Friday, November 12, 2021

First Class Any Where in the World, Except Down Under

 I'll be the first to admit that I find the USPS (United States Postal Service) frustrating. However, I know of no other service where, for less than 60 cents one can send an envelope across the country (all 50 states). And, they deliver your mail to your home. And, let's face it, the post office is an American Institution, first introduced by Benjamin Franklin.

I was horrified last year to learn that the new Post Master General was going to "revolutionize" the postal service by cutting hours, doing away with postal machines, and, as of September 3, 2021, suspended service of First Class US Mail to Australia (Honest truth!). What did Australia do to deserve that? What's next? The United Kingdom? 

Seriously, I agree the postal service needs some updating, but I question cutting worker's hours, deciding that the latest machines that quickly read and sort mail are no longer needed, and, oh yes, who wants to send anything to Australia. I checked and one can still send a First Class letter to Tibet and the Seychelles, but not Australia. Needless to say, the Post Master General does not have the USPS in his best interest. Perhaps his personal investments in shipping and mailing services in the private sector have something to do with his trying to kill the Post Office by a 1000 cuts - just saying.

All this said, I needed to drop a package off at our local Post Office. I had gone online and already paid the postage, printed the label, sealed and labeled the box. All I needed to do was put it on the counter. It was just a little bit too large to put in the regular mail box. Our local post office is only open from 10 until 4 (and closed for lunch between 12 to 1). 

When I arrived at 10 am, it was not open. It was not long until there was a short line of patrons waiting for it to open. By 10:15 there was much conversation about the post office operating on "Postal Time". Quips were made about the shortened hours. One lady gave up and left. Then a young man standing with us just laughed. "We are going to be here until tomorrow. I just remembered it is Veteran's Day" - a national holiday when all federal government office are closed.

With all the stress and pressure the service is under, they definitely deserve a day off. Now, I just need to find another place to drop off my package. I'll have to come back to my local post office to buy my stamps. However, I need to plan my visit after 10 am, before noon, after 1 pm, before 4 pm, on a weekday (Monday - Friday), and not on a Federal Holiday. Doing the math, that gives me 25 hours in any given week without a federal holiday. I'll mark my calendar.

And, as a caveat, I dropped my USPS box off at the Friendly UPS that is opened every day and does not close for lunch.

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