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The Check is in the Mail

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My Tricare Health Insurance refuses to use my Retired Affairs FPO (Embassy address) and forwards all my mail to my home address in Bataan, even though the Philippines is never in a rush to get it there

It arrives in Manila and is sorted and put in a Pile that says Bataan and other provinces.

Visa Assistance

From there my mail is sent to Batangas Bataan where it is put in a pile Roosevelt (Mine) Bataan Barangay’s and others, Barangay Roosevelt receives it and separates into a pile for their local Purok’s and then further by street.

All this moves at the speed of a deranged turtle, and now it is ready to deliver. But a Barangay Tanod must be picked to wander the streets aimlessly chatting with everybody but because the color of your gate is not on the envelope. It might be returned to the Barangay Hall and resorted by a higher official and will wait until a new Tanod is assigned to deliver the resorted mail.

Why do I have a license plate affixed to the gate on my house if the color of my gate is so important? This next man or woman knows all the gate colors on every street by heart, but are saved until the last so they will not be overworked. I usually receive all Christmas cards just before my birthday in July, and my birthday card… Well, you understand.

I’m not angry just because for over 20 years I’ve donated a case of Emparaflu brandy to the Barangay Christmas party and have never been late, yet it doesn’t seem to help.

I’m the Old Kano is named THOMPSON, they all know me and the color of my gate, besides there is still that numbered license plate affixed to it, and yes I know it has faded, but it’s still there!

Tricare sent me a refund check on 12 September 2017 from the United States, it is in Manila within a day or two. Now the mail cycle begins. The check arrived at my house on 23 December (Dear lord it’s Christmas!!!). Remembering the check is good for 120 Days I rush to the RAO Office but Christmas and New tears has raised it’d ugly head, and hell the RAO folks work hard and they deserve a little slack over the holidays. But then it leaves the Barrio and gets to Virginia to the office of NFCU whenever. Do you see the desperation?

But of course, it was now late to arrive at NFCU in Virginia and well past the 120-day deadline, so my $12.62 refund check has evaporated and is like dust in the wind, was blown out the window. Sad yes, but even sadder that my Navy Federal Credit Union now must charge me a $15.00 overdraft fee and I didn’t even write the check.

So my decision is, and mainly because I know it will throw a wrench in the cogs and gears of a Government bureaucracy and nothing on earth would please me more.

So if I don’t have at least 90 days lead time, I’ll mail the check back to Tricare and tell them I just don’t want it. That will drive them up that proverbial wall. And save me the $15.00 overdraft fees. If I could only be a fly on the wall, that day.

A lady from California is starting a campaign to change the terms used at the US Postal Service. No longer can workers be referred to as Mail men because both the words male and men ignore women. First, she had no idea that it is spelled MAILMEN and not Male-Men. Second, the word woman has MAN as the root part of it. She’ll be back on the TV show to discuss her case as soon as she works out the details. Should we tell her that HE is the root word of her and her?

Oh yeah we all have seen her delivering male

Oh yeah we all have seen her delivering male

Can we now refer to her as a femail instead of female?

Is the root word of men “ME?”

Or I’ll just stay in the Philippines and let California figure it out? They’ll do a great job.

The check is still in the mail!

Posted in

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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Bob New York
Bob New York
4 years ago

I think one reason the mail is slower in PH is that it may mostly or all of it sorted by hand. In the USA just about all mail is sorted by machines that can sort letters at the rate of up to 40,000 pieces per hour ! Optical scanners can read hand written addresses as well as bar coded mail. Packages are also sorted by automation at the rate of thousands per hour. In the USA the cost of labor is expensive making replacing them with automation a somewhat logical choice. It is just the opposite in The Philippines.… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob New York

Bob (NY)
Exactly what I was saying, except now it is costing me money. (LOL)

Cordillera Cowboy
Cordillera Cowboy
4 years ago

Hello Paul,

Maybe you should live farther away from Manila. The letter I got from Social Security, telling me that my application was approved arrived in Manila 6 days after it was sent. It got here to Bayombong 5 days after that. So far, 2 weeks seems the average for mail from the States.

In 15 years, we’ve never had one of those license plate things on our gate. Only a few folks here do. So far, everything sent here has arrived here.

Take care,
Pete

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago

Pete;
No tag on your gate? That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. (LOL) But your mail time seems fast, it must be your Barangay team hustling the mail.The RAO is fast, if I could convince TriCare to use them.

Lee King
4 years ago

Greetings Paul. If you have a scanner NFCU has an app that you can download to scan and E-deposit checks into your account, or if you have the NFCU app available from play store on your phone you can sign it, photo front and back and deposit it. Just last week wife picked up a check from her bank account in Georgia from the RAO Angeles signed, took photo of and e-Doposited it right there. We deposit checks that way all the time and they always clear in less than 24 hours

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Lee King

Mike;
I had heard that but no one knew how it worked. Thanks to you I do know now and will call NFCU and find out more. THANK YOU!!!

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

LEE;
I have no idea why I wrote Mike vice your name, But the thank you is meant for you! (LOL)

John Reyes
4 years ago

Hi Paul – Long before the advent of internet and email, I used to correspond with a cousin who lived in barrio Salaza, Palauig, Zambales, by postal mail. If memory serves, it took 3-5 months for our respective mails to reach their destinations. I really never paid attention as to where the delays in sorting were occurring, but I was aware that the mails were traveling by slow boat across the Pacific Ocean. Now, in Salaza, there are no street addresses because there are only 2 streets on either side of the north-south national highway that traverses the barrio. The… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John;
I can’t vouch for the truth of this, but when the Navy was hear we were told that the Manila Post Office had dogs trained to sniff money in the mail, I’m not sure about checks. (LOL) BTW that is why it’s called snail mail I guess?

John Reyes
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi Paul – I believe there is some truth to the alleged money-sniffing dogs at the Manila Post Office. However, I am not so sure about the authenticity of the alleged fear held by top U.S. Navy brass at the time Mt. Pinatubo erupted in June 1991. The alleged fear held by the top brass according to urban legend was not the volcanic ashes that covered Clark air base and the Subic naval base. The utmost fear was the ingenuity of the Pinoys. Apparently, this well-known trait of the Pinoy was not lost on Admiral Mercer, then the commanding officer… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John;
When the Navy and Air Force turned the bases over to the RP government Clark was overran and stripped like a cow by Piranha in the Amazon. Which caused the government to spend Billions to rebuild the base as a Duty Free, whereas Dick Gordon sealed the Navy base and prevented any looting, and protection of that US Carrier. (LOL) When the Subic Base was deemed a Duty Free the infrastructure was intact thanks to Dick Gordon.And not one Peso was spent to put the base back together, like at Clark.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

John;
When the Navy and Air Force turned the bases over to the RP government Clark was overran and stripped like a cow by Piranha in the Amazon. Which caused the government to spend Billions to rebuild the base as a Duty Free, whereas Dick Gordon sealed the Navy base and prevented any looting, and protection of that US Carrier. (LOL) When the Subic Base was deemed a Duty Free the infrastructure was intact thanks to Dick Gordon.And not one Peso was spent to put the base back together, like at Clark.

Mike
Mike
4 years ago

Yes it is becoming a joke, but the ‘weak male’ politicians are letting it happen, and the general public are also letting it happen as they still vote these types in and only have themselves to blame!! It seems the ‘evil tentacles of feminism’ will eventually reach these shores…But whatever happens and as long as I live, I for one, will still call a mailman a mailman as the majority of people ‘male and female’ of my age will…end of story!

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike;
I’m a dinosaur and won’t bend to a new English, no more than I believe there should be a third type of restroom no matter if California feels there are Sixty Two (62 count them) genders. I was born in 1947 and I’m a thick head about stuff like that. (LOL)

Ray
Ray
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

————-Paul, in the 1960’s Thailand had solved the mixed gender problem. Everyone used the same bathroom. lol.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Ray

Ray;
In the 1960’s Europe did it that way too, in bars and hotels (One loo per floor)

John Skibo
John Skibo
4 years ago

NFCU app for phones will also allow deposits using the camera. Quick and easy.

A few countries may require you to use a VPN (I know in UAE I had to) before the app would work OCONUS

Dave Doherty
Dave Doherty
4 years ago
Reply to  John Skibo

TriCare now has Direct Deposit, just need to log on to your TriCare account and set it up. Had the same issue of “expired” checks. I have been using TriCare Direct Deposit for over a year, money is deposited in your account without the mail delay.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave Doherty

Dave;
Who knew and why didn’t (Well you did!!!) tell me about this stuff at the RAO? Thank you…but can we trust TriCare with our banking information? (LOL)

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  John Skibo

John;
I learn new stuff all the time here on lip, so thank you for that info.

John Skibo
John Skibo
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Glad I could help Senior Chief!

Jay
Jay
4 years ago

Hi Paul, I try to use the gender neutral mail carrier to keep from getting into the gender identity issue. The mail in the Philippines is different. A lot of Filipinos live on streets that either have no name or that no one knows what the name is or was. I meet my wife through the Filipino mail system, so I am well aware how that can go. The only reason my wife got my letters is that one of her cousins was a postal worker (another good gender neutral term for mailman). If you were to send mail to… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Jay

Jay; The wrong place to be gender neutral as the confused woman lives in California and not the Philippines. She did mention that California recognized “62” separate legal genders. I left the room after pondering boy and girls and not caring about the other 60 on their list. But with your wife having an inside at the post office, that was a leg up for sure.. When Mayang and I were courting in the early 90’s we had phones and quickly E-Mail came along. I had a computer on every ship, and I bought her one for her house. Plus… Read more »

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