, Advice by Ann Landers - []
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Section: manners, relationships, work

Dear Ann Landers,
I am a postal clerk, and every day, I see many cards, letters and packages sent to our mail recovery center (formerly known as the dead letter branch) because people do not put return addresses on the items they mail. I find it disturbing when mail that is undeliverable cannot be returned to the senders to let them know it didn't reach its destination. Think of the thank you notes, love letters, invitations and condolence cards that never got delivered because of illegible addresses. And imagine the hard feelings, disappointment, misunderstandings and broken relationships that resulted because senders didn't take the time to write their return addresses. When there is no acknowledgment of having received the gift, the sender assumes the recipient has poor manners. This problem could be remedied so easily. Return address labels are inexpensive, and it takes only a minute to affix them. Please, Ann, do your readers and the Postal Service a favor by printing this letter. It really IS important. -- Concerned Postal Clerk in N. Dakota

Dear N. Dakota,
I know a little something about mail and can sympathize with you. I hope your letter produces the desired results. Please, dear readers, pay attention to what this postal clerk is saying. It takes just a minute to print your return address in the upper left corner of the envelope or package or slap on the sticker. DO IT!

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
I realize how frustrating it is to postal clerks because of people who can't legibly print an address and return address on an envelope. I sometimes wonder how any of the mail gets delivered (except of course, for labels). I wonder if this is why cursive writing is no longer taught in schools. I still use cursive writing but not on envelopes because I DO want my mail to be delivered to the correct address. Wake up people

Reader Comment
I always clearly print out the company name

Reader Comment
I'll repeat my comment from yesterday. I also still use cursive writing but not on envelopes since I want my mail delivered to the correct address. We a currently experiencing a huge mail delivery slow down and I'm still waiting for my bank statements that I would normally have by late or end of September. it's now October 18 and I'm still waiting. Yes USPS needs help not only with clear addressing, but in getting our mail to us in a decent length of time. This situation is not tolerable. Do something about it NOW PLEASE! I also get my breathing and cholesterol meds by mail order. Do the right thing USPS! You are clearly in the wrong.....

CMW's Comment
I've lost packages that have the printed USPS labels on them, that were never 'scanned' into the tracking system. The label had the info mine and theirs, clearly printed. Sure wish I knew where these One of a Kind gifts have gone off to.

Reader Comment
I worked for FeEx for 5 years. We had the same issues. FedEx is definitely more expensive to send a letter or a package. Why wouldn’t the sender want his/her return address on the package in case something happens in transit?

Flute Lady's Comment
I lived in the UK for years and one of the various British "customs" that I never understood was the fact that people almost never put return addresses on envelopes. I asked various people why they didn't do something so simple that made things so much easier for the postal service, and the reply was usually a shrug. I always put return addresses on anything I mailed, and I was considered eccentric for that. It made no sense to me.

Ed in LA's Comment
The postal service uses return addresses? It surely does not use ZIP codes. Some years back I got a dunning letter from a car rental agency because the post office had not delivered the bill. A great while later it finally showed up. The name, street address, city, and zip code was correct, but because of the printed handwriting it was not 100% clear if it was CA, VA, or LA. So naturally it went incorrectly to the first two before they finally tried the last one.
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, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"At every party there are two kinds of people - those who want to go home and those who don't. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other."
-Ann Landers