A surprise in the mail.

This is a true story.

AnneMarie and I have all our mail sent to a UPS Store in San Mateo, run by the father and son duo of Chip and Mark. They have been taking care of us for ten years and we are very happy clients.

One day, AnneMarie brought up a new bin of mail and as we were sorting through, we came upon a 9″ x 12″ manila envelope which had something in the return address that made us think we might be expecting it so we set it aside with the “real” mail. Keep in mind, we get tons of stuff, all shapes and sizes and lots of it is from our vendors sending us specials, new catalogs, and all sorts of other solicitations which we may or may not look at. The “real” mail gets looked at right away.

Not bothering to glance again at the mailing information on this envelope, we opened it up, and found inside a magazine. A magazine which was missing its cover so it was a bit mysterious. A magazine which was partially taped shut. It was very strange.

At this point, we looked again at the mailing information and realized that it had been mis-delivered, and was supposed to go to another one of Chip and Mark’s clients. Ah, so this was not for us.

And then we took another look at the magazine, and discovered $5000.00 shoved inside. Yes, that is correct. Five thousand dollars in cash. Fifty $100 bills, nice and crisp.

So we looked AGAIN at the mailing information, particularly the sender, and with some quick research discovered that it was a web-based, anonymous mailing service which appeared to be based somewhere in Eastern Europe. We also googled the recipient, but to the best of our abilities could not find a viable “business” to match. Not surprising.

At this point, it was easy to come up with a lot of different scenarios. That missing magazine cover suggested the sender removed it to hide the subscription label. The anonymous mailing service was sketchy (but good to know, you know?). And yeah, that’s quite a lot of cash.

We quickly came to the conclusion that no matter how tempting it might be, we had to get this back to Chip and Mark right away because there was a high probability that the recipient might be a scary person who might be very unhappy with Chip and Mark if this package went missing.

Sadly, we said goodbye to the Benjamins, put it all back together and AnneMarie brought it down the next day. She explained we had opened it by mistake, and discovered it was not for us.