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Old 09-06-2011, 07:09 PM   #41
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Yeah - and postal worker with an attitude . We may miss the days when they were nonchalant.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:19 PM   #42
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My grandfather and uncle were both postal workers with a hustle. They had jobs during the depression and appreciated that. Were either still alive they would be absolutely embarrassed at the work ethic of some today.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:57 PM   #43
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Hard to put the postal service in prospective. I guess I would have to consider UPS and FedEx in the same breath. Went to the USPS today to mail something DW sold on ebay. Light weight item. Hardly ever go to the local post office and the place was packed. Three office stations open and there must have been 20 people in the waiting line. Why today I don't know. They had a manager in the lobby trying to get everything moving by asking people if they were just there to pick up a package or something simply other than shipping a package. I picked up a small "if it fits it ships" box for $2.49, had it all addressed and was standing in line. I ask the manager if I can ship it through the automated system in the lobby. He says good idea. I ask how about the $2.49 for the box. He says sorry, I'll have to stay in the line. I get out $3.00, hand it to him and tell him to keep the change. He says no way, can't do that. He takes my name and address and tells me the post office will send me my $.50. I go to the lobby and make my shipment while those people are still in the line. How's that for customer service.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:06 PM   #44
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I bet if they converted everybody to the new block at the curb it would cut down on the number of carriers they would need... as long as they could get rid of them...
+1 I agree completely, but we can go further. We can mandate that everyone who lives within X miles of a post office has to have a PO Box. Maybe we would have to make PO Boxes free in that case, and we would have to expand the number of PO Boxes. But this would result in significant savings in fuel, vehicles, and personnel. It would prevent a lot of dog bites too!
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:21 PM   #45
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I'd be fine with delivery 2 or 3 days a week.

I'd also like them to put the real mail in the mail box and then the junk mail in a slot underneath that would empty right into our recycle bin

As for first class packages, how about an email telling me that it's arrived at my post office. If it's one of my delivery days then I can wait for it to be brought to the house. On a non-delivery day I have the option of going to the PO to pick it up, or I can opt to wait until my delivery day.

Just like books, newspapers and music, the world of mail has changed. We just don't need such a labor intensive way of getting information. But, I know a few mailmen/women and I know they need their jobs, health care plans and retirement just like everyone else.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:22 PM   #46
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I have been to post offices in 46 countries and can say without exception that the USPS is the world's model of efficiency, customer service, cost effectiveness, and dependability. Sure, compared to the private sector they are none of the above. Compared to the Italian post office they are business geniuses.
44 cents to (reasonably) reliably send a real piece of paper anywhere in the US is pretty cheap. Wait in line for 40 minutes in Argentina (no machines) to spend 2x the amount and see if your letter shows up.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:33 PM   #47
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Just what not why. I was at at USPO the other day. Apparently, this was a day when some sort of transfer checks were delivered. The place was crowded with people waiting to get their checks out of their PO boxes. A sign on the wall said mail would be placed in the boxes by 10:00AM, which was about the time I was there.

Most of these people immediately bought USPS money orders with their checks. I don't know if or how much change in cash they received. There was a counter position with a sign that said "money orders only". there was a long line at that counter station. Since I was only buying stamps, I was able to step up to a counter position and get my stamps with no waiting.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:21 PM   #48
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This isn't really always an option. For one thing, sometimes you pay more for the privilege of using these "mailbox outfits". For another thing, this doesn't work for some folks, such as people who sell on eBay and take Paypal. For these sellers to be protected from buyer fraud, they need to ship USPS and get signature confirmation. FedEx and UPS won't work here.
Note that the UPS store will ship via the USPS as well. They do everything but registered mail. (Check their web site)
http://www.theupsstore.com/products/pages/shi.aspx
So for the Ebay shipper they can get the same services as at a post office. (If one is time constrained the UPS store beats the post office in general)
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:32 PM   #49
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Just what not why. I was at at USPO the other day. Apparently, this was a day when some sort of transfer checks were delivered. The place was crowded with people waiting to get their checks out of their PO boxes. A sign on the wall said mail would be placed in the boxes by 10:00AM, which was about the time I was there.

Most of these people immediately bought USPS money orders with their checks. I don't know if or how much change in cash they received. There was a counter position with a sign that said "money orders only". there was a long line at that counter station. Since I was only buying stamps, I was able to step up to a counter position and get my stamps with no waiting.
That business is going to go away as more and more transfer payments move to prepaid cards.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:18 PM   #50
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My last mail delivery was August 16. I figure I'll have it sent again this Friday, Sept 9.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:52 PM   #51
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That business is going to go away as more and more transfer payments move to prepaid cards.
I doubt it. Prepaid cards still have to be delivered by mail. And people who use money orders will still have to buy them. The USPS accepts both credit and debit cards - the prepaid cards fall into the latter category. I wonder where that post office was - I used to see that in the days when all SS checks were delivered by mail, and everyone had to cash them at the bank and then buy money orders at the post office. Unless they had a checking account.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #52
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No mail on Saturday = great opportunity for UPS, Fedex and others to pick up additional business, especially Netflix deliveries
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Over the past several months I have learned that both UPS and FedX partner with the USPS to deliver packages. Several items I have ordered were initially shipped by the private carrier and transferred to the USPS who then delivered the item to me.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:02 PM   #53
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If it wasn't for that junk mail the post office would be losing a lot more money....

What I hate is the mailman putting in my real mail with the junk so I actually have to look to see if there is a letter that I want tucked inside of all those ads...
I'd be willing to pay them not to deliver the junk mail. You can get an unlisted number by paying extra to the phone company—why can't you get an "unlisted" mailbox by paying extra to the Postal Service?
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:18 PM   #54
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Just what not why. I was at at USPO the other day. Apparently, this was a day when some sort of transfer checks were delivered. The place was crowded with people waiting to get their checks out of their PO boxes. (snip)
That business is going to go away as more and more transfer payments move to prepaid cards.
I doubt it. Prepaid cards still have to be delivered by mail. And people who use money orders will still have to buy them. The USPS accepts both credit and debit cards - the prepaid cards fall into the latter category. I wonder where that post office was - I used to see that in the days when all SS checks were delivered by mail, and everyone had to cash them at the bank and then buy money orders at the post office. Unless they had a checking account.
Maybe not. If "transfer payments" means benefits like welfare and food stamps, the card could be given out when the person applies for the benefit. (I assume you have to appear in person at some point in the application process.) If the application is approved, an initial balance would be transferred to the card and a robo-phone-call and/or letter sent to the recipient to notify them that the application has been approved and the card will be credited every month on this date. People might still need to buy money orders, but the cards wouldn't all be getting credited the same day, which would reduce or eliminate the log-jam at the post office.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:53 PM   #55
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I live in a small rural town and have a PO box. I go to the PO 2 times a week so it doesn't effect me and even if it did we could live with M-F couldn't we?

What bothers me is if the PO closes how do I get my mail? I don't want it delivered here as the sorting stinks, this is why I have a PO box, I was tired of my neighbor opening my mail. If it went to a "PO" box for a private company it would not be in my small town, I'd have to drive 10 miles to get there and then 10 miles to return home just to get the mail. The PO is 3 miles from my house so I view this as a problem.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:21 AM   #56
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I live in a small rural town and have a PO box. I go to the PO 2 times a week so it doesn't effect me and even if it did we could live with M-F couldn't we?

What bothers me is if the PO closes how do I get my mail? I don't want it delivered here as the sorting stinks, this is why I have a PO box, I was tired of my neighbor opening my mail. If it went to a "PO" box for a private company it would not be in my small town, I'd have to drive 10 miles to get there and then 10 miles to return home just to get the mail. The PO is 3 miles from my house so I view this as a problem.
You can check the hit list online search for post office closures in your state.
Where is the next nearest post office? Note that during the hearings they said one of the criteria was having less than 2 hours of work a day at the post office. I noted one office on US 60 in NM that is now open 3 hours a day on the list, and recall that the mailbox outside said don't deposit mail except in the AM.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:32 AM   #57
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During college I worked as a waiter in an upstate NY hotel in a tiny resort town during the Summers. How tiny was it? During the summer there were several thousand people there - mostly guests and staff. After Labor Day, the town had about 200 people. The library was open one afternoon a week and had less than 500 books. The Post Office was a hole in the side of a store with PO boxes and one clerk - and it was open 6 days a week. I visited that town a few years ago and all the grand hotels were closed and in a state of collapse. The library was gone. But the tiny Post Office was still there - now relocated to a corner of the town office. I don't remember the hours, but I'll bet they were the same as 40 years ago. And the local population is no where as large as it was way back then.

I don't know the answer, but keeping places like that open is what is bankrupting the USPS.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:34 AM   #58
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I don't know the answer, but keeping places like that open is what is bankrupting the USPS.
Well, here's the thing: They've kept places like that (tiny, underutilized places serving a very small population) open since the very beginnings of the USPS and it has never caused repeated financial crises until the last couple of decades. So maybe there's a different root cause to the problem?

There's one such PO in our county, in a very small town (population about 100) that will be holding "public hearings" as publicized in the local paper. Presumably that one may be on the chopping block.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:40 AM   #59
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Well, here's the thing: They've kept places like that (tiny, underutilized places serving a very small population) open since the very beginnings of the USPS and it has never caused repeated financial crises until the last couple of decades. So maybe there's a different root cause to the problem?
Like the Internet (email, social media), competition (FedEx, UPS), accelerating Federal deficits/debt to name a few...

It's sad to see jobs lost, but the time has come. But it's no sadder or heartless (as some are trying to spin this) with public employees than with the millions of private sector employees who have lost jobs over the past 40 years. Creative destruction is what it is...
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:48 AM   #60
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It's sad to see jobs lost, but the time has come. But it's no sadder with public employees than with the millions of private sector employees who have lost jobs over the past 40 years. Creative destruction is what it is...
Creative destruction used to work wonders in the long run even when it caused painful short-term economic displacement.

Buggy whip makers who were thrown out of work found better, plentiful jobs in the auto industry. When manufacturing started its domestic nosedive in the 1970s, the high tech industry was ready to ramp up its hiring and producing a lot of good jobs.

But the "creative destruction" is global now. The "new jobs" are largely going to other countries. And not nearly enough decent jobs are replacing the "old tech" jobs domestically. And even when it does, employers are far less willing to assume the role of retraining. So they either go overseas or slap US labor in the face by looking to sponsor someone on an H1B visa.

Also, "new tech" doesn't often scale well in terms of producing jobs in the "information age." You needed close to 10 times as many workers to build 10 times as many cars, but we don't need 10 times as many workers to move 10 times as many zeroes and ones. Hence a lot more of the revenue from "growth" in these industries goes straight to the company bottom line, not to more jobs.
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