Friday's Favs

(Note: every Friday I'll post a favorite rant from the archives)

from March 27, 2009

Mail Nursing

The Post Office is about to go out of business.

Well, not exactly, but they're hurtin', for certain.

The postmaster general says the mail folks are hemorrhaging money, and layoffs are in the offing. Unless, get this, we can go down to five days delivery per week.

Now, the punch line. There's actual debate going on as to what day gets lopped off the schedule.

Altogether now: SATURDAY...DUH!!!

I wouldn't miss mail on Saturdays, not one iota. To be truthful, if it wasn't for the fact that as a freelancer I depend on the mail to deliver my checks, I wouldn't miss the mail at all. Not much good has been coming from the letter carrier these days.

But to even vascillate over which day to NOT deliver mail? That seems kinda kooky, to me.

Why on Earth would you consider any day OTHER than Saturday?

You mean you'd actually consider a day during the work/business week? Now that's just plain nuts.

Checks, as I mentioned, come in the mail, for those of us not adorned with direct deposit and who aren't working in offices where the boss hands you your check in person. You take away mail on a business day, then that's a twenty-percent cut in my chances to get said check and get it into the bank.

Most banks are only open half-days on Saturday, if at all. Which means they're closed by 1 p.m., typically. Which is before a lot of folks get their mail anyway.

No weekend mail at all? Fine and dandy.

Why is this not a no-brainer?

It makes me crazy when the powers that be start creating dilemmas and scratching their heads when it's so not necessary. With all the truly difficult decisions to be made out there, you'd think it would be welcome when one comes down the pike that requires the same thought process as tying your shoes.

Now, it may be that Saturday is, indeed, chosen as the day when you won't be getting your mail any longer. And that'll be fine, but the fact that it was even an issue is unsettling to me.

What's even nuttier is that I haven't read or heard any reasons why any day other than Saturday would be designated as a "no mail" day, should delivery be reduced to five days per week.

Now, if a postal rate hike would keep delivery to six days a week, even though I personally wouldn't miss Saturday mail, then that's OK by me. I don't really wring my hands over whether a normal item costs 42 cents or 43 cents or 44 cents to mail.

Ah, but here's the rub, and here's why the postal system is failing financially.

People don't mail things anymore. They really don't. I'm talking people, not businesses.

What is there to mail anymore?

Letter writing has been dead for decades. I used to be pen pals with my grandmother, and that was great fun, but that was when Jimmy Carter was president.

It's all about the Internet anymore. It's how we pay bills, grab coupons, and otherwise correspond. A book of stamps will last our family an entire year, for as often as we use them. And we're not an anomaly in that regard.

The seniors still paste stamps on their bills, God bless them. But they're, pardon the morbid pun, a dying breed.

So a rate hike isn't the answer, anymore. It used to be. But what good does it do to increase prices on something people don't use very much anymore?

Answer: it doesn't.

So the mail people are squirming. Unless we will consent to have one day's worth of mail be excised.

And that day would be Saturday, correct?



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