/A bureaucracy gone mad

A bureaucracy gone mad

By Jim Poling Sr.

I have confirmed that COVID-19 is not a respiratory disease. It is a mental disease that makes some people more stupid than they already are.

I confirmed this during yet another call to our federal government, which is increasingly badly operated by empty pumpkin heads.

I called Canada Post because when I went to gather my daily mail, I found our two neighbourhood mail boxes replaced with two newer looking ones. The old ones looked and worked fine, but the feds always are looking for ways to waste our money, so I just shrugged. 

I shrugged until I went to use the new mail box. The mail space assigned to me was so small that there was barely enough room to get my hand in to retrieve my mail.

Well, we all are being asked to live with less these days, so I closed the slot and proceeded to mail four letters. I scoured the new mail boxes but could not find an outgoing mail slot. That’s when I called Canada Post.

To be accurate, I asked my wife to make the call. I hadn’t taken my morning blood pressure medication, and having The Big One during a conversation with a federal bureaucrat would be the ultimate indignity.

The Canada Post help guy told my wife there is no outgoing mail slot because they are no longer picking up outgoing mail in our area. 

“No one advised us that,” said my wife.

“They don’t have to tell you, ma’am,” he replied.

“Why are you stopping outgoing mail pickup,” she asked. The reply: The trucks are not large enough to handle both delivery and pickup.

When she asked where we are supposed to mail our letters, he said he would happily look up the addresses of nearby outgoing mail boxes. Most of those he supplied were in far-off places, an hour or more drive away.

My wife’s cell phone was on speaker so I shouted: “What about Dorset? It’s six miles down the highway and has an actual post office.”

He said he had no record of that place and added that he was stationed in southern Ontario, and didn’t know much about the north. Although, he had attended a Boy Scout camp in the Haliburton area.

He asked for our actual address, then said Canada Post had no record that the address existed, despite the fact that it has been delivering our mail here for the last three years.

At that point, I had to race home to take a double dose of blood pressure pills.

This was my second encounter this year with a numbingly dense federal bureaucracy. 

Late last year, I filed my writing business HST report to Revenue Canada. In March, I received a reply that they had mailed me a refund of $450, but to my old address in Barrie. We had moved a few months earlier to our cottage near Dorset. 

That would not be a problem, however, because I had paid Canada Post $108 to forward my Barrie address mail to my new address.

It was a problem. The cheque, like a bunch of other expected mail, did not arrive.

I called Revenue Canada where I learned the cheque appeared to be lost and they would send me a pile of paperwork to fill out for a new cheque to be issued, if the old one was not found within six months.

The Revenue Canada help guy asked for the new address. I gave it to him, noting he already had it because I had sent a change of address form to Revenue Canada months earlier. 

He said he could not find the address, and in fact the road on which I live did not exist. I protested, and he said he would check Canada Post. When he came back on the line, he said Canada Post informed him that there is not such address anywhere in Canada. 

“But Canada Post delivers mail, including mail from Revenue Canada, to this address,” I said.

“Well, Canada Post has no record of that address,” he replied.

I slammed down the phone and went looking for my blood pressure medication.

Maybe it’s Covid. Maybe not. But we live in a world gone mad.