The gift that wasn’t

Today I hit the post office for the first time in a couple of weeks. We don’t have much mailed to us, so we only check when we are expecting something. I have been eagerly awaiting my microphones which probably will never arrive. That is based on the conversation I had with the post office lady today.

Today I had a nice pretty brown package slip in my mail box. I was thrilled until I saw from whence it came. It was not the state that the microphones should have been mailed from.

The package cost me $35 in custom’s fees. It was a box that had a music CD and some CDs of sermons from a conference. All of which I very much appreciate. The music CD I would probably have paid money for. The conference CDs I might have paid for, but not at the end of the month when I don’t have any money. But the deal at the post office is, I either pay it, or they destroy it. I have 2 weeks to pay it. Since I have not been there a while, I have already passed 1 week and won’t get paid for a few more days. So I took all the money I had in the gasoline fund in the glove box (don’t tell anyone I keep my gas money in the glove box) and paid the custom’s fee.

Fortunately customs did not open the package and steal anything out of it. The custom’s form that was filled out by the church which sent me the CDs had all the information written out. So customs just used the information on the form instead of pawing through the box. The problem is that they said there were 1 audio CD and 45 DVDs. In fact, they were all audio CDs. So I had to pay the custom’s fee on 45 DVDs instead of CDs.

They also listed the value at the full retail value of the items. While they could sell these for $200, it certainly did not cost them that much to produce. They should be honest on a custom’s form, but couldn’t they put the actual cost instead of the retail value? The form just asks for “Value.” It does not specify retail or actual value.

So, anyway, I had to pay $35 for a gift today. Last year it was $50. I was so torqued last year that I never listened to them. They still sit on my shelf waiting to be loaded into my MP3 player. Maybe I will catch up on last year’s and eventually get around to this year’s CDs.

An email might have to be sent to tell them that I would actually appreciate NOT getting the “gift” next year.

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