On July 2, 2014, I ordered a Google Chromecast. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Google markets it as the “easiest way to enjoy online music and video on your TV.” It’s a tiny little stick (think USB drive) that plugs into your TV. It’s got a little USB cord which you can plug into the wall via an adapter or into the USB slot on your TV. What’s unique about it is that it is entirely controlled by your device, be it computer, phone, or tablet.

But enough about the Chromecast. This tale of woe is primarily about the United States Postal Service and their shortcomings.

Amazon claimed that the Chromecast would arrive in two days, and since Amazon is a usually reliable company, I believed them. Oh, how I was wrong.

The unhelpful tracking page in question

I was given a tracking number for my package, which I eagerly typed into the USPS website. They reported that it had been picked up by a shipping partner in Coffeyville, Kansas. I waited, but there were no further status updates until the next day, when the electronic shipping info was received. That was all.

And then, suddenly, on the fourth of July, all sorts of messages popped up that made me sing in joy. They were Acceptance, Arrival at Hub, Sorting Complete, Out for Delivery, and Delivered. While everyone but me found that unlikely, as it was a national post office holiday, I held out in hope that the package would still be delivered, because I trusted the USPS and their website.

Unfortunately, the package had not arrived, and I was sad. I waited two whole days until Monday arrived, and when I checked the mailbox- nothing.

Nothing at all.

Which meant that the mailman probably hadn’t arrived yet. So I waited. And I waited. And I waited.

Until the fateful moment. The Chromecast arrived. I was satisfied at last. I spent the rest of the day experimenting with it.

There was one important takeaway from this whole experience.

Don’t trust the USPS.