Post #297 Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
This phrase was a translation by Prof. George Herbert Palmer, Harvard University, from an ancient Greek work of Herodotus describing the Persian system of mounted postal carriers c. 500 B.C.E. The inscription was added to the building (James Farley Postal Building) by William Mitchell Kendall of the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, the building’s architects. It derives from a quote from Herodotus‘ Histories, referring to the courier service of the ancient Persian Empire: (per Wikipedia)
As I have mentioned in other blogs, we summer in a lakes region of the upper Midwest. As we began this summering process, we would have need to return to our middle Midwestern community about every four weeks, where among other things we would pick up our mail which was being held for us.
As events and demands changed, we no longer made the return trips, opting instead for staying in the lakes region the entire summer. To facilitate the mail process, we obtained a local (seasonal) address and had our home mail forwarded there.
As you are aware the U.S. Postal Service has been running in the red for some years. I can remember when First Class postage truly was “first class”. You could send a first class letter and be received the next day almost anywhere in your two or three state region. In an attempt, I believe, to gain revenue, the Postal Service created an “Over Night” delivery for a higher cost, causing all other first class mail to be treated as “second class”. What I mean by second class is that formerly 1 day delivery became 3 days or longer. Guess what, the Post Office was still losing money. Congress refuses to allow the Postal Service to modify its business plan to save money, so instead facilities operations have been modified. Let me explain. Our local post office no longer sorts our mail, it was transferred to the larger facility at the county seat, later in an attempt to save more money, the sorting was transferred again to a regional location, and two years later transferred again to the large facility in Indianapolis. As a result, certain employee functions were eliminated at each previous sorting location.
Our current mail sorting has probably saved three handlings by being processed only in Indianapolis. However, this single handling has ADDED 14 days to regular forwarded delivery! YES, our mail arrives in Indianapolis, and is processed (apparently) every 14 days, as signified by the label dating.
Hey, we mailed a card (accidently) to an undeliverable address, which would have been sorted and handled by our same Indianapolis Postal Facility. It was sorted, noted as undeliverable, sent to sorting for return to “return address” (which happened to be our home address), sent to a bin for forwarding to our summer address and then sent to the lakes region! The card bounced around the Indianapolis facility for 43 days, never seeing the light of day.
The problem with this type of service (14 days or so) is that people I owe money to would like to be paid timely. Many bills get to me late! Ok, Ok, I know what your thinking, don’t act OLD, pay on line! What, do think I’m stupid? With the today’s data breaches at Target, Home Depot, Anthem, and the IRS to name just a few, do you think I want to put my Checking Account information out there in Cyber Space? Shoot! Your pictures aren’t even safe.
Ok, sure, there are dedicated postal employees that are trying to do the work correctly, but big facilities, taking on more duties, don’t, and won’t care what type of work they do.
I’m thinking we should change the motto, “Neither rain, sleet, nor gloom of night will keep us from our authorized breaks or guaranteed pay checks.”