Snail Mail

March 10, 2010 by admncc

I’d like to present a one-picture explanation to the problems the U.S. Postal Service is experiencing.


This picture was taken at my local post office last week.  The funny thing is that it doesn’t matter when I go there – the lobby always looks like that.  Further, it seems that when I do go there, I can’t even go to the counter without being bombarded with suggestive sales.

Do you need any stamps, sir?  Do you need any boxes, sir?  Do you need any envelopes, sir?  Do you need any supplies, sir?  Do you want this sent via priority mail, first class mail, blah, blah, blah…

Then I read articles, like what the Boston Herald reported, about the post office wanting to drop Saturday deliveries, and my observations suddenly make sense.  Now it’s being reported that the post office could possibly be $238B in debt over the next ten years.  You can read the full article here.

I don’t believe that online-bill-pay and the decline of items being processed are the problems.  It’s the lack of customer service and staffing at each location.  This is one example where a picture tells the real story.

All Posts / Business / Family/Lifestyle / Politics Boston Herald / Post Office $238B in Debt / Post Office Problems / Postal Service Revives Bid to Drop Saturday Delivery / The U.S. Postal Service / The United States Postal Service /


  1. Leo Nevoli says:

    My local Post Office is the same way. They have 2 people working the counter, but when they are given a box to mail, they go to the back and take a while to return.

    I do have to disagree with you about the online bill pay CC. Over the past 3 years, I start the year by buying a roll of stamps in January. Each year, I have had more stamps left over after I send out Christmas cards. I had stamps left over that I held off until late February to buy the roll. I did not use as many stamps because I am not mailing my bills out, I am paying things online, because it is free.

    Unfortunately, how the Post Office sees it, we need to increase prices of stamps to cover our costs. Because of their past increases, I turned to online payments, and I have not been sending out mail. If stamp prices stayed the same or was lowered, I may send payments by mail, or send more birthday cards out.

  2. Candice says:

    Yikes, the post office around here doesn’t look quite like that. But the fact anything besides a thin letter costs me like $3403943 really sucks.

  3. MajorLeague09 says:

    I think that they are only hurting themselves by increasing the price of the stamp. I know my husband and I pay a majority of our bills on-line. But my husband still mails out some of them. The biggest problem I’ve had with my post offices is that they close for 2 hours during the day. I live in a very rural area, and 2 post offices are within 5 miles of my house. It drives me crazy that they are closed for TWO HOURS!!!! I know that people need to have lunch, but since they are both closed at the same time, I then have to go to the main branch downtown. And as usual I have to wait until the lady has finished her conversation with a customer before she will wait on me. I understand that we live in a small area and everyone knows everyone, but they will stand there and talk while i’m standing there waiting. Then after there done talking, the lady takes the letter or package to the back and then comes back out a couple minutes later. The lady is very nice, but I hate having to wait for her to finish gossiping before she waits on me. I think that there customer service needs to improve, then I wouldn’t mind so much having to pay more for stamps.

  4. Gina says:

    I went to the post office this week to pick up a package. After waiting in line behind 3 people, the single postal employee at the counter walked off without a word to anyone. Everyone in the long line stood and looked at each other as the minutes dragged on and no one came back.
    Some people left. Just as I was going to give up and leave, another woman walked out and opened another register.

    Was this a union employee who was due for a break? Couldn’t she have explained that someone would be out? Couldn’t the post office overlap employee breaks? If anyone treated customers this poorly in the private sector, they would be fired. I think the union’s inability to weed out underperformers is part of the problem.

  5. NeoConDon says:

    The sad reality here is that our opinions don’t matter. The USPS will continue to exist, and will continue to be subsidized by the tax payer, and fees will continue to rise. They have a monopoly on letters, and there is nothing we can do about it…

  6. Brad says:

    I sometimes go out of my way to the post office in another town. Because their line is usually shorter.

  7. TallElf says:

    I still mail out some bills via the USPS but usually I drop them in my mailbox to avoid the lines. (Or at the one post office the attitude). That is another story about customer service that I am sure we all could rant on for a while.

    NCD, you are right, we will keep subsidizing the USPS, and other than packages they do have the corner on the market. Perhaps we could start our own delivery service and instead of blue uni’s we could wear lime green and black. Dunno why, but I figure if we brought back the pony express via Motorcycle we could be on to something.

  8. Zig the "People" person says:

    You are a freaking idiot. I don’t get it? The reason why everyone at the post office wanted to help you was so you wouldn’t have to clog up the line with non primary mission activities.

    The Postal Service has and is taking a lot of shit. It is one of ther oldest and most basic agencies in the Federal Government and in any free society. If we get rid of the postal service, we may as well Ax the Newspaper business. Also, let’s just get rid of pesky Border Protection guys. Tallelf and NCD are a both wanna be idea millionaires who don’t want to make the investment or do the time or dirty work required to become an actual millionaire. If each of you guys are so smart, how come you live where you do and as you do, SLOBS?

    NCD, why do you hate government emloyment as you do? Is it because you weren’t and would never be accepted into the ranks of “RICH” civil servants? YOU hate the rich and you hate servants. You don’t belong. Move on!

  9. Brad says:

    I guess I’m seeing what Zig means when he calls himself a “people” person. Yup, apparently he’s ooozing with people skills.

  10. NeoConDon says:

    You know you’ve checked out when you’re defending the post office…Let’s face it, the USPS is a failure. Just like AMTRAK, Social Security, Medicare, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. They have a monopoly on letter carrying, and they still can’t compete.

  11. Do we live in the same city?

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