It is becoming extremely difficult to mail a letter these days, even if local delivery is only expected. The United States Postal Service has degraded to such an extent that they now routinely throw ‘undeliverable’ and ‘return to sender’ stickers on a large proportion of letters. It doesn't matter what state you are in and what kind of letters you are mailing. The Post Office is now an enemy of small business and regular folks. In fact if you want to mail anything to anywhere, beware of the recent events transpiring all over the United States.
Don't get me wrong; in terms of our post office being compared to the uninspiring postal services in nations around the world, we are near the top in efficiency. Scary thought since unfortunately this is a world where there are whole nations such as Nigeria, Egypt, Spain, Russia and Greece that routinely lose mail on massive scales. People who need something delivered in these nations either have to pray their letters or parcels get to the recipients, or use private companies such as Fedex or UPS, which can be expensive. Therefore the bar is so low in terms of efficiency that it is now at the pathetic level. To simply deliver the mail in any time frame is a challenge these days. Being the best in this industry then is no accomplishment to say the least. American citizens used to have confidence in our Post Office. Benjamin Franklin who is the founder of the first organized national post office on the planet, would roll over in his grave if he knew how his beloved postal service has devolved.
Background and Founding of The U. S. Postal System
On July 26, 1775, members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, agreed “. . . that a Postmaster General be appointed for the United States, who shall hold his office at Philadelphia, and shall be allowed a salary of 1,000 dollars per annum . . . . " On this day, Benjamin Franklin was appointed Postmaster General, the first appointed under the Continental Congress. He would serve in this post, shaping our Postal Services until November 7, 1776. The Motto of the Post Office is:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. This motto is explained on the Post Office's main website. The origin of the motto as explained by them is as follows:
This inscription was supplied by William Mitchell Kendall of the firm of McKim, Mead & White, the architects who designed the New York General Post Office. Kendall said the sentence appears in the works of Herodotus and describes the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians under Cyrus, about 500 B. C. The Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers, and the sentence describes the fidelity with which their work was done.
The Motto No Longer Fits - FACT
Is there anyone who has experience using the postal services in this nation who likes their performance? I think not. One of my businesses is a C. M. R. A. , which stands for Commercial Mail Receiving Agency, and I have a unique perspective on the inner workings of this inefficient relic of the past that we call the Post Office.
Here is a perfect example just this past month on how well they deliver mail. One of my offices is located in Florida and we mail the employee paychecks to that office. We've had problems with the post office going back to 1996 when I started up successfuloffice.com. Our complaints span years. Last week we had enough already as employee paychecks keep getting returned stamped “addressee not known, return to sender". This would be funny if it weren't so sad, but I actually made a video that will be up on YouTube shortly showing the post office letters returned with their stickers. Do a search there for ‘The Post Office Stinks’ Imagine if you will your own company sending you your paycheck, and the post office returning it stamped undeliverable. Our manager then goes to the local office which is located in Pompano Beach Florida and complained. They say all is fine so we re-mail the checks without opening them to keep the postal stickers on them. Three weeks later they come back yet again with another stamp on it saying addressee unknown. Is that sad or what? I had to Fedex the paychecks down there and then had the manager go into the Post Office to open the letter with the return to sender sticker on it, which also now contained the second letter also with the return to sender sticker on it.
Knowing this is going on, I advice everyone to no longer use the Post Office if possible. They are now at record levels of inefficiency and simply do not care about delivering the mail. Why should they as employees in the system can't even be fired unless they kill someone. I know as I tried to have one such manager fired. I escalated it all the way to our local Congressman who stepped in for us in Florida 3 years ago. Even with Congressional pressure the offending manager was given the all too typical ‘paid leave’ for a month to cool things off and prevent a lawsuit. I did manage to organize many of the local businesses, all of us prepared to confront the Post Office legally. We were even told she was let go to placate us into not suing, only to see this person return to the Post office to harass patrons just one month later! So here we are again, in the same position. In this day of videotape and audio I think it's time we all stand together and take action. The Post Office is a legal monopoly. No private company may deliver regular mail, only special delivery items that UPS and Fedex and other private carriers may deliver. It is an archaic socialist system that is dying, and costing the people of this nation billions of wasted dollars a year.
Can anyone say Privatize?
The Post Office will never go for it. They know and have seen that if any private company were allowed to compete with them, they will lose. This is the way of the world. Private companies are always between 30 - 60% more efficient than anything run by the government. That's why if you need something sent overnight, you would have to be crazy to use the Post Office's next day service. We used them once and found out that 25% of the time their next day service took 2 days. Some guarantee isn't it? Private companies are the way to go, and the Post office must become efficient or it will continue to lose more and more of our tax dollars every year, while not even delivering the mail. It's time we all stand up and say enough already.
Michael Lodispoto is an entrepreneur who owns http://www.successfuloffice.com , a virtual office and answering service specializing in helping entrepreneurs with their business image and staffing solutions.