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Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:21 AM

A Letter From A Former Letter Carrier

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:31 AM - Edit history (1)

I'm a former rural letter carrier who proudly carried the mail for 10 years. Prior to that I spent 17 miserable years as a supervisor/dispatcher at United Parcel Service. I'm 56 years old now and my Postal job was the only one I ever loved. But I left the Post Office 6 years ago to work as a grunt in a local warehouse because I saw the writing on the wall.

In our local zip code area the Postal Service has 63 offices, UPS and Fed Ex one apiece. Saturday delivery needed to go. Every postal employee knows it, even if they won't admit it. But small town rural post offices are the real sink holes. The indirect subsidization of rural America through rural Post Offices will bring down the entire Postal system. The math is cold, but clear.

You can take the assinine rules Congress makes the Post Office play by away, but if these tiny, unprofitable black holes remain they will suck the Postal Service dry.

Small towns squeal like stuck pigs when their Post Offices are threatened and claim the offices are the last bit of glue holding them together. Offer each of them the option of keeping the offices open through subsidization of the Postal facility with local property taxes. See how many towns take you up on this offer.

The residents of these small towns will still have their mail delivered, but far cheaper and more efficiently by rural letter carriers. In fact many people in small towns that live along an existing rural route put up mail boxes and would rather have their mail delivered to their homes instead of trying to make it to the Post Office after work.

By all means get Congress, it's meddling, and in some cases out-right hostility out of the Postal Service's attempts to remain competitive, but do not think that these changes are not needed. Not if you really love and hope the Postal Service will continue to be a part of the fabric of America.

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Arrow 65 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Letter From A Former Letter Carrier (Original post)
mikekohr Feb 2013 OP
rdharma Feb 2013 #1
rdharma Feb 2013 #2
mikekohr Feb 2013 #3
rdharma Feb 2013 #4
rustydog Feb 2013 #5
mikekohr Feb 2013 #7
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #6
mikekohr Feb 2013 #10
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #11
mikekohr Feb 2013 #12
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #13
mikekohr Feb 2013 #14
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #16
mikekohr Feb 2013 #20
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #31
mikekohr Feb 2013 #39
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #47
mikekohr Feb 2013 #25
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #18
Sheldon Cooper Feb 2013 #8
ananda Feb 2013 #9
OrwellwasRight Feb 2013 #28
mikekohr Feb 2013 #41
OrwellwasRight Feb 2013 #48
mikekohr Feb 2013 #49
mikekohr Feb 2013 #42
Lex Feb 2013 #15
mikekohr Feb 2013 #21
Lex Feb 2013 #30
mikekohr Feb 2013 #40
Lex Feb 2013 #44
mikekohr Feb 2013 #50
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #17
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #19
mikekohr Feb 2013 #24
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #34
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #35
LibertyLover Feb 2013 #57
mikekohr Feb 2013 #23
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #32
mikekohr Feb 2013 #63
SaveAmerica Feb 2013 #56
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #22
valerief Feb 2013 #26
FarCenter Feb 2013 #27
mikekohr Feb 2013 #29
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #36
FarCenter Feb 2013 #37
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #38
mikekohr Feb 2013 #43
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #45
mikekohr Feb 2013 #51
upi402 Feb 2013 #33
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #46
mikekohr Feb 2013 #53
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #58
mikekohr Feb 2013 #60
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #61
mikekohr Feb 2013 #62
Niceguy1 Feb 2013 #52
mikekohr Feb 2013 #54
Niceguy1 Feb 2013 #64
mikekohr Feb 2013 #65
SaveAmerica Feb 2013 #55
mikekohr Feb 2013 #59

Response to mikekohr (Original post)


Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:44 AM

2. We're behind you brothers and sister of the USPS!

 

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Response to rdharma (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:45 AM

3. As am I

Get Congress out of the way and stay out of the way of needed change.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:00 AM

4. Darryl Issa has graduated from stealing cars.......

 



[link:&list=UU80UzBqjWgYi2KCkaUhUk7A&index=1|

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:54 AM

5. My uncle is a retired letter carrier, the USPS is a much needed agency

and the Repubican Party has to be stopped! Fund 75 years retirement in 10 years, damn, they don't require any other government agency to do that. The postal service is supported by the purchase of STAMPS not taxpayer dollars.
This is was a blatant bankruptcy deal to give the mail delivery service to private enterprise (FedEX and UPS)

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Response to rustydog (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:43 AM

7. Agreed! Get Congress out of the way, and stay out of the way of needed change

or the Post Office will fail.

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:06 AM

6. what's the distinction between a 'rural letter carrier' and usps? you mean a contractor?

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:56 AM

10. A Rural Letter Carrier is an employee of the United States Post Office (USPS),

Not a contractor. You do however provide your own car for which you are re-imbursed milage/wear and tear.

The changes noted above, elimination of Saturday delivery and reduction, of unprofitable rural Post Offices were widely agreed upon by my fellow Postal Workers in everyday discussions 10-15 years ago. These problems have been obvious to anyone with an honest unbiased mind for a long long time.

Example: As a rural carrier I delivered mail to one such local, tiny Post Office as part of my route. It was open 6 days a week and had 27 customers, or box holders. I delivered nearly as many families of the town's resident's to their homes (houses had to be on the Rural Route travel path). Some days the entire days worth of mail for this office could be carried from my jeep into the office in in one hand.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:10 PM

11. a part-timer, i believe. that's what i thought. we have them here, and so far as i know they're

 

paid as independent contractors.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 10:06 PM

12. Wrong! Rural Letter Carriers Are Full-time Employees of the USPS

You are thinking of Rural Letter Carrier Associates (RCA's) who substitute for the full time rural carrier when they are sick, on vacation or have a day off.
BOTH are employees of the Post Office. Both belong to the Rural Letter Carrier's Union. They are not paid as independant contractors.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:10 AM

13. if they are full-time employees, just like other employees, then there's no cost-savings involved

 

with their employ as the writer claimed.

That they are a separate bargaining unit with their own union = there's some difference.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:59 PM

14. Wrong! A rural letter carrier can deliver many small villages in an hour or so

Example: Dover, Illinois 61323 has 111 people. 27 families have a box at the Dover Post office. The remainder of the residents receive their mail via a rural carrier that travels through the town.

The Post Office in Dover is open 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year, 8 hours a day. Estimated costs of keeping that office open are approx $70,000.00 per year.

A rural carrier could deliver those 27 family's mail, and pick up any outgoing mail and boxes in about 1.5 hours per day, or about $9,000.00 per year.

There are thousands and thousands of offices like Dover, Illinois. The math is staggering to all but the willfully blind.

There are multiple bargaining units at the Post Office, and that's yet another problem that needs to be addressed. In the Spring Valley office (61362) in which I last delivered out of, there were 13 employees and 5 differant bargaining units or unions. It causes problems. To compare it to the United Parcel Service operating center in nearby Peru, Illinois we had +70 employees and one union or bargaining unit.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:26 AM

16. So could a regular postal worker, then. But regular postal workers don't do it, there's a separate

 

category of worker who does it.

So there is some difference in the employment terms between regular letter carriers and rural letter carriers.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:32 AM

20. A Rural Letter Carrier IS a "regular" Postal worker. These customers would continue to be served

Last edited Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:23 AM - Edit history (1)

by union Postal workers but in a far more efficient, cost competitive mode.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:04 PM

31. You contradict yourself in your very own post. And you work for UPS, so quit pretending to be

 

the post office 'expert'.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #31)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:28 AM

39. Wrong Again! Aren't you even reading my posts before you slam them?

Last edited Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:39 PM - Edit history (1)

-clip from lead post-
"I'm a former rural letter carrier who proudly carried the mail for 10 years. Prior to that I spent 17 miserable years as a supervisor/dispatcher at United Parcel Service."
-end of clip-

I left the post office 7 years ago to work in an entry level job in a warehouse, because I saw the writing on the wall. I took a cut in pay so I could end my working years working for an organization not flaming out in a death spiral. I loved my job as a rural carrier. My brother-in-law just retired from the USPS. I have many close friends that still work there.

I left PRIOR to Congress passing the assinine rule of pre-funding pensions. The issues of Saturday delivery and the blackholes of unprofitable, tiny, unjustifiable Postal faciities existed before Congress's pension bill and were universally recognized by the Postal workers I carried the mail with 10-15 years ago.

There are two classes of people that will be the doom of the USPS
1). those in Congress and in the private sector that are hostile to the existance of the Postal Service (UPS and the Republican Caucus for example)
2). And those who are ignorant of, or willfully blind to the changes that must happen to ensure that the Post Office remains as part of the fabric of America.

Of the two groups it is the second that in the end is the most dangerous to the Postal Service's existance.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #39)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:25 PM

47. you said -- never mind, my error.

 

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:57 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:01 AM

25. Post Script: Yesterday the Post Office announced major reductions in many of the small/tiny offices

in my local 613-- zip code area. Dover being reduced to 6 hours each day.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 04:16 AM

18. That's another wonderful idea that shrub and Potter (former Post Master General) pushed

 

through a few years ago. Some rural district have them, some don't. They're even more screwed that rural carriers.

ETA: The contractors are not RCAs, they're just what the name implies. They are not employees, they have no benefits and earn substantially less money.

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:50 AM

8. I hve no idea where that letter writer is coming from.

Is there some kind of difference between a rural letter carrier and a non-rural letter carrier? I have no idea, but I do know that the current problems with the USPS can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the 2006 US Congress, which imposed a burden on the post office which is breathtaking in its scope. No entity, public or private, is required to fund its retirement program for the next 75 years, and do it in a ten year time frame. It is astonishing that something like that was allowed to be enacted. People will rue the day that the USPS goes under and we are left to the mercies of Brown, FedEx, et al.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:52 AM

9. Agree

It looks like another step along the road towards privatization of the commons, something that always has a bad result.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:45 AM

28. There are several unions at the USPS

Mailhandlers
Letter Carriers
Postal Workers
Rural Letter Carriers

Rural is different because it is not so dense.

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Response to OrwellwasRight (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:52 AM

41. Correct. There were 5 different unions for the 13 employees of the last Post Office I worked in

And this is yet another issue that needs to be addressed. The unions should be combined into a central bargaining unit so their is not so much "turf" warfare that goes on inhibiting the USPS to innovate and adapt and improve flexibility and opportunity for Postal Workers.

The UPS facility in which I was a supervisor prior to my years at the Post Office we had +70 employees and one union, the Teamsters.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:43 PM

48. Yes, I agree consolidation could help avoid turf wars and improve flexibility, etc.

But that is not the critical issue of what is wrong with the post office -- the 75 year pre-payment of the pension is.

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Response to OrwellwasRight (Reply #48)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:25 PM

49. The 75 year pre-payment is just one of the big issues facing the USPS and is the easiest to fix

The others are declining mail volume, the internet, and Congress's dictates that make it almost impossible or impossible for the USPS to make the operational changes that the new market dictates, ie: elimination of Saturday Delivery and closing of thousands of unprofitable, mostly rural Post offices.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:09 PM

42. The problems I address existed long before the 2006 "cluster F" imposed by the Repukes in Congress

In my 10 years with the USPS we lost over 200,000 employees, and vast amounts of mail volume. My 10 years with the USPS started with the advent of the internet.

Mail remains a deal at 4 times the cost but there is now an alternative, it's instantaneous and free. It's called e-mail. Congress, newspaper and magazine interests and customers of the Postal Service must stand back and let it make the adjustments it needs or it will crumble under it's own weight.

And that would be a preventable shame.

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:06 PM

15. Eventually rural folks will have to travel into town to get their mail

because the Republicans will kill the USPS and it will all be handled by various private bloated companies with no interest in delivering mail to rural folks.



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Response to Lex (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:36 AM

21. Wrong! read above posts

Your only point that is correct is that Republicans would love to see the Post Office fail. United Parcel Service has one of the largest PACs in Washington DC. UPSPAC was a sponser on Newt Gingrich's "Contract on American" and the vast majority of their money goes to Republicans.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 12:53 PM

30. Right!

If you think private companies are going to deliver regular mail to rural folks . . . well, that is quite naive.

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Response to Lex (Reply #30)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:42 AM

40. Wrong! Rural Letter Carriers, employees of the USPS, will deliver the mail to their homes

in curbside mailboxes.

You are right however about private sector companies not wanting rural business. They do not. UPS for example charges a "residential" surcharge per box of up to $4.85 per box. UPS also charges an additional surcharge for boxes addressed to "rural" zip codes. UPS now offers a service in which they "drop" off boxes they have picked up to destination Post Offices for those Postal Wokers to deliver because UPS does not want to incur the cost of delivery to these mostly residential and rural destinations.

The only all points delivery in the United States IS the Post Office. Many destination deliveries to extreme rural points has always been completed by the Post Office, for UPS, Fed Ex and many other carriers. EX. the Havasupi Reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. If UPS has a box for this point they deliver it to the Post Office at the head of the trail descending into the reservation and contract with the Post Office for final delivery. Similar arrangements occur in many remote parts of this nation.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #40)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:04 PM

44. No USPS = No rural delivery.

You're assuming that the USPS will be alive and not taken over completely by privatization.

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Response to Lex (Reply #44)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:27 PM

50. That's my point. If we don't allow the needed changes the USPS will fold under it's own weight.

Without the USPS, people in rural areas will pay through the nose for rural delivery. If they can even get it.

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 04:12 AM

17. Completely full of shit.

 

A very close relative is a rural carrier (rural carriers are a separate group from city carriers, they have their own contract and union) and your attempt to paint your experience as typical is flat out bullshit. 'G' has worked for the USPS full time for about 12 years. 'G' works 5 days a week now, but previously it has been 6 days every week or every other week as 'G' has bid onto other routes.

Rural carriers are paid based on the number of hours it is calculated that it should take (not the actual hours spent) to deliver the volume for their specific route and this rate is determined by a "count" which is carried out a couple of time per year on average. During count supervisors shadow the carriers and track everything they do over the course of two weeks and the results of that determines how much they will be paid until it is done again. (This in itself is outrageous to me. Imagine doing your own job with your boss literally following or standing behind you and tracking every single thing you do every day for two weeks, then deciding how much time they think it should take!)

The loss of Saturday delivery doesn't alter the volume of mail, it is simply docking workers pay. When they come back in on Monday, all that mail is still going to have to be delivered, so it is guaranteed to make Mondays a very long day for less money. That's bad enough, but three day weekends are going to be absolutely unmanageable. As a result of this idiocy, that mail is going to have to be rolled into the following day, so your service will decline.

To review, this "former rural letter carrier" is advocating that it is right that workers do more work for less money and that degraded service is the right thing to do. I would doubt that this poster has ever been a USPS carrier except that I've known so many who are just that dumb.

And again, the only reason the USPS is losing any money is because of the ridiculous pension prefunding requirement (funding pensions for future employees not even born yet) imposed by Congress in 2006 that would literally put any private or governmental organization out of business. There are plenty of place where the budget could be cut and savings in operating expenses that are certainly possible, but they would effect the outrageous salaries and benefits of the political class employees and halting the forced subsidies to "private" carriers. Funny how those cuts are never even mentioned.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 04:24 AM

19. thanks for the information. that sounds more logical. can you add some detail about the

 

subsidies to private carriers? i remember reading about such a thing a while back but can't remember the details or find the article. thanks.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:55 AM

24. Rural Letter Carriers are NOT private carriers.

They are employees of the United States Post Office.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:48 PM

34. The subsidies are numerous and go back for decades.

 

A few examples. Airmail is required by Congress to be shipped through these private carriers at full rate while being secondary to the carriers own freight. That means that when the flight is full of UPS packages, for example, the mail gets left behind. That why postal overnight, while still cheaper than the other carriers, costs as much as it does.

Congress forced the USPS to sell off its own equipment, in the late 70s IIRC (including the fleet of aircraft and all of its trucks) to the private carriers for pennies on the dollar. Have you ever noticed that when you see a USPS trailer on the road, the tractor is always private? USPS pays an exorbitant amount of money to these private enterprises for this service even though they could, if allowed, do it themselves at nearly half the cost while still paying their employees more and providing good benefits to them.

Another form of subsidy comes in the form of a wide variety of Congressional prohibitions from directly competing with private carriers, this is what has led to the blizzard of junk mail, the private carriers don't want that business so it is what's left for the post office to live on. Older people might remember when you could mail things COD and buy money orders from the USPS. Congress killed that, too.

Everything that UPS, FedEx, other carriers, as well as several other businesses can be done cheaper and better by the USPS, but they are prevented from doing it by congress. This is probably the biggest single subsidy, we are all forced to overpay in order for these parasites to exist.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #34)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:02 PM

35. thanks.

 

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:34 PM

57. 10 years ago I bought money orders at the Post Office

We were in the process of adopting our daughter and had to pay to have fingerprints taken, searches run and a visa for her issued. It was all done through what used to be Immigration and Naturalization but had been taken over by the Department of Homeland Security. They would only accept USPS money orders in payment. And I just went on the USPS web site. They still sell money orders.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:52 AM

23. A little bit of knowledge is dangerous and your headline debases your argument,

you are correct in how the Rural Letter carriers are paid but it is obvious that you have never worked for the USPS.

Monday is ALREADY the heaviest day of the week and that is why so many Rural Letter carriers schedule that day off and have their substitutes work those days. That is one of many issues that needs to be resolved, it is unfair but the Rural Letter Carriers Association agreed to it and helped mold the system. Shame on them.

We lost +200,000 employees in the 10 years I worked for the Post Office. They continue to bleed away employees and mail volume. If these changes, universally recognized by my fellow employees at the USPS 10-15 years ago are not implemented the Postal Service will strangle to death on it's own weight. And that would be a regrettable and preventable tragedy..

I forgive you for doubting I ever worked for the Post Office and questioning my honesty.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:22 PM

32. And some reading comprehension might allow you to reach rational conclusions.

 

I said quite clearly that it is my relative that works for them, today, right now. I also said very clearly that I did not doubt that you were an employee, that the service is absolutely rife with with short-sighted, Libertarian idiots that are too stupid to realize that they are enthusiastically supporting their own executions as well as the destruction of the best mail system on earth, although not quite that clearly. I have no way of knowing if this description fits you exactly, but the posts you have written on this topic indicate that you certainly lean that way.

I did write, quite clearly, that there are many places where improvements can be made, none of which involve degrading service or laying off the employees that actually do the work. Being an RCA is the worst job and that's where you start if you want to be a rural carrier. My relative did it for about 5 years before getting a route, and while it is not as good as it used to be, it is still better than what the contractors have and the service provided in those place where contractors are used is perfectly indicative of that.

You also paint a very misleading picture of the rural service. The post office is a Constitutionally mandated, formerly governmental, service and as such, is not meant to be a profitable enterprise. Yes, there are tiny offices with practically no customers scattered throughout the nation that get no service from FedEx or UPS and operate at what is, from a business standpoint, a loss. There are also places throughout the nation where it is not profitable to provide electricity and sanitary water, but that's one of the major reasons for government. A nation can't be a nation if the unprofitable citizens are left to their own devices. Would you have us abandon huge swaths of America because there are not enough people living there to make it profitable?

Beyond that however, there are major cities that are serviced by the rural system (about 70% of Scottsdale, AZ., for example). This is because the city/rural divisions were drawn up almost a century ago. Hardly any rural carriers use their own vehicles any longer. The Potter administration ended it when they noticed that carriers were able to pay for their personal vehicles under the old system and therefore deprive political contributors from some welfare. Carriers cannot schedule their days off, each route that has a day off (not all of them do except for Sunday), has it scheduled by the station or district supervisor. If the carrier wants to take Monday off, they have to spend a vacation day or take LWOP (leave without pay). Perhaps it is the idea of regular working people having paid vacation time that so upsets you?

USPS is the nation's largest employer of veterans, and the largest source of living wage jobs for those without connections and college degrees. But those are probably bad things in your book. Unless you're a political appointee, you're not going to get rich working for the post office, but you can raise a family, buy a house, and maybe send your kids to college in exchange for working your ass off for 40 years before you retire your broken-down body. OTOH, if you are politically connected, you can be paid in the top 2% of wage earners, destroy the organization that paid you and then get rich going to work for the corporate parasites that couldn't even exist if not for the USPS.

The current Postmaster General, Patrick Donahoe, is better than the last one, but is still grossly overpaid and apparently dedicated to protecting the executive class at the expense of productive employees. The one shrub put in, John E. Potter, spent 9 years utterly devastating the service and retiring with a package worth about $6M. The program of eliminating the best mail system in the world began under reagan (Big surprise there) and even after a quarter century of consistent attack, it remained self-sustaining. Even before reagan, the U.S. Congress has been using the USPS as it's personal slush fund to finance it's blatant graft for generations, yet I read nothing from you about addressing that.

The USPS has done an admirable job of adapting to the changing reality, remaining self sustaining with the rise of the world wide web and the constant attacks from Congressional lapdogs in the employ of private carriers and being forced to both subsidize them while being prohibited from competing with them. For 1/6 the price of a cup of coffee you can drop a letter to your mom in a box in LA and be assured that she will get it at her door in NY 2 or 3 days later. That level of service would cost you $8 with UPS today, and should people like you be successful in killing this modern marvel of efficiency, you can expect that to double.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:56 PM

63. Wrong on a number of points, correct on a number of others.

1). Name calling debases everything you post. Stop it. Because you do have a better understanding of the situation than most people and do have something to add to the discussion.
2). Profitability is not the question, it's the ability of the USPS to serve the customers in rural America more efficiently while still maintaining service to ALL of America. Replacing small town Post Offices with Rural Letter Carrier delivery actually accomplishes both of those goals.
3). Your claim that Rural Letter Carrier hardly ever provide their own vehicles is false. It may be true where you live but here in rural North Central Illinois nearly every rural carrier provides their own vehicle. LLV's (Postal vehicles) are povided on some hi density routes. We have few hi density routes here. Those are most numerous in rapidly expanding areas. The county I live in has lost population for the last 40 years.
4). Your claim that Rural Letter Carriers not chosing their days off is also false. Here, locally most Rural Letter Carriers that have a 5 day schedule, schedule off Monday and stick their RCA with the heavy mail volume day of the week. Sad but true. And yes it causes problems.

Most of the rest of your post is something we agree on. Cut back on the angry assumptions. You'll be a more effective communicator. And if you are involved in Union Organizing this will help you immensly in your efforts and the more Union workers we have in this nation the better off we all will be.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:07 PM

56. True, just another way for service to decline, people to accuse the USPS

of crappy service and that they deserve to close down because the average joe doesn't know the truth behind what's going on at the Post Office.

Your post is just right.

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:40 AM

22. Did they email this out or use regular mail?

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:23 AM

26. What changes are you talking about? Privatizing postal service??????

Why not just remove the exhorbitant pension reserve the post office is NOW, thanks to the GOP Congress, required to maintain? Then the post office would be BACK IN THE BLACK AGAIN, like they were before the GOP Congress put in measure to break up the BIGGEST UNION IN THE COUNTRY!!!!!

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:40 AM

27. There are 5 post offices within 2 miles of my house -- so it's not just a rural problem

USPS operates far too many post offices.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 12:16 PM

29. Bingo! nt

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:07 PM

36. there are two po's within 5 miles of my home; but 3 ups & 4 fedex offices. i guess they have

 

too many outlets too.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #36)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:48 PM

37. Are you counting drop boxes, former Kinko's, franchised UPS stores, and affiliates like Staples?

The FedEx and UPS storeds do a lot of business besides package receipt and delivery.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #37)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:55 PM

38. i'm counting stores labeled ups & fed ex in the phone book that have telephone numbers and

 

addresses.

not drop boxes.

the PO could do a lot of business other than package receipt and deliver too, if they hadn't been EXPRESSLY BARRED from 'offering any new products that might compete with private carriers' by congress.

I still remember when congress made the PO rip out their public COPY MACHINES. just there for convenience since often when you mail something you want to keep a copy.

but congress knew better.

UPS & Fed Ex have too many outlets. They should be forced to cut back.

BTW, did you know the PO delivers a lot of UPS & fedex's mail?

USPS Delivered 30% of FedEx Ground Shipments



http://cepobserver.com/2012/06/usps-delivered-30-of-fedex-ground-shipments-in-fedexs-fiscal-fourth-quarter/


I'm going to laugh when the prices go up for delivery of all the crap people buy online goes up. which they are going to.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:50 PM

43. Now we are getting somewhere. Congress, as well as we, have to allow the Post to adapt

Just as Fed Ex and UPS is allowed to do. The UPS and Fed Ex satellite offices or private contractors you make note of are almost certainly placed in appropriate locations, not the unprofitable, small town locations I have noted above.

And if the Post Office were to collapse delivery in rural areas will be exhorbinant or disappear altogether. That is why it is so important to allow the Postal Service the leeway to make the adjustments that the changed market dictates.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #43)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:06 PM

45. i live in a rural small town, so -- wrong.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #45)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:34 PM

51. And I live on a rural route and delivered the mail for 10 years

If one person I worked with at the Post Office agreed with you I'd give you their name. But none do. Those closest to a problem generally have the best understanding of the problem and how to fix it.

Saturday delivery is done. Unprofitable Post offices, mostly in rural small town America, are closing or having their hours dramatically reduced.

Get used to the new reality. It's been coming for the the last 10-15 years and been readily apparent to anyone honest enough to admit it.

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:26 PM

33. Repubs mandating funding pensions for unborn people is designed to kill the Post Office

Media is ignoring this, IMHO.

Repukes did this in lame duck session - no?

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:19 PM

46. And here's another piece that has actual facts as opposed to the Libertarian swill

 

being offered.

http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/2927#.URST55bK0mQ
Since 1971, the postal service has not taken a dime from taxpayers. All of its operations--including the remarkable convenience of 32,000 local post offices (more service outlets than Walmart, Starbucks, and McDonald's combined)--are paid for by peddling stamps and other products.

The Postal Service is NOT broke. Indeed, in those four years of loudly deplored "losses," the Service actually produced a $700 million operational profit (despite the worst economy since the Great Depression).

But it's not the only hocus pocus that has falsely fabricated the public perception that our mail agency is "broke." Due to a 40-year-old accounting error, the federal Office of Personnel Management has overcharged the post office by as much as $80 billion for payments into the Civil Service Retirement System. This means that, far from being a drain on the public treasury, USPS has had billions of its sales dollars erroneously diverted into the treasury. Restore the agency's access to its own postage money, and the impending "collapse" goes away.

The biggest lie of all is that USPS is an antiquated, unnecessary, failing civic institution that simply must give way to electronic technology and corporate efficiency. This is nothing but ideological hogwash spewed by private profiteers and political quislings.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #46)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:13 AM

53. "Postage prices rise, but USPS still teeters at the edge of ruin"

here is a statement from USPS spokesman David Partenheimer (via e-mail): -see the problem-

“Although our liquidity situation remains a serious concern, the Postal Service is continuing to prioritize payments to ensure employees and suppliers are paid on time, preventing any interruption in our operations,”

Below is analysis from Michael Crew, director of the Center for Research in Regulated Industries, and professor of regulatory economics at Rutgers University and Richard Geddes, associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University.

“The other thing that’s hurt the postal service is it’s an industry where we have scale economies,” Crew said. The post office’s fixed costs — keeping the lights on at its huge network of facilities, maintaining its fleet and paying its employees — are amortized across the amount of mail it processes. “As you increase volume, unit costs decline.”

But volume isn’t increasing; it’s plummeting. First-class mail volume — which earns around three times the profit of bulk mail — has dropped by about a third in a little more than a decade, Geddes said. “That decline is just enormous in a historical context,” he said.

The decline was sparked by the rise of the Internet and exacerbated by the recent recession, when companies cut their budgets for mailings. “About a quarter of their traffic has been lost in the period since 2007-2008,” Crew said. The agency has shed thousands of workers, but it’s losing business faster than it can save money by shrinking its work force.

Crew also blamed “a flawed governance structure and flawed business model” for the agency’s woes. “Any significant changes that have to take place have to be approved by Congress. This is not a way to run a business if you’re in a fast-moving environment,” he said. The Postal Service has expensive benefit obligations for retirees, a bill the agency is currently putting off and on which it owes $11.1 billion.


read full article: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/postage-prices-rise-usps-still-teeters-edge-ruin-1C8146115

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #53)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:19 PM

58. A load of codswallop written in jargon. The article completely ignores every salient issue.

 

The article you've linked to is a hit-piece, nothing more.

Both experts quoted make only vague prognostications of possible results in a static environment. Mail volume was indeed down sharply in 2008 - 2009 (the time frame quoted) after the collapse of the global economy. That is no longer the case as total volume has come back, but this article makes no mention of the current state of mail volume at all. The author of this fiction, Martha C. White, works exclusively writing for the very industries that have the most to gain from the destruction of the USPS, and this particular article is no exception. She makes no effort to investigate the challenges faced, nor to write an objective assessment of current conditions, in fact she is one of the financial media "experts" that was advising her readers to bet the farm on the permanent bull market right up until it collapsed in 2008.

Dismantling the service because of a temporary slump brought on by a global economic collapse make as much sense as abandoning your car every time it needs an oil change.

The USPS is in a bind, purposely put there by Congress. But the solution is not to destroy it, the solution lies in sweeping managerial changes and allowing it to work.

Read the Hightower piece.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #58)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 05:15 PM

60. Mail Volume declined each and every year of the ten years I worked there

As the internet makes increasing inroads into 1st Class mail volumes the USPS loses employees. We lost +200,000 people in the 10 years I worked there and that was BEFORE the 2006 hatchet job the Congress imposed on the USPS.

Ludites howled loudly. They changed nothing.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #60)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 05:50 PM

61. Since you have ignored every bit of factual information that I and others have presented you

 

for days now, it seems clear that you have no interest in facts and are merely seeking to keep your misinformation and personal agenda visible in GD.

You have not addressed any substantive issue raised, nor have you offered any solutions. Your personal grievance with the Postal Service is insufficient cause to justify wrecking the best mail system and prime example of how well government can work, even when continually sabotaged by a faction of corporate parasites that seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the whole nation.

Further, before you go around calling other people Luddites, you should probably avail yourself of some education as to whom the Luddites were, what they did, and their reasons for their actions. You are simply further exposing your own ignorance.

Despite their modern reputation, the original Luddites were neither opposed to technology nor inept at using it. Many were highly skilled machine operators in the textile industry. Nor was the technology they attacked particularly new. Moreover, the idea of smashing machines as a form of industrial protest did not begin or end with them.
More at Smithsonian. com

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #61)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:11 PM

62. Dear Thug, you are good at dishing it out, but you take a punch poorly

I presented an option to keeping unprofitable rural offices open in my lead post. Read it.

Every fact I posted is supported by the actions the Post Office is taking to adjust to today's rapidly changing market. I wish them well and am confident that they are capable and their proposals are measured reasonable actions that will enable the Postal Service to survive and thrive.

Your basic argument is there is no problem other than the mutually agreed upon Congressional fubaring up of the Post Office. That was in my lead post as well.

Change is never easy. It always is unpopular.
Remember President John F. Kennedy's words, "
"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:49 PM

52. Sorry but I have to disagree

Postal service is an essential responsibility of the federal government and people in small rural towns should receive equal service. It is not equal and is regressive towards the rural poor.

How about closing all but one of the post offices in a city that has more than one? I know mine has at least 10 of them. And cities already have delivery so the extra multiple buildings aren't needed.

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #52)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:57 AM

54. You just agreed with my point without realizing it

Mail customers in tiny, unprofitable towns do not receive the same service as an urban customer. In these small towns mail is picked up at a post office box, in the post office.

In urban delivery mail is brought to the customer's door. Closing these unprofitable sinkholes would result in rural customers having their mail delivered to their door or to a centralized postal box like at apartment complexes.

The exorbitant cost of maintaining these rural, tiny village Post Offices can no longer be passed onto urban mail users because of plummeting First Class Mail volume. Technology, the internet, now gives people an option that is instantaneous and free.

You are correct in that there are some facilities in major cities that need to be consolidated and that is happening .
Local example: La Salle/Peru Illinois, combined population approx. 25,000 people. These two zip codes 61301 and 61354 previously had 3 Postal facilities located in the downtown areas of these two towns close to the Illinois River. All three facilities have been combined into a single facility at the far north end of La Salle, nearby Interstate 80. While some people have to drive up to 10 miles round trip to visit the existing facility, mail is delivered via Letter Carrier to every home, business and apartment.

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Response to mikekohr (Reply #54)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:14 AM

64. I was referring to access

To customer service... it is more than just delivery. Often rural towns are overlooked as far as government services go and many residents have unequal access. In my area we had to pass a local transportation tax as the state was uninterested in maintaining and building roads. The two major cities always the priority while everywhere else watches things crumble even when the state was overflowing with cash. Even with a 200k population we were ignored. Not progressive at all

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #64)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:33 PM

65. Access will not suffer with delivery via Rural Letter Carrier

A Rural Letter Carrier will deliver the mail to each household in these small/tiny communities. A Rural Letter Carrier is a Post Office on wheels. They will pick up mail and packages, sell stamps ect. In my local zip code area many of these money pit offices I am referring to have had their hours reduced to between 2 and 6 hours per day. If you work for a living try fitting that into your schedule.

The reason the Post Office has not closed these offices outright is because Congress requires a hearing process that can last as long as 3 years. So the absolute worst thing is happening: the Post Office is still stuck with the overhead of maintaining these facilities, and/or paying rent and the remaining customers are experiencing less and less available hours to get their mail.

"Change is either a force to be feared or an opportunity to be seized." Opposing the Post Office's attempts to remain competive is denying them the opportunity to survive. And if they fail, rural Americans, like myself will rue the day.

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Response to mikekohr (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:04 PM

55. It's always wrong to think you know what everyone is thinking.

I know several employees (current and retired) of the USPS and they would not agree with this statement.

"Saturday delivery needed to go. Every postal employee knows it, even if they won't admit it." What does that even mean, you know something but you won't admit it? And rural post offices are where you're people really need the Post Office, they're paying their bills, they're communicating with friends and families. Many of them don't have computers so they do a lot of their business old school-like with their mail box and post office.

I really disagree with this letter.

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Response to SaveAmerica (Reply #55)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 05:08 PM

59. There were similar "concerns" when the Post Office eliminated twice a day delivery

The Post Office was responding to a then slowly changing market, and responding correctly. They are correct once again in eliminating Saturday delivery. I never worked with a single Postal worker in my 10 years with the Post Office that did not recognize this necessity, a recognition that goes back 10-15 years ago.

Closing of rural Post Offices will allow the Postal Service to remain competitive and viable and still keep rural delivery available to ALL of America. If the Postal Service goes under people in rural areas, like myself will suffer the most, the fastest.

Once the Post Office is broken up it will never be put back together again. And that's what UPS, FED EX and the Republicans in Congress want. They don't care how the Post Office fails, be-it by the ludicrous "pre-payment" of retirement benefits as mandated by Congress in 2006 or by denying the Post Office the ability to make the adjustments the market demands. Either way they win and rural America and the nation as a whole loses.

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