Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The US Postal Service is again losing billions of dollars this year. They are talking about raising postal rates, cutting services and personnel. Saturday postal service will most likely be stopped. The main cause of the problem is apparently the decrease in use of letters and personal mail.

When I was a kid, during WWII, one of my jobs was to go to the post office every day. We lived in town and the post office building was only a block from our house. I will never forget the number of our box and it’s location. It was on the top row of boxes and I had to stand on tiptoes to insert the key. I never got a letter myself, but always anxiously awaited a letter from my brother or brother-in-law who were away in the service. I occasionally got correspondence from the Superman Club but that was about it for me. The General Delivery window was always busy and there was a window for buying stamps and sending packages. The amazing thing is that postage for a letter cost 3 cents and the postal service was apparently doing well.

Now, I go to the post office and the box is packed with catalogs and other junk mail. My box is one of the larger ones and it is still full. There is rarely a personal letter. Young folks don’t even like to send thank you notes anymore. E-mail has replaced the personal letter and now e-mail is being replaced by facebook. What is next to speed and shorten communication? I guess in another decade, communication will be through telepathy. Just sit back and think about your message and the person will receive it.

Anyway, all the massive amount of junk mail I receive still cost some postage and yet the postal service is broke. I don’t completely understand the problem. I may be contributing to the postal crisis by using e-mail and facebook, but I spend enough on postage for my Christmas cards to pay for a good portion of somebody’s salary. We are looking at our Christmas card list for this year and considering a massive cut because of the cost. I guess, if I stop my Christmas cards this will be the final straw to break the back of the postal service, and will result in somebody losing their job.

I enjoy communicating with people via the newer media like facebook and e-mail, but there is still nothing like sitting on the porch, reading a personal handwritten letter. The personal letter has become a rare treat, and I sure hope the postal service doesn’t shut down and totally eliminate this wonderful type of communication.


Blogger jeff ludwick said...

Boy, have things changed, Doc. My grandparents owned a small general store/feed store in Moffat. My grandmother was the Postmaster and all mail came to the store. She would let me put the mail in each patron's "pigeon hole" in the corner of the store. No lock boxes, no keys, just little wooden slots where everyone saw everyone else's mail. But I remember that if someone got home late after the store was closed one of my grandparents would open up the store just so they could get their mail. Try that now.

It's a shame that the mail system is being ruined by some of the employees who are rude and lazy because the rural carriers are still excellent people who provide a great service.

11:22 AM  

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