Kevin Hoult, certified business adviser with the North Peninsula Small Business Development Center, looks through three years worth of mail that was recently delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Kevin Hoult, certified business adviser with the North Peninsula Small Business Development Center, looks through three years worth of mail that was recently delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

‘Snail mail’ mishap: Three-year backlog of mail delivered to adviser at business center

PORT ANGELES — Kevin Hoult learned why it’s called “snail mail” after the U.S. Postal Service delivered about three years worth of mail recently.

Hoult, certified business adviser with the North Peninsula Small Business Development Center (SBDC), said he was surprised when the 20 pieces of mail — mostly greeting cards and magazine solicitations — showed up at the center April 2.

None of the mail was tracked in any way, he said, so nobody knew that it had never been delivered.

He spent the next couple weeks contacting people who had sent him greeting cards, in some cases thanking people more than three years after the card was sent.

“They laugh,” he said. “What we’re all very impressed by is [USPS] kept it somewhere.”

Ongoing efforts to reach USPS for explanation on how the delay took place were unsuccessful.

Hoult suspects the mail wasn’t delivered because he didn’t let USPS know the SBDC had moved to a new location. He still received mail addressed to “SBDC,” but he noticed the majority of the mail he received April 2 was addressed to “Kevin Hoult.”

“It’s the unusually addressed stuff that didn’t get moved through the system,” he said.

Much of what Hoult does for the SBDC is web-based, he said. He usually communicates with people electronically and stores documents in the cloud, he said.

“Postal mail is kind of a rare thing,” he said.

Hoult said he and the post office employees he talked to were unsure why the mail was actually delivered to him. He suspects someone at USPS just figured out that Hoult works in the SBDC office.

“What I don’t know — and the post office didn’t either — is why suddenly they figured it out,” he said. “It’s possible somebody put the two things together.”

He suspects it was because he is out in the community so much handing out copious amounts of business cards.

“I connect with so many people,” he said. “Eventually somebody was going to connect the dots.”

Hoult said he’s thankful having any mail delays are a rarity for USPS and shrugs it off as an anomaly.

“It was a very interesting and very unusual situation,” he said. “I think that’s what’s most remarkable is stuff like this hardly ever happens.”

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

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