Poor Barbara Frazier of Harrison, Ark. Her friend sent her a $200 mail order in 1998, the Harrison Times reports, and guess what? It finally arrived…last week. 17 years later! Post Office officials told the Harrison Times this just happens every once in a while, no big deal:
Post Office officials say it’s not unheard of for a letter to get stuck in a mail bag. Sometimes that bag may be tossed in a corner until it’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 many pieces of mail get lost at your local bureau, if they can find any data.)
For years, the man who mailed her the letter insisted he had done so; for years Frazier didn't believe him. She told the Times 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.