07 April, 2014

Almost A Dollar Short

I have written before about mis-directed mail - that is, mail intended for us that was sent to some place else. It's really pertinent when the address to get it to us is plainly and correctly written and it still gets sent to God only knows where.

You can read those stories by following these links: One from March and one from April, both from 2009. The latest one happened just a few days ago. Well, we got the letter a few days ago. I have no idea when it originally was sent.

It seems that our good friends at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) owed us some money, not a lot, but enough that they felt obligated to send it to us. They didn't actually send us the money. What they did was send us an IRS Form 1099-INT. See, they owed us some interest from our taxes last year. So, they wrote up the Form 1099 and fired it off to us, trusting the US Postal Service to get it down to Belize where the Belize Post Office would actually deliver it to us.

That was their first mistake - trusting the US Postal Service. If you're like us, when you hear of mis-directed mail, you probably first think of the Belize Post Office as being at fault. Hah! They never get their hands on it at that early stage. First, the envelope has to be sent by the US Post to some remote and foreign spot on the globe. It's then up to that location's postal folks to re-direct it to us here in Belize.

That's what happened here. The envelope bearing the Form 1099 and plainly and correctly addressed to us in Belize, first had to detour to Paris, France. A location not even in the same neighborhood as ours. Granted, we have Canadian satellite TV and there's a bit of French language programming on there, but I don't think that necessitated sending our mail on an extended journey across the pond, and back.

Anyway, that's what happened. We did get the Form 1099 in time to include it with our tax filing, so no harm done. It's just interesting that we get to add another country to the list of places the US Postal Service has sent mail intended for us here in Belize. I'm glad we don't live in some back-water, out of the way, third world country. Who knows where our stuff would end up.


Wilma said...

Here is our recent similar experience: a while back we requested that our mail drop service in Texas (a UPS Store) package up and forward all our mail to us via US Postal Service Priority Mail International to our general delivery address at the Independence Post Office. It should take at most 2 weeks to get here this way. Tracking showed that the pkg went from the UPS Store to Dallas, then another town in TX, then to Chicago, then to several locations in Miami, and only after the US tour did it come to Belize. It spent 3 weeks traveling the US and only 3 days getting to us in Toledo! It included tax documents, but we will probably file for an extension anyway just in case more things show up later. We complemented the local Post Office on their excellent service, which made them happy.

Dave Rider said...

Hi Wilma,

Nice to hear from you.

Isn't it amazing, the Belize Post Office seems to run rings around the one up north. Granted there's a bit of difference in volume, etc., etc.

But still, one has to wonder just how hard is it to pitch a letter into the right pigeon hole?

At least ours made it to Europe. Yours spent three weeks essentially going nowhere. Amazing.
Thanks for a nice comment.


JRinSC said...

The best I can do is when I bought a DVD (Jesse Stone movie) on eBay a couple of weeks ago and the USPS sent it to Hawaii for a spell before coming to SC. Still only took a week overall. Must have been by jet, huh?

Oh, our refunds hit our bank account last week. Seems we owe one year and refund the next. Go figure (obviously we can't)!!

See ya,


ps Things weren't that much better in the 60's when my submarine needed a new blower for the aux diesel and we pulled into Port Canaveral to get it only to find it was sent from Norfolk to Germany. That got us two extra days of liberty!!!

Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

Obviously, your DVD needed a short vacation. Talking about refunds... We can file electronically now, however the company managing my retirement account buggered the Form 1099 and there was no way for me to correct it (They left Belize off of the address on the form), so we had to file the old fashioned way from down here. (Yawn) Still waiting for a refund.
When I was in the USCG, they'd fix the A/C just in time to be up in the Bering Sea in Alaska and then get the heating working about when we'd make it to San Diego for REFTRA. Fond Memories.