Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The efficiency of the U.S. Mail

We have a couple of really nice trees behind our store in New Braunfels, TX. Lately, with every day being well over 100 degrees, I have been parking under one of them to keep my vehicle in the shade during the afternoon. I'm not the only one.

Every day, at some point between 1 and 2pm, a mail truck is also parked under the tree, usually directly across from my car. The driver sits in the truck for close to two hours - sometimes napping, sometimes reading a book. Either way, enjoying the shade on a hot summer day in South Texas.

It's most curious to myself and our shipping clerk as we have to pull teeth and get a written permission slip from Obama to get a carrier to pick up our packages on a daily basis. We had a guy for a while who was unbelievably good, "Dan the Man". They moved him from our area when they gave him a bigger route.

We have another guy, Steven, who does really well by us also. He picks up whenever he can, but he only rarely handles our area any more. He has also been given more responsibility. In other words, if Steven doesn't come, no one does. Why? According to the local post office, they are understaffed and "it's a miracle they can even deliver the mail with the resources they are given."

Which brings us to our daily reader out back. We're not exactly shy so we asked him (and a few other carriers) about it. Apparently, it's a postal tradition. If you finish your route early enough and come back to the post office they will give you more work. If you do it enough days in a row, they will give you more work permanently. According to the carriers, this is to be avoided at all cost. Thus the postal carrier has adopted the siesta as a tradition of their own.

I thought about all of this as I read a story today in the Wall Street Journal, Postal Service Delivers More Red Ink. From the story:
"The recession has been brutal," Postal Service Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett said at public meeting of the postal service board of governors.
Not only has the recession been brutal, but so has the heat. Just drop by our store between one and three pm and ask the guy parked under the tree.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I hope everyone realizes why I am so frustrated with the US Postal Service Now!