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Poor Barbara Frazier of Harrison, Ark. Her friendĀ sent her a $200 mail order in 1998, theĀ Harrison TimesĀ reports,Ā and guess what? It finally arrivedā€¦last week. 17 years later! Post Office officials told theĀ Harrison TimesĀ this just happens every once in a while, no big deal:

Post Office officials say itā€™s not unheard of for a letter to get stuck in a mail bag. Sometimes that bag may be tossed in a corner until itā€™s needed again, and that could even be 17 years later.


The USPS told Fusion that they do not track nationally how often letters are lost, a disheartening fact. (They will, however, attempt to figure out how manyĀ pieces of mail get lost at your local bureau, ifĀ they can find any data.)

For years, the man who mailed her theĀ letter insisted he had done so;Ā for yearsĀ FrazierĀ didn't believe him. She told theĀ TimesĀ she "yelled a lot" at this poor, innocent man, the fragile threads of their relationship sliced by the cold, unfeeling hands of bureaucracy. Bureaucracy cares not for love or trust.


Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.