Everybody is worried about the postal service. From a Facebook post by a local TV personality--
The dire straits of the US Postal Service come to Capitol Hill today. With a second straight year of $8 billion in losses, the postmaster general will ask the feds for a helping hand. But given how much the Internet is taking over with bill-pay, automatic deposit, etc., that may be a hard sell. Is the USPS obsolete? Is it actually necessary.
I have such strong feelings about the USPS. My father worked for the postal service his whole career and I remember how it used to be. How reliable it was. What good service we had. I remember Christmas times when we would get two or sometimes three mail deliveries a day.
I remember being greeted by name when I walked into the post office here in Davis because the guy behind the counter had been our carrier for years. I don't even know now who delivers our mail.
I remember when I received a letter addressed to "Mrs. Beverly/Davis, CA" because our mail carrier knew that I received a lot of international mail, and then years later when I sent a letter to a local business (Longs Drugs) addressed to the intersection, because it was in a strip mall and I didn't know the number of the address, and it was returned as "undeliverable." Mail sorting had been taken away from the local post office and was now done in Sacramento, where they did not know streets or businesses in Davis.
I remember when you could call the local post office to ask a question. Now it is an unlisted number.
Every year we hear how much the postal service has lost that year as the Postmaster General begs for help. This is the only business I ever heard of which consistently raises its rates, lowers its service and then seems surprised when business doesn't improve!
It was inevitable that as more and more people learned to use e-mail the post office would see a decrease in its business. We are people who like instant gratification, and e-mail has given us that.
But for all of us who have made e-mail a part of our lives, there will always be people like my mother, who was terrified of it and never learned how to use it after ten years of Web-TV, or dear Nora who tried, but always seemed to not to "get it."
For all the people who pay all their bills electronically, there are people who fear putting their financial information on line, or who actually go to the bank when they have questions about their account.
For all those who buy their clothes and books and music on line there are lots of people who prefer to support local businesses, or who want to walk into the nearest big store and actually try on an outfit before buying it.
Re-joining the snail mail community this year has made me realize that there are tons of people out there who value a slower means of communication, who value the different feel of a piece of mail you can hold in your hand, who rejoice in decorating an envelope or a piece of stationery, who have a good relationship with the workers in their local post office.
Of course, we snail mailers make up a tiny segment of the population who have used postal services over the years.
It is so nice to open the mail box is find this kind of stuff waiting for me.
But we who love the mail are charged more and more to mail a piece of mail and the people who stuff our mailbox with advertisements that we all hate get a cheaper rate. I would be THRILLED if the post office would start charging higher rates for fat lady catalogs, sale offers from Omaha Steaks, sales on cremation plans, and those ubiquitous thick supermarket sales packets and give us devotees of snail mail a break in postage.
The only break we get is flat rate parcels, for which I am grateful.
But I feel no guilt about post office woes. I'm certainly doing my part and I know an awful lot of people who are doing their part as well.
Peach and I are going to my mother's for a Cousins Day tomorrow, so the next entry will be posted late. (It's also my mothers 92nd birthday, so we're going to party!)