Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Post Haste

Last Saturday morning I took nine play scripts, three books, two shirts (one Inge t-shirt and one Inge corduroy), and two Inge Festival wine glasses (boxed) to the Post Office on Laurel Street in Independence, Kansas, to mail them home because I barely had room in my carry-on for what I’d already packed. (Yeah, I need a bigger vulture for my carry-on…) Tom, the clerk at the counter, got a box and he neatly packed it all in and sealed it up. The price of postage back to Florida — the box was free — was $13.45.

The receipt says the package was accepted at 9:48 a.m. on Saturday. At 5:30 p.m. on Monday there was a knock on the front door from my postal carrier (a nice lady; she comes to our car shows) and she handed me the box. Everything was intact, barely a mark on the box, and less than 72 hours after I sent it from Kansas.

A lot of people knock the Postal Service — ah, it’s slow, it’s typical government bureaucracy, blah, blah. Except the USPS has been an independent self-supporting agency since 1972, and more importantly, can UPS or Fed Ex pick up a package on Saturday in the middle of rural Kansas and get it to South Florida in less than three days for less than $15? YMMV, but I’m impressed.

As the carrier was dropping off the box, a Fed Ex truck zoomed by. I wanted to holler “Neener, neener!”

5 barks and woofs on “Post Haste

  1. Due to the 2006 law Congress passed, the Post Office has been in a financial ‘crisis’ on paper ever since. If they were able to charge UPS and FedEx more to deliver the last mile, I think the financial problem would be gone – or the lobbyists would get Congress to do something about the Post Office being so uppity. Probably the latter – It’s always cheaper to buy a congress critter.

  2. I’m a huge fan of the USPS except when budget restraints prevent our local from hiring enough clerks to man all the stations. There are four in our PO but never more than three and usually two are manned. Last time I went on Monday the line was out the door. I can understand this sort of situation at a noon lunch break or during the holidays, but at 10:30 on a Monday in April? The manager said several employees called in “sick”. I guess hangovers happen to USPS people too.

  3. The Post Office would be fine if Congress would stop meddling. A few years ago the post office was required to fully fund 75 years of pensions in only 10 years — a requirement Congress would never make of a private business. The Post Office is also required to maintain money-losing and largely unnecessary services. There’s a reason the private carriers charge extra for Saturday pick-up and delivery.

    When my friends bitch about the post office, I like to hand them a piece of paper and 47 cents and ask them to take it to San Francisco.

  4. Cummon, they do fall down sometimes. Recently I was mailed a 1st class letter from Brooklyn, NY, to New Orleans, LA, and it took over two weeks to get here. As it contained a legal document I needed rather badly, this was a problem.

  5. I know this is ridiculously late, but still–I LOVE the Post Office–they are always friendly and helpful, not to mention reliable, and I have had the same people behind the counter for the 26 years we’ve been in this house. Same mail
    carrier (Floyd) since my children were small–he’s watched them grow up. Floyd is on the (very) short list of people who get my special orange pecans at Christmas time.

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