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Letters to the Editor

Service loss

April 18, 2010

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To the editor:

Once upon a time, there was a smoothly run, efficient postal service where management and employees cooperated. Workers were promoted from within, and your supervisors knew the town and the employees, creating an atmosphere where pride in the job mattered.

Then almost overnight the postal service was invaded by aliens who took control, appointed androids to rule with iron tentacles and bully and micromanage humans into submission. Having spoken to other humans it appears the invasion was nationwide.

The androids were cold, insensitive and robotic, showing no desire to cooperate with the native species. They impressed their handlers in the mother ship by filing miles of bureaucratic paperwork illustrating their eagerness to crush any resistance. They then advanced their career and moved up the ladder. The mother ship in the meantime was busy cloning future androids to replace those moving on. The ultimate goal of each android was the holy grail, to be an android postmaster! Meanwhile, the humans lost pride in their work, constantly being harassed and insulted, resulting in service that is not the equal to what it used to be.

Comments

Jason Bailey 4 years, 9 months ago

Little too much Star Trek, BSG, and Blade Runner for me to make any sense of it. So, what I get is that our Postal service is ran by a bunch of robots sent their by aliens. Now, that's a problem.

Rich Noever 4 years, 9 months ago

Great Letter! We have been assimilated.

BrianR 4 years, 9 months ago

Haven't you seen Men In Black? The Postal Service is entirely run by aliens.

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

Once upon a time

says it all

(in a galaxy far far away)

mr_right_wing 4 years, 9 months ago

Get used to it, and get over it. With Obama Care there is the potential for a huge influx of patients to all medical facilities; there will have to be much bigger bureaucracies, and when that happens customer service becomes almost non-existent. The postal service today, your doctors office tomorrow.

SnakeFist 4 years, 9 months ago

So you acknowledge that the new bill provides access to healthcare for many who did not have it, but you think that's a bad thing because it means you'll get less "customer service" when you go to the doctor. You might be inconvenienced by it, so you'd rather your neighbors not have access to healthcare. That's a typical christian conservative perspective.

whats_going_on 4 years, 9 months ago

just couldn't resist bringing that into a completely unrelated story, could you. Shut up.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 9 months ago

porch_person is right. Even though there are a few problems with our postal system, I believe that it's still among the very best in the world.

llama726 4 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim, that might not have anything to do with conservatives cutting funding, not allowing for staff members to be there to cover, right? It might seem upsetting to you, but if there's a line all day, who's to say that their break time isn't as good as any other time to take one?

notajayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

"The same Internet which was funded by a bill that Al Gore submitted"

I know you've drunk way more than your share of the kool-aid, porch, but you seriously bought into the 'Al Gore invented the internet' line?

Not that you've ever had any credibility anyway, but sometimes your ignorance is immeasurable.

gatekeeper 4 years, 9 months ago

He didn't invent it and porch didn't say he did. Gore was always known as a computer geek. He IS responsible for the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991 (The Gore Bill). Read about it. You have him to thank for now using this information superhighway. Sorry you don't like the truth, but that is the truth.

"As far back as the 1970s Congressman Gore promoted the idea of high-speed telecommunications as an engine for both economic growth and the improvement of our educational system. He was the first elected official to grasp the potential of computer communications to have a broader impact than just improving the conduct of science and scholarship [...] the Internet, as we know it today, was not deployed until 1983. When the Internet was still in the early stages of its deployment, Congressman Gore provided intellectual leadership by helping create the vision of the potential benefits of high speed computing and communication. As an example, he sponsored hearings on how advanced technologies might be put to use in areas like coordinating the response of government agencies to natural disasters and other crises."

"A second development occurred around this time, namely, then-Senator Al Gore, a strong and knowledgeable proponent of the Internet, promoted legislation that resulted in President George H.W Bush signing the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991. This Act allocated $600 million for high performance computing and for the creation of the National Research and Education Network [13–14]. The NREN brought together industry, academia and government in a joint effort to accelerate the development and deployment of gigabit/sec networking."

"Gore's legislation also helped fund the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, where a team of programmers, including Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, created the Mosaic Web browser, the commercial Internet's technological springboard. 'If it had been left to private industry, it wouldn't have happened,' Andreessen says of Gore's bill, 'at least, not until years later."

Plurilingual 4 years, 9 months ago

I don't consider myself a partisan, but it seems you have a credibility issue of your own notajayhawk.

Please feel free to check out the sources quoted in the wiki article.

boltzmann 4 years, 9 months ago

Sorry "notajayhawk", it is you that have bought into a lie. Neither Al Gore nor porch person claimed that "Al Gore invented the internet" if you actually read either Al Gore's actual words or porch person's comment above instead of giving a knee-jerk and ignorant response. For the details see the article on Snopes.com

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

puddleglum 4 years, 9 months ago

but why read when you can just kick back and watch Fox news (which only tells you about fair and balanced news coverage-they even say they are fair and balanced.) then you can get a nice 'central' factual and I might add impressiveley delivered skew-er, I mean stew of political ideas and fresh breath of air with advanced thinking. nobody cares as much as bill O'reilly-he even says so. He is looking out for you, not that nasty al gore dude that was elected president. I'm glad ol' jeb bush was in charge of florida (not that that had anything to do with anything)....otherwise, we could have had no Iraq war, no Afghanistan play time, and other fun things would never have happened. Neat.

luckysgirl 4 years, 9 months ago

My husband is a present employee of the PO. He comes home so angry some evenings he can hardly breath. It's a mess, folks. And it isn't the fault of the PO Union either. It's the way the people in management are trained. Thanks, Craig, for a very funny letter that highlights some of the problems the carriers and clerks have to deal with every day. I'm sure you gave them all something to laugh at in the breakroom this morning. Hopefully that will help them to get through the usual Monday overload.

whats_going_on 4 years, 9 months ago

While this letter is weird and doesn't really make a lot of sense, I agree. The postal service really sucks. The people there move at a snails pace, and don't use common sense (i.e. letting a guy who is handwriting 30 addresses stand at the counter, waiting on him, while there is a line of 15 people who actually came prepared). Plus, they get the most RIDICULOUS "holidays" off...including days that aren't even the holiday (i.e. July FIFTH, because july FOURTH is on a Sunday when they are already off). I seriously haven't seen a postal worker EVER with any sense of urgency to get people moving and through there. It's so frustrating.

gccs14r 4 years, 9 months ago

Privatization of Deutsche Post and Deutsche Bahn have proven to be very unpopular in Germany. Prices have gone up and service has gone way, way down. What do you expect when the same amount of work has to be done, but now someone wants to make a profit? Ask Berliners about all the problems they're having with the S-Bahn system these days.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 9 months ago

"Al Gore, love ya' man! Thanks for the internet dude"

Well said, as you should.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 9 months ago

My sister-in-law is a mail carrier in CO. She would agree with this letter in that management has gotten out of control and is actually making the mail process less efficient. It is mostly a management problem and is exacerbated by not hiring up from within. The people who know how to do the work best are being pushed around by MBA types who never did a hard days work in their life. Postal employees work hard, crazy hours. They deserve a little respect. Hey, whats_going_on. I have worked in both the public and private sectors. When a holiday falls on a weekend, it is common practice to give employees a day off before or after. Other wise it's not a holiday.

whats_going_on 4 years, 9 months ago

I've never gotten a pre or post holiday off, even for Christmas. MOST other businesses have to work those days, so its a big inconvenience when you have to use the post office and it's closed.

IndusRiver 4 years, 9 months ago

The mailman for our area is a stellar guy with a real love for his job. He's the best out there (and maybe I am biased : )

I can live without the always-blog-clogged Internet. I can't live - very well - without those great American ways of doing business and communicating overall. The generation now can't know what it was like, and how good it felt, to use the post office and nothing else. I will always prefer those letters from home and back and holiday greetings and birthday cards and postcards, photographs, and all the other "personal" items that were ever sent via USPS that had your name on it, not your user name. And you knew somebody was thinking about you. They mailed something to YOU. It was different. It was personal. It was nice. People were connected via this delivery service, and it has served this country beautifully over the ages. It only does so when "we, the people" run it.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 9 months ago

Who cares about the management. I ship hundreds of items a year for ebay, and they have not lost anything in years. Lines are not even that bad, when you know when the busy times are (and you avoid the downtown office).

riverdrifter 4 years, 9 months ago

For decades the USPS handled as much mail daily as the rest of the world combined at a far cheaper cost. Don't know if that's true or not anymore but it's probably close. I got a card last week from my sister in Maine three days after she mailed it. Not bad at all. Go ahead and end Saturday delivery. I've always been in favor of shutting things down for the weekend.

frank regnier 4 years, 9 months ago

I am really miss my customers who I delivered to in East Lawrence. They are the best! I knew them like they were my own family. I even knew their names, their kid's names and even their dog's name. Their dogs would be so excited to see me because they knew I would have a treat for them. (which I was forced to stop doing so) I watched families grow and got to know their children by name. I attended some of their family member's funeral and mourned with them when a loved one passed. I assisted those who were physically handicapped to have their mailboxes mounted on their porches from the curb so they didn't have to risk injury retrieving their mail. In return, they would see that the walkways were clear for me and watch out for me. Regardless of the confrontations with my supervisors, I could always count on my customers picking my spirits up. I have delivered to these customers for close to 18 years now. I feel so fortunate to have served this great community but the extreme stress level has taken its toll with me. I apologize to all my former customers, friends, families and co-workers for not being able to continue as your mailman. Please have compassion for your mail carrier, for you do not see what they have to deal with behind closed doors. Extreme weather, dog attacks, working with physical job injuries, do not come close to the stress level that is put on carriers. What the public are not able to view, is what goes on behind closed doors. As employees, we are prohibited from putting the postal service into a bad light. So, with that said, please have compassion for your carriers because their jobs are not what they seem. It is very stressful being a mail person nowadays. Customer service has been compromised and I understand why many are upset with the postal service. I hope the USPS will take another look at those who actually work the mail and treat them with more dignity and respect. Marjie, thanks for sending Craig's letter. Paul, I miss the homemade bread! Thanks everyone for your friendship and all the treats through out the year. I miss you all and hope you get another mail person who gives you the service you deserve. Dogbait (better known as "Frank")

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