Wednesday, August 10, 2011

USPS ---- Uh-h-h, REALLY?

My husband is the Internet greeting card sender for our family. While he is preparing his list and checking it twice, often I am also at my computer doing my own thing, that of creating a snail mail greeting card for the same person. This way, on their birthdays, special people are twice-blessed; once with the lovely or lively interactive Internet card he chooses and once with the one I design with carefully selected photos and words, sometimes my own. That is, we aim for deliveries on, or at least near, the birthdays, but as I learned last night, it just doesn’t always work out that way.

I was quite surprised to read in a friend’s e-mail that the card I snail-mailed July 19th for her July 23rd birthday from San Angelo, Texas, had just reached her yesterday, August 9th, in Andersonville, Tennessee. She sent the message to tell me she hoped I didn’t think her rude or uncaring in not thanking me earlier, along with her explanation as to why. She said she was “taken aback” when she noted the postmark date.

I e-mailed back to say I thought no such thing as her being rude or uncaring, that I am thankful the USPS finally found their way from San Angelo to Andersonville! I added, “Your message has given me pause for thought: perhaps I need to prepare your husband's October 13th card and get it in the mail ASAP in order to assure timely arrival!”

We’ve all been hearing laments and excuses of the USPS: cut Saturday delivery, consider expansion of self-service kiosks, close small branches, increase postal rates…again. Judging from our personal Monday deliveries, I’d say cutting Saturday deliveries would simply make Monday workloads expand. Would cutting Saturday deliveries get a snail mail October birthday card from Texas to Tennessee more quickly? Expanding self-service kiosks…now there’s an idea; however, there are already complaints about what we are doing for ourselves…Internet and text-messaging. I suppose that's mixing apples and oranges though. Okay, will closing small branches aid in getting the mail delivered more efficiently? One could hope something will help, but I really don’t think that is the solution. Our small branch postal workers are friendly folks trying their best to do their jobs and they do it well. Somewhere, someone is really letting them down.

More questions than answers, so back to our computers.

Let me just finish by saying I am thankful it was a birthday card, not one expressing sympathy, that was so long in being delivered.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 8-10-2011

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