out and he asks me, "Have you looked at your door?" Well, no, I hadn't looked at my door. Why would I look at my door when the power is out?!? He then informed ne that tree trimming was underway on our street and that the power would be would shut off for the next six hours! He added that they "would have attempted to notify you the day before" and I told him that both my husband and I had been at the house the entire day prior and no one had come to notify us. He added that a 'door hanger' should have been left on our door. (It wasn't.) So...no power...no work...and for that to happen any day would be a source of frustration, but to have it happen on April 15 presented an unfathomable conundrum. He gave me the phone number for another person at Tacoma Power and that went to voicemail, but the individual called later in the day to say he will mail me a claim form for any loss or damage.
Back in the good old days (when did they end?!?), the U.S. Postal Service kept at least one local facility open and receiving mail until midnight to ensure that the public would have the maximal opportunity to get an "April 15" postmark on their outbound federal income tax return filing. But the good old days are no more.
The Evergreen Station routinely receives mail until 8:30 p.m. (even though that represents a cutback also, because they used to pick up mail until 10 p.m. nightly), but now it is 8:30.
Wouldn't you think that the local postmaster might indulge John Q. Public and accommodate on just that one day of the year with a later time? Midnight, perhaps, like the olden days? No. Of course not, silly! What? And pay someone three-and-a-half more hours to go out and retrieve the mail one day of the year? No way!!! The latest pickup time at Evergreen Station on April 15 was 8:30 p.m.
We made it into the queue blocks away (47th Street, south of Tacoma Mall) on Pine Street and awaited our turn to drop the mail into the slot to ensure an April 15 postmark.