Send the Postmaster General Packing

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has gotten this update from the United States Postal Service: “Your package will arrive later than expected, (sic) but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility.”

But it was sent Priority Mail, and you promised it’d get here August 1! And it’s only coming from San Diego!

I’ve ordered a few things, and I’ve sent out a few things. Routinely, this is the type of message I find. While frustrated, I figured that it was due to safety precautions for COVID concerns. I am in favor of keeping people alive, and I can be inconvenienced if it means that that happens.

But then it started to go really awry. A package with new tires for my bicycle–something not inconsequential–purchased through Amazon in early July got lost in the mail. Not just lost in the mail but like it never entered the system. I contacted the seller to see if they had updated the label, and the seller assured me that the tires had brought to the post office with the label whose tracking number I had. Normally I’d have doubts about the seller, but based on how things have deteriorated, I’m now much more confident it is USPS’s fault.

Here’s a screenshot from today, August 3, 2020.

But then it got even worse: I got something I had been waiting for but in the dreaded WE CARE (but not enough) bag. I had supported an Indiegogo campaign for a silly, low-budget card game months and months ago. Here’s another instance where it wasn’t the shipper’s fault, but I got screwed.

If you’ve never received anything in a bag like this, consider yourself lucky (or overdue). This is the real text on the bag:


UNITED STATES
POSTAL SERVICE

WE CARE

Dear Postal Customer:

We sincerely regret the damage to your mail during handling by the Postal Service. We hope this incident did not inconvenience you. We realize that your mail is important to you and that you have every right to expect it to be delivered in good condition.

Although every effort is made to prevent damage to the mail, occasionally this will occur because of the great volume handled and the rapid processing methods which must be employed to assure the most expeditious distribution possible.

We hope you understand. We assure you that we are constantly striving to improve our processing methods in order that even a rare occurrence may be eliminated.

Please accept our apologies.

Sincerely,

Your Postmaster

I have many problems with this. First off: This bag is not only preprinted but also the right size for this type of padded envelope. This happens frequently enough that they have multiple sizes of this bad news! I received one of these in the past, but that was years ago, and I understood then. Now I don’t. Because the note states that it is to “assure the most expeditious distribution possible.”

But that’s no longer what they’re doing. That’s no longer they’re priority. Gone are the days of the acknowledged commitment: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of
their appointed rounds.” (https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/mission-motto.pdf)

I don’t say that as a curmudgeon but because of the reporting about how the Postmaster General is making the US Mail a garbage entity. Here’s a Forbes article from a little more than a week ago entitled Trump-backed postmaster general plans to slow mail delivery. More than plans–it’s the only thing whose delivery has sped up.

https://fortune.com/2020/07/24/usps-mail-delivery-postmaster-general-louis-dejoy-us-postal-service/

We’ve known awhile that Trump has wanted to sink USPS. Now he’s doing it. It’s an un-American activity that must be stopped.

This is a topic ripe for a John Oliver segment.

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