Monday, October 10, 2011

The Post Office is on Life Support.

The USPS, our wonderful post office, has been hemorraging money for quite some time now. Soon they will lay off thousands of employees and cut mail service. Does that bother anyone? What would Ben Franklin say? Write more letters? Well maybe we should write more. These days we want instant everything. We e-mail and text each other. We pay bills online. We shop online. So it is no wonder the mail service in in trouble.

Here is a novel idea. Write a letter. Yes, I said write. Pick up a pen or pencil and use your hand and fingers to actually write on paper. Paper manufacturers will love this. What do you mean you don't know how to write a letter? Oh dear. I remember when I was a kid having to write a Thank You note to my grandmother, aunt or uncle thank you notes for presents. We didn't have e-mail. I had to write these notes for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, graduation or wedding gifts. Who does that now. I can actually remember the term "bread and butter" letters. Don't know those? If you went to spend time at another person's house you sent them a letter thanking them for having you at their home and how much you enjoyed the visit.

We used to spend a great deal of time picking out holiday cards or anniversary or birthday cards. We had to find just the right ones. Sweet cards to grandma. Funny cards to brother. Sympathy cards for the loss of a special person. This was hard work sometimes. I wonder how the cardmakers are doing. E-card are in fashion now. That is if we even do that. We have, for example gone from buying just the right present and card for a special occasion, to texting a greeting. Somehow that seems a little impersonal. Even taking time to call a person is too much for people to do. Then we wonder where time went because it is too late to talk to that person.

The Post Office these days seem to make the most money from junk mail and catalogs. Have you noticed the commercials for flat rate shipping? There is a reason for that. Money. But, the people who do actually get catalogs only look at them. Do they order by mail? No, they go online and order. Of course my last adventure online was ordering some free samples. I never got them. I hope the makeup shade looks good on the mail carrier.

Companies are encouraging people to pay bills online telling us that it is less waste of paper. Sure, let's save those trees and landfills. And just how long does it take for a disposable diaper to degrade in a landfill? I'm still not sure I want to pay my bills online. I still like getting that bill delivered once amonth. I had an experience years ago when a company took a payment out of my bank account twice in one month. That was not fun to get straight.

I guess we are just moving too fast these days. Soon the postal service will be a thing of the past. Until then, I will continue to get mail. Yes, I get irritated with some of the junk mail. Hey, it's mail. Can you imagine that little old lady down the street? That may be the only contact she has with the outside world. Her kids are in the cmputer age. They don't call, they don't write. If they can't say something in 140 characters or less, they don't do it. She will miss her mail person.


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