To put this into perspective, my wife and I are snowbirds. We live in NY during the Spring and Summer and part of the Fall. And, we live in Florida for the Winter. Pretty simple, right?
So, every year we need to inform the US Post Office of our Change of Address. Also, pretty simple, right?
But, if you’re like me any and all government forms are never simple. They seem to ask questions that are vague and arbitrary. And, the leave you totally confused.
Let’s get started.
To complete the on-line form you will need a valid credit card and an e-mail address. We will charge you $1.10 for this service. So, how did you come up with the dollar and ten cent charge? And, “If you prefer not to use your credit card, you can fill out PS Form 3575 acquired from your local Post Office.” But, do I want to go to the post office and wait on line for an hour to save a dollar and ten cents?
Followed by: “Note: The person who prepares this form states that he or she is the person, executor, guardian, authorized officer, or agent of the person for whom mail would be forwarded under this order. Anyone submitting false or inaccurate information on this form is subject to punishment by fine or imprisonment or both under Sections 2, 1001, 1702 and 1708 of Title 18, United States Code.”
Holy cow! I’m just changing my mailing address and you’re threatening me with jail time?
Who’s moving? Individual or family? Well, what if some of the family is moving and some are not? Or, what constitutes a family? And, what about my dog? She gets mail sometimes.
What if we all have different names?
What type of move is this? Permanent or Temporary. Now, there’s a question for you! What’s permanent? What’s temporary? If I move for more than 6 months is it permanent? And, then when I decided to return, is that also permanent? So you can see, I’m only on the first page of this form and I’m already stuck.
When should we start forwarding your mail? Hmmmm. If I told you stating tomorrow wouldn’t some of my mail end up sitting in my mailbox until I returned in 6 months? And, if I told you two weeks in advance wouldn’t you start forwarding my mail immediately? How do I know which day is the best day to tell you? Or, is it simply an arbitrary decision by a clerk at the local post office?
What’s your old address? That’s an excellent question! But, does that mean where I used to live, where I am living or where I grew up in the 1940s?
And, don’t get me started on “what’s my new address?”
Can I have my mail forwarded to a hospital, a prison, a public park restroom, a Cuban restaurant, my hair salon, McDonald’s? Can you forward my mother’s chocolate cookies to my military address in central Somalia?
Okay, I somehow figured out how to complete the form and then … before I can hit ‘FINISH” you ask me if I want discount coupons to stores I never heard of. And, you won’t let me leave your site until I answer all of these stupid questions?
Are you planning to buy a bed, a house, a horse or. an odd lot of lumber?
Will you allow us to send you a myriad of coupons like you get from CVS (enough to keep you warm around your shoulders in a rough winter storm?