Stop the presses!

stop the pressesWhew.  Why do they make it so hard to take a vacation?

Most of my preparations can be handled in-house (literally), but there are some circumstances that must be handled with the help of others.  Problem is, “others” don’t always make it easy to get their help.

I’m making excellent progress on the final preparations for the Great North American Baseball Road Trip.  To my surprise, I seem to be ahead of schedule.  That’s no thanks to the websites of the various services I need halted during my trip.

Let’s take the obvious first.  The Post Office doesn’t allow you to hold mail for more than 30 days.  Fine, I’ll just keep updating my hold online.  Oh, wait, it won’t let me submit a hold online for my address.  What?  Why have the function, then?

In talking to the counter person at my local branch, the suggestion was to talk directly to my regular carrier and have her hold the mail for me.  There’s automation for you.  Fine, I get along well with her anyway.  I gave her three yellow cards for holds and she agreed to drop the monthly bundles with my next door neighbors.

How about the newspaper?  Um, their online function doesn’t hold that long either.  Neither my local (Sun-Sentinel) nor my national (Wall Street Journal).  Both required emails to set up extended holds.  Sheesh.

I understand most of America works for a living and of those that don’t, only a small percentage likely take breaks over 30 days, but is it that complicated to add the functionality for long-term holds to their online systems?

Another service, my monthly car wash program, required a phone call (no online functionality whatsoever) and I just flat-out canceled Netflix (I can renew when I get back).  Amazon Prime stays active all year because (a) that 2-day shipping could be especially valuable on the road and (b) it’s paid a year at a time anyway (methinks “b” is the most compelling).

Thankfully, that’s all the holds I need to accomplish before leaving.  My driveway and mailbox should be nicely uncluttered now that I’ve stopped the presses.

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