2013-02-14 / Telling It Like It Is

Sending Our Mailmen The Best – But Not On A Saturday!

Telling It Like It Is
By Dara Mormile

N N Nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow...Nor whatever the hell else the post office claims their employees work through...They can now exclude 'nor only weekdays.’ Some residents living on the second floor of a private house don’t get mail until their downstairs neighbor passes it along – whenever that is, since most mailmen don't want to attempt to climb up stairs. Some mail gets delivered to a wrong address altogether. There are plenty of other reasons you haven't gotten your long-awaited utility bill (wasn't it worth the wait?) or that special edition of the Canarsie Courier where your advertisement was published (um, two weeks ago!).

We know post offices in general aren't the most reliable, but now we won't be getting our mail for sure – especially during the weekend since Saturday deliveries will stop this summer thanks to the agency's attempt to save millions of dollars. It's understandable that mail isn't delivered on Sunday. Sunday's long been thought of as a non-work day, with banks and other government offices closed.

However, I'm not crazy about the idea of mail not being delivered on a Saturday. Come ON! There are enough problems getting the mail to us on time during the week and now they're going to hold off mail delivery on a Saturday? Some may argue that mail delivery on a Saturday won't make a difference or even impact us...and that conventional mail is extinct since you can pay bills online, send e-mails, shop and do your banking online. Whoop-dee-do!

We can no longer keep the classic form of communication exchange going. When you mail Aunt Catherine her birthday card, you'd better send it out a week before to account for the one less day it will be in transit and the chance that it will wind up in your neighbor's (across the street) mailbox.

What if you’re expecting important medical papers, prescriptions, documents or checks? If you put something in a mailbox on a Friday, it's surely not going to be rushed to its destination until Monday morning – that’s if the mailbox you dispense the envelopes in gets collected in the morning hours.

With postal service many already deem “incompetent,” this move is adding insult to injury. Should we prepare now for this cut in delivery?

Head honchos at the postal service don't even consider the fact that many senior citizens are among the population who are not going to be able to prepare for the cut, as many are not internet savvy enough to set up an online account to manage their finances. Those who are internet savvy and have to pay bills online and create dozens of accounts, also run the risk of completing more transactions that could compromise their information. You're soon going to be inputting your credit and bank accounts all over the place online since you can't mail a check out on a Saturday. Yeah, they say your bank information is secure and that most companies are safe holding your information. Let's get real! Identity theft has risen remarkably since customers have ceased mailing out money orders to pay their utility bills (remember buying all of those money orders?). If your bill is due near any given Saturday, you're out of luck in hoping it makes it to its destination on time since there is always some delay in transmission.

In my opinion, the post office is making it harder and harder for us to use their services since they're offering less and less to us for waaaay too much money. I forgot to mention that First Class postage stamps and Priority stamps just increased in cost with no added benefit. They don't promise us more for paying more. What has the post office improved for its customers? So, we can print shipping labels for our packages and we can purchase stamps online. BIG FRIGGIN' DEAL!!

Even though we've got a city agency like the MTA charging us more for transportation this year, let's give them a little credit. In the past decade, they've rehabilitated dozens of stations, added more trains to various lines with “accurate time” countdowns at the stations, and when you think about big projects, like the addition of the Second Avenue line, at least the proof is in the pudding. No, our commute may not be worth more than $2 per ride, but at least we can see a lot of “work being done” as opposed to the post office, where there's no physical proof our money is going toward any projects to improve service.

Let's say they were going to build super robots to deliver our mail – with ultra long arms that would reach up and ensure that everyone on the second and even third levels of every home gets their mail! That would be worth every cent! Mail delivery persons won't be happy. But since they've already cut a day from their schedule, and I'm sure local post office closings are next, mail carriers are going to get less and less from this government job.

On a realistic level, if the post office were to invest in more security measures for their employees or open more “satellite post offices” within communities – even having more mobile post offices stationed in different neighborhoods – then I could see a reason for other cutbacks and a raise in postage being necessary.

Making improvements costs money – so where are the improvements within the post office that implemented this insane cutback? Show us where the money is going or give us our Saturday delivery! Put that in your envelope and mail it!

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