Thursday, November 12, 2009

CI #37 -- U.S. Postal Service

Though Seinfeld was never known for satire, it pretty much hit the nail on the head with Newman.

I would love to have had a bucolic childhood where I had a friendly relationship with a reliable, whistle-happy mailperson.

I would hurry home from school with hopes that my X-ray specs from Boys Life were finally going to arrive today.

If I had the fortune of running into Postman Barney on the way, I'd even ask him personally. "Hey Mr. Barney, did my X-Ray specs come today?" "Nope. Not today, champ."

You know why my X-ray specs didn't come that day?

Because they never came because the mail sucks.

I don't think I know a single *employed* person that is not Andy Rooney who looks forward to the mail on a regular basis. Yes, I do appreciate the sentiment of a lovely handwritten letter ("I really should write more of those"), but it's all bills and missing kids these days. Which reminds me, why are we still getting mailed paper bills?

Now that we're all grownups (We are all grownups, right?), we know that good things don't come in small sizes. They come in big brown boxes from Amazon (local merchants, be damned!).

I recently had the pleasure of trekking to the post office. As I verified the address (I try to avoid the place at all costs and wipe it from my memory), I remembered the last time I was there. An employee had accidentally rung up a cashier's check for $500 instead of $50, thus putting the customer into the red on her debit card. The worker's response? "Whoops."

This time was no different. I walk in and, sure enough, someone is dropping F- bombs left and right, asking to speak to the manager. Believe the anti-hype. The Greenpoint Post Office is terrible. As are most of them in general, though certainly there are nice, competent people mixed in somewhere.

The USPS lost $2.4 billion in one quarter this year. Looking for a way to cut costs? How about stopping Saturday delivery (or at least limiting it)?

Trust me. I can wait 'til Monday to get my coupons to the Costco, which I am not a member of and is nowhere near me.


  1. I find it's a regional thing. Omaha post offices? Pleasant. Columbia, Missouri post offices? Infectiously upbeat. NYC post offices. Like hell, but worse.

  2. Yes, but I'd argue that it's more of a population density thing (which is basically the same anyway).

    In general, mailing something just isn't a good option. Snail mail for anything is pretty much a last resort.