…what everybody knows … is that the post office is an antiquated and unnecessary money pit that won’t die. When politicians and Post Office proponents react to calls for reform, they paint the rural Post Office as it may have been in the first half of the 20th century: pot-bellied stove, affable Postmaster that knows everyone by first name, neighbors congregating for news and gossip; in other words, a unique American institution, and it would be shameful for you to even suggest reform.
And let’s remember, too, that prior to the 20th century, written correspondence was just about the only ways folks at a distance could communicate. I don’t know where the Founders’ heads were at when they empowered Congress “To establish Post Offices and post Roads”—an error as egregious as if LRC were to champion governmental oversight of the internet.
But I interrupted Bill:
In reality, however, rural Post Offices, at least here in Southern Arizona, are understaffed, cramped, dirty, with snail-like service by indifferent and sometimes rude employees. In other words, (like all government offices) they are places people want to leave as soon as possible, not wax nostalgic about what a great place they are in.
Because most addresses in this zip code are rural, all of the mail carriers are motorized, that is, they drive from one row of mailboxes to the next on our rural roads.
But the Postmaster here, who enjoys the usual fat salary and taxpayer-paid benefits that I can only dream of, is not willing to pay the same wages and benefits to ‘real’ mail carriers, but has instead hired independent contractors at low wages and minimal benefits to use their own vehicles to actually deliver the mail.
I live in a ‘sub-division’ with about 70 properties and all of the mailboxes are in the same spot on the highway, so of course, some people live near the boxes and some are further away. If you have ordered something from Ebay and the parcel unfortunately doesn’t fit in your mailbox, though, the carrier will leave the usual card instructing you to pick up the package at the PO, which here is a 30+ mile round trip. And they don’t have evening or weekend hours. The PO used to deliver over-sized parcels to your house, but they discontinued that a couple of years ago in the name of saving money. In fact, the local Postmaster stated that they legally don’t have to deliver anything to an actual house if it is more than a half-mile from the physical mailbox on the highway, period.
So when politicians plead that we must have the PO to deliver life savings prescriptions and social security checks to rural addresses, that is a lie.
Isn’t everything that comes out of their dad-blasted mouths?
We also have an issue with occasional mailbox pilferage, which the Post Office will ‘take a report’ for, but do nothing other than laughably refer us to the local sheriff.
And don’t try to complain; the local Postmaster no longer lists his email. On the other hand, UPS and FedEx drivers have no problems delivering packages to the door of all the properties here. I’m sure they could do as good a job with regular mail.
It’s unanimous: abolish the PO!6:37 pm on February 20, 2021 Email Becky Akers