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Stamped out


The U.S. postmaster general

The U.S. Postal Service has been in the news lately because of its plan to raise rates and reduce its level of service. Now, there’s a plan sure to make customers happy.

Actually, I think the Postal Service decided to cut back on customer service long before its recent announcement. Here’s why.

In October, I was finishing a report that needed to be received in Kansas by Monday, Oct. 31. On the Wednesday before, I called the post office to ask about overnight delivery. What day and what time would I have to drop off the package so it would arrive in Kansas no later than Monday?

The clerk could not tell me.

She did not know.

She could not find out, either.

In a begruding effort to be helpful, she said maybe she could tell me the next day.

What happened over the past couple of weeks, though, is even more mind-boggling. Late last month, I put a check in the mail to pay a bill from a local storage business. The envelope was postmarked Nov. 29. How do I know when it was postmarked? Here’s how:

Today, the letter showed up in my mailbox with a “return to sender/not deliverable as addressed” sticker affixed to it. Getting the letter back to me only took the Postal Service two weeks. Two fkng weeks. I could have walked the three miles into town, picked up the letter at the post office and walked back home with it in an afternoon.

However—and this is what sent my blood pressure into the ionosphere—somebody took the time to write the correct address on the envelope. The correct address actually is not a street address (which I’ve used for years), but a local post office box now. I’m not sure if the person who wrote the address on the envelope was anywhere near the post office box in question. I’m not sure if that person could have merely taken a few steps to put the letter into that post office box. I’m also not sure about whether the moon is made of Camembert.

The Postal Service’s “pay more for less service” plan has less of a chance of succeeding than my hair does of growing back. In dreadlocks. But speaking of hair, the plan does sound as if it were concocted by Dilbert’s pointy-headed boss.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
anita_margarita
Dec. 13th, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC)
Think of the post office as the Netflix of the government.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 13th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I quit doing business with them, too.
tanadariel
Dec. 14th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
I find that they enjoy being difficult. When Chris went to have our wedding invitations metered, the clerk initially refused--said he wouldn't meter a letter if it was open because then Chris could add things to the envelope. Chris had to explain at least 3 times that we had to know how much each weighed so we could buy the correct amount of postage. The clerk was obstinate, but begrudgingly metered the invitation after 10 minutes. Customer service at its finest.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 14th, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)
And they wonder why they're losing business and money.
thecriz5
Dec. 14th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 14th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
If I disappear, you'll know what has happened to me.
nodressrehersal
Dec. 14th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
If we can all see how badly they suck at mail, wouldn't you think THEY could see it and figure out a way to fix it? Oh wait, never mind. We're talking government.

Oh man, I've got a great USPS story of ineptitude piled on top of ineptitude. I battled and won, but it was a 3-month long process. Ha! Now I've got a post idea for another day, thanks for that, felixwas!

And with all their fuss and bother about cutting services, here in the 'Ville, they had a building. It was The Post Office. Then they moved to a new location in the plaza next door. That became The Post Office, and the old building was something for postal workers only - maybe their "Sekrit Hangout" pr something.

That lasted maybe 5 years or so. Then they decided to move out of the new location BACK into the old location, which was extensively remodeled and enhanced. They created a two-lane entrance from the road next to Wegmans, (which is where we used to be able to access the light, but now, no exit, only two entrances) so on one side cars drive in and drop mail into one of the four boxes lined up there; on the other side of the mail boxes is the lane for cars to drive in that DON'T have mail to drop in the boxes. But there's no "yield" sign or "caution" sign, so all damn day, two cars are looking to enter the parking lot at the same exact time, neither paying any attention to the lane on the other side of the mailboxes.

Plus, with two entrances and no exit, the only other exit out of the lot is a Right turn only thing. Total FAIL in design. And no matter how big and shiny they made the new lobby, they still have loooooong lines of people waiting at all times of the day.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 14th, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
Sounds like "mission accomplished" to me.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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