Did I Just Break the Post Office?

As a parent of 4 teenagers, I have been following blog posts about ways to earn extra income. We’ve saved a bit and have 529s, but still can use some more cash. We compare in-state and out-of-state prices, browse scholarship sites, then check the internet for creative side hustle ideas. Because, tuition. 

I had a few spare minutes between bringing one kid to drivers’ ed and another to the dentist, and I used those minutes to sign up for Ebates. So far, I got a Big Fat Check for $26, and am looking forward to my $6.23 for this month. My daughter, who is a junior in high school, signed up after I did, using a friend’s referral code, and she already got back $65. I’m obviously doing something wrong. Because, Gen Z.

So, since my Ebates get-rich-quick plan was off to a staggering start, I resorted to selling things on eBay. Yup. Supposedly everyone has about $7,000 worth of random things in their house that are eBayable. (Is that even a word?) Now to figure out what random things we had that were worthy. To us, $7,000 is serious dough, especially when it comes to college. Because, room and board. And books.

It all started when my oldest daughter was ready to move into her dorm and gifted her bucket of Barbies to her younger siblings. Mind you she hadn’t played with these dolls in years and her sisters were now way too old to be interested. But instead of throwing out the plastic beauty queens, I thought – eBay! Who knew that seven naked Monster High dolls would sell for $31? All the mismatched shoes on the bottom of the bucket? $11.50. Because, gas and tolls.

Then tonight, after work, I drove as fast as I could but I got to the post office at 5:03 to mail the latest eBay package. It was a 15 x 12 x 13 box with a Disney thing in it. It was too late for counter service, but there was still a self-serve option. I entered the address and dimensions and the machine spit out postage. Affixed, I was ready to be done. I still had to buy Shake n’ Bake to make our kids dinner that they won’t like. Because, girls.

Mind you, I only had to go to the post office in the first place because when I’d been putting eBay packages in our mailbox to be picked up, my very helpful kids brought them inside, thinking that they were incoming mail. When I’d get home from work, the packages would be sitting on my kitchen counter, alongside the day’s bills and magazines. Because…shaking my head.

Right next to the self-serve kiosk at the post office was a drop box with a big handle. I lowered the handle and looked inside. It was huge and reminded me of the kind of dumpster you can put a big bag of clothes in to donate. So, I placed my package inside and raised the handle. 

Silence. No swoosh or plop of a package going down the chute. Because, of course.

It seems that I didn’t stop to read the sign that said only flat envelopes and small packages could be placed inside. Or the one that said anything fragile had to be brought to the counter during regular business hours. (You don’t even want to know that I used to be a reading teacher.) I tried and tried to get the package to go down by opening and closing the handle, but no luck. Then, I tapped on the window of the post office but there was no one in sight. Because 5:14.

How is it, that to make a few bucks, I had to break the post office? A nice customer reassured me that tomorrow morning when they open the drop box, they’ll get my package out, no problem. But tonight – problem. I think my eBay days are over. I might just have to live knowing that I have $6850 worth of random things in my house. Because, my sanity.

Back to Ebates it is. Hopefully when we order my daughter’s school supplies on line, I will get a good percentage back. I might even order something that I don’t need just to get a percentage back.

Because, college.

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