Wicker Park U.S. Post Office

Mar 10, 2011 by

This has been gnawing at me for years but finally culminated this evening. Allow me to set the stage.

I’ve worked and played in Wicker Park for over twenty years, I’ve live here for about 15. It has a lot to offer, vibrant night life, interesting people and cool little places to hang out. I worked at a bar on Milwaukee while I was in college when there were still shootings and stabbings a few doors down the street. Some nights, after work, John Phillips and I would head over to Club Dreamers ( now and upscale establishment called ….) drink heavy, play Cyclone pinball, get hit on and listen to whatever shity band happens to be playing upstairs. No matter where John and I went we would always get “street price” because we worked in “the industry.” It was a great time we were paid in cash and drank practically for free, what more could a college student want.

How about, having my mail delivered on time and in readable condition?

The U. S. Postal Service is in serious financial trouble. They are in trouble because they didn’t see what was coming with the inter-connectivity of computer systems. A little something I call the Internet, most people call the Web and assholes call The Cloud. They sat on there ass until Fed Ex and UPS took over shipping and online services took over personal correspondence. All of this culminates with the Letter Carrier. The only other place I’ve witnessed the level of unengaged, uninterested, just putting in time for a paycheck attitude is in fast food service and I’m not talking upscale like McDonalds, I’m talking Wendy’s.

I’ve had my mail delivered at 9:00 o’clock at night. I’ve had my mail box left open during rain storms. I’m constantly getting other peoples mail delivered to my address, which makes me wonder who’s getting my mail. I’ve had my mail delivery stopped because the letter carrier reported no one lived in my building. I rarely see the same carrier twice.

Recently, my zip code was split. I use to be 60622 now I’m 60642. No big deal right? Wrong. With the split they shut down my post office. It was located about 4 blocks away. This was handy for the number of complaints and trips I was forced to make to find my missing mail. Now I have to travel about 2 miles to a sorting center to retrieve letters and packages that I wasn’t around to sign for. Which is complete crap, I’ve been home when the Letter carrier made deliveries, watched them put a pre-written notice on my mailbox with no package in sight. I guess they just couldn’t spare the time to actually bring my package.

So, today H received a Pink Pick Up notice. We trekked down to the warehouse sorting center to get the package her mom sent from Japan.

Allow me to describe the environment. The building is basically an old three story brick factory with a large warehouse area off to the side. When you walk in through the double glass doors with brass hardware you enter a small lobby about 9X10 with a 6 foot stairway leading to the upper floors ahead and to the right of the entrance. Their is a Dutch door on the wall to left approximately 4 feet in. As usual their were about 12 people ahead of us waiting in line at the Dutch door. I ask if everyone been helped and who was  the last person in line. No ones been helped yet and the hipster girl is the last in line. Eventually an uninspired postal worker arrives at the door and asks for 3 pink slips. The first 3 people hand them in and she disappears for, and I’m not exaggerating, 20 minutes. This is typical. About 45 minutes go by and it’s finally my turn. I turn in my slip wait about 10 minutes and then I hear something odd.
There’ s a strange scraping/dragging noise coming closer. Pause. More scraping/dragging and a weird rolling mixed in. Huh. Of course I immediately think…
Zombie Apocalypse…
and me without my chainsaw.
Luckily it’s just the postal worker dragging/rolling H’s package, from her MOM! sent all the way from Japan!!… labeled fragile… Think the opening of Ace Ventura Pet Detective…yeah that bad.

H was flabbergasted. As was I.

On the bright side, Phew, dodged a bullet on the whole Zombie Apocalypse thing, Matrix style.

I’ll be moving in less than a week. Maybe my new post office will be better.

But don’t take my word for it. During the wait I took the liberty of taking pictures of the ringing endorsements of those that had gone before me.









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Jan 25, 2011 by

So, H and I have been going through the loan process. If you’ve never been through it , you are in for quite a treat. We took care of some of this early, we had the foresight to go in for a “Pre-Qualifucation” basically they check your credit and make sure that you’re okay. You don’t owe anyone large amounts of money have gone bankrupt (recently) or are a closet communist. You know, be a good worker bee … not rock the boat… willingly be in thrall to the man…. yeah.


Anyway, after pre-quilification you’re assigned a loan officer. When you find a place you want to buy you go see your loan officer. He’s the guy from the bank that types your information into the computer. You know because you’re not responsible enough. After he types in your info…you sit their… uncomfortably…while the computer decides if you qualify for a loan. But wait wasn’t that what the “Pre-Qualification” was for? Ah..NO! The pre-qual. is the first step for the privilege of applying for the loan. So anyway back to the uncomfortable silence, inevitably small talk commences with this person you have nothing in common with. This goes on for an eternity. The computer churns. If you’re deemed worthy you get the go-ahead to be assigned a loan evaluator. This is an independence representative from the bank, someone you’ll never meet. It’s their job to ask you a series of questions and demand various documents to further prove your worthiness. You’ll get various e-mails and calls asking for things like your last 12 months of rent checks, “H”‘s green card, her statement on student loans all kinds of crazy stuff. These tactics are designed to give you a feeling of belittlement and powerlessness and that loans only go to the most worthy…and you haven’t been deemed worthy …yet. It doesn’t work. I’ve seen variations of this game many times. Frankly if I get a loan , great. If not, cool I’ll keep my tens of thousands of dollars. and maybe switch banks. The whole process can take a couple of weeks…really… in today’s digital age.. a couple of weeks? Meanwhile these jags are making money off of my hard earned dollars and paying me 0.5 percent.

I got an email today:

Mr. Morton,

We received an approval for the loan. There’s a few conditions that we have to clear. Please let me know when you have sometime so we can go over them.

Thank you,


Chase Home Finance


Mortgage Loan Officer




Friday at 4:30 I talk to “The Man” to clear up the “conditions.”


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