July 6, 2024 at 11:17 am

Mailman Wouldn’t Deliver Their Mail While Construction Was Happening, So Followed The Rules In A Creative Way So Their Mail Would Always Get Delivered

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock/Reddit

Life would be so much easier if people would at least try to be flexible.

After all, we’re all just trying to do out best out here, right?

These people had to deal with some construction along the road and had to move their mailboxes.

Find out what happened when their mail carrier refused to walk the extra few steps to deliver their mail.

Six Feet Out, or Six Feet Up

Decades ago, my grandparents purchased a large plot of land out in the middle of nowhere with the idea to build themselves a home and retire on that plot.

They were both from the rural midwest, so they originally wanted to keep horses, chickens, and maybe a few other small farm animals on this land–hence the size.

As the years went by and they started actually making plans, they realized that horses weren’t really feasible for a variety of reasons.

By that time the area around their plot of land had been significantly more developed, so they instead split the plot into 8 pieces and sold the other 7, essentially financing their original purchase and the construction of the house–leaving their retirement and pension untouched.

Their grandparents were basically just living the dream.

Because of their incredibly advantageous position, they made a point to only sell to like-minded buyers: friendly retirees who were looking for their last home and wanted a bit of the same rural isolation that my grandparents wanted.

The result is that my grandparents ended up with their dream bungalow on a spacious lot surrounded by friendly neighbors, and without any major time or money obligations.

They ended up spending a lot of time volunteering and generally making friends with the community that was growing around them.

Then, the town had to get their sticky little fingers involved.

The area ended up becoming incorporated, and the town they were now living in eventually decided that the two-lane blacktop road needed to be re-paved and upgraded with sidewalks, gutters, and all the other amenities townspeople expect.

Now the county that the town was incorporated from had planned ahead, and there was plenty of room set aside for exactly this type of project, so none of the residents needed to move their fences or give up property to the state.

The residents agreed to move their mailboxes for the duration.

However, most of them had placed their mailboxes on a post about a half-dozen of feet from their property line–nearer to the road so that the postman had easy access.

When the construction started, a city representative visited each property on this street and gave them a heads-up on what to expect, and also asked that the residents move their mailboxes to make room for construction.

My grandfather, being of light schedule and helpful demeanor, offered to help his neighbors temporarily relocate their mailbox and post.

He had retired from a career as a handyman, and several of his children owned landscaping or similar businesses. So he and my uncle spent a few hours with a mini-backhoe and unearthed all eight of his neighbors’ mailbox posts–cement and all.

He saved the posts to re-install when the road was complete, and mounted the mailbox proper on each property’s fence.

But then, the mail stopped.

Lo and behold, on Monday they had no mail service. After a bit of investigation, they realized none of their neighbors did either. So the next morning my grandfather waited outside to see what the problem was.

Right on time, the mailman drove down their side of the street, completely ignoring all eight properties. Redoubling his efforts, the next morning my grandfather was able to flag the mailman down and ask what the problem was.

According to my grandfather, the very curt response was “I’m not required to deliver to any mailbox more than 36″ from the edge of the road.”

A call to the postal service confirmed this rule: the mailman may deliver outside that limit if they want, but they are not required to.

Gramps did his research.

Now it’s pretty amazing what you can get done with 8 business hours of free time.

The problem was that 36″ from the current edge of the road is in the way of construction. My grandfather spoke to the construction supervisor, who was sympathetic but just as stuck as my grandfather was.

My grandfather then visited the postal office and returned with a current copy of the regulations about mailbox locations.

After a few hours of study, and another visit to the construction supervisor’s office with a half-dozen doughnuts and some coffee, he had formulated a plan.

And called in a few favors.

Remember his sons who ran landscaping businesses? My grandfather got in his truck and visited both businesses.

He returned home with eight 20-gallon plant pots.

These things are huge: 30″ tall and just about as large around.

You see, while the construction guys couldn’t mess with a federally-protected, fixed mailbox, they were happy to move a pot out of their way in the morning, and back when the job was finished for the day (my grandma makes some pretty damn good doughnuts) which is a pretty easy task when you have earthmoving equipment nearby.

So each post was re-planted in a 20-gallon pot and each mailbox was re-mounted on a post and each pot was placed conservatively within 36″ of the current road’s edge.

All in the service of a deliciously petty workaround.

The kicker was that a mailbox post that is meant to stick 4-feet out of the ground has at least 2 feet buried in the ground–in other words, it’s a 6-foot post.

When you put that inside a pot with a few inches of soil underneath and that pot on the surface of the ground, a mailbox on top is easily more than 6-feet in the air.

You see, the mailbox codes clearly specify how far horizontally a mailbox needs to be from the road, but say nothing about how high that mailbox needs to be.

It took a few more conversations with the postman, and a visit from the local inspector, but the mailman spent the better part of six months delivering to eight mailboxes 6-feet in the air rather than walk the extra 6-feet to the fence.

This paints quite the picture.

I wonder if Reddit can see it too.

There are so many delightful mailbox stories.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Pure enjoyment.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Not all heroes wear capes.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Some lessons are learned the hard way.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

It was quite the ride.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

This is what happens when people have time on their hands.

I love it.

If you enjoyed this story, check out this post about a daughter who invited herself to her parents’ 40th anniversary vacation for all the wrong reasons.