For many years I had a Post Office box in Seattle. I opened it in 1999 with a friend. We shared the box for a year or two, and then she decided she did not want to use it anymore. We notified the Post Office, and I continued to use it.
When I opened a Post Office box in Hoodsport for our distillery it was time to close the box in Seattle. I took my keys to the Seattle Post Office. The records were checked, and I was told that I did not have the authority to close it.
I spoke to three Post Office employees, who all agreed that I had been the only one to use it for the past 11 years. Nonetheless, they held their ground and followed their rules. My friend had to be present to close the box.
My friend travels extensively, and I did not know when she would be in Seattle to close it. As I no longer needed it, I wanted to turn in my keys. I asked for a receipt for the keys, as lost keys incur an additional cost. Not possible. The Post Office employee who gives receipts was not there that day. No one else had the authority to give me a receipt. These are the rules of the Seattle Post Office.