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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

USPS

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
In checking back over the columns Iíve already written, it seems that March is usually the month I choose to pick on the United States Post Office. So in the interest of tradition, Iíll start there this week.

The news reports today that the USPS will lose another 3.8 billion this year. I know this comes as a big surprise to most of us. I certainly thought it would be more. They have seen a 13% drop in volume in the past year. As a result, they are thinking of cutting service (again) and raising prices (again). The service at my station has not gotten any worse, but then it hasnít gotten any better either. So, in a way that does show signs of improvement. I always like to put a positive spin on things. Several of the employees at my station are new. Iím not sure if they found out that some of the older ones had died and needed to be replaced or if they took early retirement (is 85 years old Öearly?) The newer folks seem to be more fit and robust; at least I have seen a significant reduction in the number of people on canes and walkers.
Ranger, Texas Post Office Mural "Crossroads  Town"
Ranger, Texas Post Office Mural "The Crossroads Town"
TE photo, September 2009
Borger Tx New Deal Art Big City News
Borger Post Office Mural "Big City News"
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
The post office paid nearly five million of our taxpayer dollars for a consulting company to do a study to look at ways to improve their service. I would have done it for a lot less. Whoever owned that consulting company must have been smiling all the way to the bank. I feel certain he hand delivered the check rather than depended upon snail mail to get it there in a timely manner. I imagine his report was very short and to the point. It probably said something likeÖ Ďimprove customer service.í I could have told them this for free.

The news article went on to say that the plans to have the post offices sell insurance, offer banking services and possibly sell cell phones had been shelved for the time being. I would imagine the training required to teach everyone how to count would be very cost prohibitive. I do think if they opened up a Starbucks in every post office, it would spark new revenue as well as keep more of the workers awake. It might be kind of novel kind of like a police station serving donuts.

The last time I wrote about the post office someone wrote to me and told me I was a jerk and that the service had always been bad and I should accept it as some sort of American tradition. I failed to see the logic in his argument, but itís a free country, so he can believe what he wants as far as Iím concerned. Of course, most of you know I am only kidding about the entire postal system being bad. I am certain there are many, many professional and competent people working there and I donít mean to paint everyone with a broad brush. Itís just that in my 60+ years, I havenít found too many that I can brag about. Iím sure they are out there. I just donít know where.

I feel like I can pick on the post office since they canít do a lot to me if I make them mad. I guess they could hold my bills, but that wouldnít be any big loss. My approach is that if I donít see Ďem, I donít owe Ďem. Itís works so far. I certainly donít talk bad about the IRS, they can cause you some sever hurt. They happen to be one of the nicest federal agencies Iíve ever dealt with. Boy, are they efficient and courteous as well. The post office could learn from those guys.

But in the interest of helping keep America productive, I do feel it is my obligation to close with one thought. Letís combine the post office with McDonalds. You could get your mail and a big mac at the same time. All across the country you could hearÖ ďYou want fries with thatÖand how about some stamps?Ē

If you work for the post office and I made you mad or you are a cop and didnít like my donut joke, I apologize in advance. Iíll work on developing a better attitude as soon as I get out of this line at the post office.


© Peary Perry
Letters From North America
- March 3, 2010 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com
Complaints go nowhereÖ..
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