The United States Post Office: Let it Die in Peace

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In the age of job loss and unemployment, it’s almost refreshing to see a company so overwhelmed with business that it had to close its door and sulk away into the corner crying “victim!” It won’t get any sympathy from me.

I fought traffic and raced to the official looking building, dueled for a parking space, ran inside and entered the time warp commonly known as the United States Postal Service where the rat race is downgraded to the snail pace. It’s 2011 everywhere else in the world but once you step inside the post office you’ve been magically transported to 1933 when people sipped lemonade while rocking on the porch and discussed the weather. These people have been snatched by aliens, relocated to today’s world and inserted behind the counter where all movement is slow, calculated, deliberate, and obviously more important to the employees than its customers. Somewhere in the training process the workers were told that the amount of business, the line that stretches to the next county, has absolutely no impact on how fast or slow one should work. In reference to the consumer, the general consensus is “There’s plenty more where they came from.” Well soon, there will be none.

I have to commend the architects, however, who designed and built the post office as if they were expecting the entire Mexican population to come jogging in with armfuls of packages. Optimistically, many windows for customers have been provided although only two of the six windows are ever open. This did, however, become a boon to the company who manufactures the “Next Window Please” signs that gather cobwebs on these counters. There’s some good in everything if you look close enough.

I do have to give credit where it’s due and I place the blame mainly on the management, not its workers, particularly the mail carriers. This workhorses undergo annual hernia operations from lugging around the junk mail that clogs their trucks, their mail sacks, our mailboxes, our trash cans, the trash trucks, and keeps our landfills out and ahead of all the other countries’ dumps. If we dumped all the junk mail in the same spot off the coast of New Jersey we could build a new continent and make room for more people. Jack Paar said “Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery.”  Think about it.

It’s too bad nobody told the postal service about email and how they might adjust or pivot to take advantage of this like UPS and Federal Express did. Why didn’t the post office just copy what these guys did? Are they still recovering from the government’s input? I wonder if the government’s Department of Redundancy Department had anything to do with this. Probably. A fish stinks from the head down.

From now on I’m going to Federal Express and United Parcel Service and suggest you do to. It’s easy to find the UPS drivers and especially in the summer; just follow the trail of sweat. These people are among the hardest workers on the planet.   

The last few times I went to the post office I faced a long, slow line. Today, Saturday, I thought I’d beat the crowd, get up early on my day off and get there before they close at noon. They were closed. Somewhere along the line it looks like “somebody” doesn’t want to work. I take comfort knowing the people who created the lines that stretch to Kalamazoo are going to be standing in lines at the local unemployment office. Let them take a number. I call this karma.


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