When the weather is so bad you go without mail … would you miss it?

Estimated read time: 3 minutes



The weather with the Polar Vortex was so bad cold in the Midwest that heating companies shared tips. Businesses closed offices.

And then I got a note from the US Postal Service – which has one of the best social customer service operations – saying that my mailbox had too much snow around it.

Hard to argue that, but it looked similar to other mailboxes around the neighborhood.

And the Postal Service knew it was bad as they cancelled delivery completely to everyone on a Wednesday.


Now it’s not like I can opt out of the postal delivery and I also get things in the mail still from time to time that I actually want.

Clients paying or reimbursing me by check – which I then deposit via an app

Some bills – though that volume has gone down a ton and moved to email

Amazon orders

All kinds of stuff I don’t want

The Amazon orders may be the most important and wanted service actually.

Another one is that I can simply put stamped letters into the mailbox and they will take them. That is a service the postal service in Germany – where I grew up – didn’t offer.



So I’m not against getting mail delivery. FYI.


With the weather, what were my options with that snow-covered mailbox? Much of the snow packed in front was from the snowplows. That was the natural place for the snow to go and it was piling up so to speak with the amount of snow falling and not melting.

Then the snow blowing by people – like me – piled on on the sides and back.

Neighbors that I knew shoveled ended up with similar situations.


I considered my options and decided to just request a hold mail (aka vacation stop) for my mail and allow nature to hopefully clean some of the snow for me.

We were looking at a temperature swing from -50 to 42 so my plan had a shot.

I thought of it as a win-win. The mail carrier wouldn’t have to deal with my mail, I could let the snow cleaning slide for a few days and I also wouldn’t have to try to get to my mailbox. So win-win-win technically.

Now, I don’t know what the implications would be if my entire neighborhood would have had the same idea, but that’s probably not likely anyway.

Some people almost scolded me for going this route. “Just go clean it!” I thought it was smart. ????


Of course one problem for businesses – not USPS – in a case like this can be that once you stop a service you might not miss it. Or you don’t realize it’s even missing.


Newspapers went that way for me and I still believe #journalismmatters. At one point, I stopped print subscriptions and I used to get 3-5.

It was barely noticed that they disappeared. I added one back at times using points.

When the points subscription ran out we just didn’t renew and didn’t even miss it.

That doesn’t necessarily apply to the postal service but crossed my mind as it relates to other businesses.


Phil didn’t see his shadow so maybe we are on our way to an early spring. We’ll see!


Update: Two days and a 100 degree swing made a difference: