Does anyone have any stories, anecdotes, facts or anything at all on the subject of how the post office(s) and the post men and women view (or don't view) mailart. Anyone have any interesting or funny stories on this topic? I'd enjoy hearing them.

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First thing I remember is that someone sent me mail when I still was in Tilburg to a very basis address:

TAM
Tilburg
Netherlands

And guess what. It actually arrived. Maybe also because I have been getting mail a long time in the central located P.O. Box where all the mail for Tilburg (a town with 200,000 inhabitants). So they recognised my 'nickname' and workingname 'TAM' and guessed it should arrive in my box.

Another thing that happens; a very creatively made piece of mail that was for the Local University also was put in my mail-box. This makes me think they onviously knew that all king of 'funny' and exptional mail just had to go my direction.

Ruud

In the UK zip-codes are house (and appartment) specific. Thus a letter posted to 'GB- DL3 7TU' (the GB is not needed if somethig is posted in the UK) will be delivered to my mother's apartment.

In France, postcodes are for entire villages or towns. Thus 11130 represents all of 'my' village, Sigean.

I recently auto-mailed myself an envelope addressed to 'Herman, 11130'. It was safely delivered to me, possibly because I'm the only Herman in the village. And also because the local post office knows by now that I send and receive weird, wonderful and unusual items of mail....not all, I beg to assure you, to myself!

Regards, JE Sweefoo

I have invariably found that postal pepole, particularly those in the sales wickets, love and are fascinated by Mail Art. I had one friend a the Main Post Office in Vancouver who I knew for 30 years who always liked to see what new stamps I had designed and were using on my mail. My current postmistress also likes my stamps.
Only once in my life did I have any trouble at the wicket. I had a letter returned for insufficient postage and when I went in to ask about, since I did have the correct postage, the lady at the wicket said that the artistamps on the letter must have confused whoever was doing the sorting. Then she told me that it was against the rules to use faux or bogus stamps (artistamps). I told her she didn't know what she was talking about since I had been using them for 30 years and no one ever said anything before (or after).
There was also the time when I was sending funny objects through the mail and the guy at the wicket refused to accept them over the counter. He weighed them and then sold me the correct postage but I had to go outside the building and put them into the post box. The were delivered in good shape.
A day I went to the United Nations in Geneva to send postcards. I had to satisfy one green paper and I leave my identity card at the security service to had a red badge. After that, security asked me to move my postcards on the carpet detection weapon. Arrived at the end of the treadmill, my postcards are between the carpet and the tray and fell to the ground. Arrived at the post office of the United Nations, I had to be stamped the green paper. I bought some stamps and given my postcards to the postière. It was a surprise for her. This is the first time that someone brought her mailart. She fond it very beautiful and asked me where she should put the rubberstamp. She was afraid to break it.

Thank you Ruud, Ed and Denis. These are the kind of stories I was hoping to hear. I hope they interest others as well. Keep 'em comin folks.
I am going to try sending something to you now Ruud at that address just for the hell of it.

The mail sorting computers in Toronto have a hell of a time with mail art. It always seems to be returning about 10% to my home address despite hiding it, writing it upside down or other attempts at subterfusion.
What I was doing in the beginning of my mail-art work is sending mail-art to addresses that don't exsist. Or combiniations of addresses that aren't there. The mail usually returned after months with lots of postal stamps on them. Those days all was still done by hand! Loved the stickers and forwarding stickers and notes on my piece of mail.

Maybe try the limitd address:

TAM
Breda
P.O. Box
Holland.

Would they find me? Probably not. TAM was very well known in Tilburg, but nowadays the postal sorting machines don't think at all and don't know me.

Ruud

Dewi said:
I am going to try sending something to you now Ruud at that address just for the hell of it.

The mail sorting computers in Toronto have a hell of a time with mail art. It always seems to be returning about 10% to my home address despite hiding it, writing it upside down or other attempts at subterfusion.
Great story Wilma, thank you!!
I got the postie to doodle on one of my atlas postcards. I do believe that I proved that they do read your postcard messages!

I'm always having to explain my mail art to whoever serves me at the post office, they always seem really interested.
During the time i lived in Tilburg the Postal Office had a special Parcel Postbox where people could post their larger objects when the postal office was closed. I used that system to post a real 1,5 liter plastic bottje with content and postage on it. The adress was Rod Summers in Maastricht. The bottle arrived without any problem. The succes is that they couln't reject the parcel since no person controlled the box. Rod was surprised and made a small photo-series with the bottle and made a booklet out of it. Two copies. One for my archive and one for his.
Two years ago, I was make pictures of the rock band the Stranglers at a music festival at Cluses. Between two photos, I will drink a beer at a bar. I had one of my t shirt representing one of my drawing. The server volunteer told me that he knew my drawings. It work at the sorting center and see my MailArt. He tells me that when one of my postcard passes between his hands, he usually see it at all his colleagues. He tells me that I was a celebrity at the sorting center.
I have always wondered about that. I know that the mail person always pauses for a second or two just to look at the art before putting it through the mail slot.

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