I was a little out of it, last Thursday, told I was sounding stuffy, so I didn’t do much other than read. Part of that time was on Facebook rather than anything too important, although not entirely so.
I saw a sponsored ad from the U.S. Postal Service on how to mail a letter. (I thought the people in charge these days want smaller government and less spending.)
Their busiest time of the year is coming up. If you’re reading on the blog, you can see the countdown dates until Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas — depending on the type of media you’re using (desktop, tablet or phone).
(Did you know Black Friday is an actual holiday in 24 states?)
Hundreds of millions of Americans will be mailing cards and gifts, despite more and more substituting email for cards and shipping for gifts.
We all want what we worked on and paid for to be delivered in a timely manner. I’m still waiting for a card from my mother from September that hasn’t arrived. It wasn’t her fault. She actually took it to the post office to make sure the correct amount of postage was on the envelope, and it had a return sticker.
On the other hand, I’ve lived in my condo for more than a year and still get mail intended for previous residents of both sexes with various first and last names. Just last month, hundreds of our electric bills were returned to the management company!
That’s in addition to the latest problem that just started over the past few weeks: getting mail for 2501 and 2701 rather than 2601, with the four numbers after the ZIP code wrong.
That’s definitely human delivery error and should be eliminated, and I know that because the material was sent by professional companies with addresses typed in.
I’m sure the USPS wants to be considered as good by Santa (track him here) and the public, and stay in business for another year, so they apparently paid Facebook for advertising to teach readers the correct way to address an envelope, and which pitfalls to avoid.
Are any of these new to you? (I’ll let the experts tell you in their own words, since they paid for the opportunity.)
I know some people try to be fancy and cute, and that hurts the postal service’s performance. Did you know you should always address an envelope using capital letters, but not to use any punctuation except in the ZIP plus 4?
Perhaps the USPS should have mailed every household and business a piece of paper with their suggestions, like they print and deliver when they hold food drives, because not everyone is on Facebook and not everyone is going to click their ad. I’m not sure about the price difference, and it would certainly mean more trees cut down, but it would also cut down on late and lost mail, which is also a waste.
Yes, there are private competitors that should be keeping the USPS on its toes to bring us better performance.
I’ve only rarely used the companies, like UPS and FedEx, mostly for mortgage paperwork when the envelopes were prepaid. I’m not sure they were any better than the post office and I had to go looking for a special box on the street to send them, rather than this.
Choice is good. It should lower prices and improve service. But I for one would hate to see any, especially the USPS, go away.
First, anyone who messes with your mailed letters and packages violates federal law and should go to jail. I’m not sure if the same applies to competitors like UPS and FedEx.
Second, there are post offices and mailboxes everywhere. Who doesn’t have a mailbox?
In my neighborhood, I keep hearing complaints from people in rowhomes outside my building about how their big packages with goods they ordered were stolen. That’s crooks disrupting the system.
And walking by, I see people’s notes on their doors about how packages should be delivered to the convenience store down the street in case nobody is home! That’s asking delivery people make two stops rather than one — slowing the process for everyone and making them work harder — and who says they have to, considering where their items were addressed?
And we want the post office to succeed, and deliver mail at least six days a week, so more workers can keep their jobs.
But it can do better.
They closed many of Philadelphia’s post offices for the same hours for days throughout the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 2016. It was very inconvenient and I can’t come up with a good excuse. I’m sure the workers got paid. Most other government employees worked extra hard and got to collect overtime.
(No, John Kerry had already replaced the eventual presidential nominee as Secretary of State! As you well know, Hillary Clinton got nothing.)
At least they lowered the price of a stamp by a penny so it’s an even better deal than it was before.
So do your part and address your items correctly.
One last word of advice: Don’t procrastinate. Give whatever company you use enough time to get your package to its correct destination in time. Click here for Holiday Shipping Deadlines. (They really only mean Christmas.)
Good luck, happy holidays, and drive safely, and I mean that starting with Thanksgiving!
Again, thanks to our tax money, and on the very edge of appropriateness for the USPS…
So don’t be surprised if more government money in the form of “tips” makes its way to Facebook.