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SoCalNative Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:09 PM
Original message
Postal Service Looks To Cut 40,000 Jobs In First Layoff In History
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - "We lost 2 billion dollars and like any other business we have to stay afloat." And to keep from sinking, the United States Postal Service is considering cutting thousands of jobs nationwide. Lavelle Pepper with the post office in Shreveport says they too are feeling the affects of the same disease hitting the country... a struggling economy. "We employ about 685,000 people. If we do layoffs it would include clerks, carriers, mail handlers across all crafts."

Pepper says the postal service is looking to eliminate 40,000 jobs nationwide. There's not an exact number on how many of those could be from the Ark-La-Tex. Pepper says workers who are not part of union with six or less years of service would likely be the first on the chopping block. "We've identified 16 thousand people that are not covered under contract. We'll see what those numbers add up to."

http://www.ksla.com/Global/story.asp?S=9247633
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Parche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hopefully Those Mails and Femails Dont Go Postal
:scared: :hi:
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. ..........like the lines at the PO aren't long enough ALREADY.....
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. My hubby is a postal handler and boy we have been sweating these bullets
for a while now

This is quite amazing
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. Yeah, but thank gawd it passed.
:eyes:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #19
51. They JUST started using the money
Edited on Wed Oct-29-08 06:23 PM by nadinbrzezinski
and the slow down at the USPS started nine moths ago, but I am sure you knew that

:eyes:

People are so fucking uneducated about the economy and how their guv'ment works that it is unfrigging amazing

Yes that is YOU

And what is even sadder, you are fucking proud of your willful ignorance :eyes:
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #51
56. Get Real. 70 BILLION DOLLARS of the bailout money is being used for bonuses.
Which is total bullshit and you know it but are too full of your ego and self importance to admit it or say you are wrong.

Talk about ignorance. :eyes:

Sorry, but you have outed yourself. People are on to you and your real politics.


And btw, anyone with a lick of common sense could tell that the bailout was a ripoff of epic proportions. :puke:


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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. Get real by the time all is said and done you are talking
15 T in funds spent in the finantial system, social services and other things that WILL NEED TO HAPPEN... and that is a low ball estimate by the by.

I am sure you knew that... NOT

After all the US spent 1T back in the day, as in the great depression... again I am sure you knew that

NOT

And given that YOU HAVE READ THE BILL NOT... you can go preach to whatever chorus you want to go preach. There is plenty of hallelujah here who also don't have a clue on HOW your gov'ment works... WHATSOEVER!!!!!!! Or for that matter how the economy works, free clue it is far more complex than it was in 1930 by the way...

On the bright side, in this little respect most Americans are NOT alone in their ignorance about how guv'ment works... this is a problem world wide.

By the way. LISTEN to Obama... he's been telling you this is the DOWN-PAYMENT... to fix the economy... just like it was back in the 1930s... why do you think he keeps referring to the Great Depression? I guess he is also for the fat cats huh?

GEEZZ... unfrigging amazing...

Oh and to my politics you IDIOT... they are THOSE OF THE NEW DEAL... why I have insisted on NEW DEAL policies in my contacts with members of both the House and the Senate, which the bill CONTAINS.. GO READ IT YOU IDIIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then again I TALK to members of the US House and US Senate... which I have concluded most folks simply do NOT. And these days it involves quite a bit of EDUCATION on how things worked back in the day. I am also aware that things like the WPA did not come from the sky but did COST MONEY... in today's dollars that is about 1T... but I am sure you knew that NOT. And that is a concrete example of one program WE DESPERATELY NEED.

Ah the willful ignorance is just unfriging amazing, even at a LIBERAL SITE
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. Newsflash for ya: Half of the bailout money is going to stockholders as dividends.
Guess because you benefit from the bailout, it's all good, right? :puke:

Told you so that this was one of the biggest ripoffs EVER! :puke:


FYI:
U.S. banks getting more than $163 billion from the Treasury Department for new lending are on pace to pay more than half of that sum to their shareholders, with government permission, over the next three years.

The government said it was giving banks more money so they could make more loans. Dollars paid to shareholders don't serve that purpose, but Treasury officials say that suspending quarterly dividend payments would have deterred banks from participating in the voluntary program.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

:grr:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. News-flash for you
Edited on Thu Oct-30-08 11:35 AM by nadinbrzezinski
the LIBOR rate, translation, London interbank lending rate, has dropped from the high 5 percentage points to the mid 2 percentage points

Guess what? THIS IS WHAT THIS WAS DESIGNED TO DO. And though this is not as good as it should be, it is starting to unfreeze credit markets.

The money is also being used for the feds to buy COMMERCIAL PAPER for the first time since oh the Great Depression

GET IT NOW?

No you don't... You only see the last hurrah of the crony capitalism (which anybody with half a brain understood would happen as well, see Great Depression and Hoover Administration for the last examples of that brazen use of early fed money during a crisis)

LIBOR is one of the SYSTEMIC REASONS for the Great Depression

And this bill was designed to DEAL WITH THIS... and IT IS

GET IT NOW?

No you don't

I wish things were as simple and black and white as YOU think they are.

And yes, you can be angry but you are willfully ignorant of how things actually work, or what this bill was designed to do, willfully so... and you are NOT alone


:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: As much as you want... you are insulting and ignorant... and truly anti intellectual

Oh and finally I realize something you do NOT. We are STILL GOING TO GET A RECESSION.... but I'd rather have a BAD recession every day of the week and twice on Sunday than a Great Depression. From all indicators we MIGHT JUST avoid a great depression since the fiscal policy needed to AVOID that might just have come in the nick of time.

Now go ahead and continue to be insulting... and showing how much ignorance exists on all sides of the American polity.

Oh and on edit I noticed how you artfully dodged the Obama question

So is he for the fat cats as he keeps referring to this as the down payment for this crisis?
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Here, educate yourself or better yet, challenge some of the people on this thread below
But I bet you don't dare to post on that thread because you know you will lose your delusional argument for sure.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Btw, Paying out a 70 BILLION DOLLAR bonus and paying shareholders 350 BILLION DOLLARS has NOTHING to do with unfreezing credit markets.

So go and sell that lie Wall Street AND * & Co fed you somewhere else. :eyes:

p.s. I've never been on the Obama bandwagon. The way I see it is that Obama is a better alternative to a Palin presidency. But he will have to win my support and trust after he is elected. For now all I see is a candidate who voted for the bailout and who is saying whatever he needs to say to get elected. Actions speak louder than words in my book.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. Preferred stock that is what we bought
care to tell me how preferred works?

Please do... I am not going to bother trying to explain to the willfully ignorant how preferred stock works versus common stock... but you should use the damn google

By the way you haven't checked the LIBOR rate, have you? Here you go

This week Month ago Year ago
Bond Buyer's 20 bond index 5.32 5.23 4.33
FNMA 30 yr Mtg Com del 60 days 6.53 5.84 6.11
1 Month LIBOR Rate 3.17 3.93 4.72
3 Month LIBOR Rate 3.47 4.05 4.91
6 Month LIBOR Rate 3.48 3.98 4.82
Call Money 3.25 3.75 6.50
1 Year LIBOR Rate 3.51 3.89 4.63


Oh and sorry it is higher than it was yesterday... and it SHOULD BE much lower... but the TREND has been towards lower numbers
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. Have you posted a challenge in that thread yet? I dare ya. nt
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. You mean call outs? And I did
have a good life... ignorant fool

Oh and call outs are a no-no in DU... in case you wonder

And I DARE YOU to educate yourself on how the Financial World Actually works, as well as the economy...

Hell a little history would work too, instead of myth
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. No, the ignorance is yours.
I think I'll mosey over to that thread...it's time for some :popcorn:


p.s. FYI-Calling people names isn't allowed on DU either.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. You have been insulting throughout and you still cannot answer
the difference between preferred and common

How unsurprising
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #67
69. And you aren't insulting with your holier than thou, smarter than the majority of DU
bullshit?

Puhleeze. :eyes:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. If trying to explain how this actually works is hollier than though
then guilty as charged

Now what is the difference between common and preferred?

And is obama for the fat cats too since he DOES get it? Or is he also hollier than though?
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. So does that mean that the "Forever" stamp probably won't be?

Forever and ever?
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. Always a good idea to join a labor union for job security. nt
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
62. Yes, and the NALC is a good union.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm positive that email, online bill pay, banking & invoicing is the
cause. I know, other than purchasing things on line, I's only used 2 stamps in the last year, and THEY were both on my absentee ballot!
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
37. i'd swear by that too!
ebanking, etc. HAS to have had an impact.
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. I don't get it. On one hand, the post office in the past operated in the red
and that was OK as it was a service to the people. Then it had to operate in the black so now postal services cost a lot more and they're still losing money?

How can the gov't. eliminate 40,000 jobs and we won't notice? Where are those people, especially the ones with less than six years of service, going to? The private sector, I would guess, but we all know that jobs are not plentiful. Which all leads me to think, privatization.
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elizfeelinggreat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
8. cheap junk mail delivery
Should end now.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Junk mail is where the profit is
It's paid advertising, just like in periodicals and broadcast media.
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elizfeelinggreat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Really?
I didn't know that and I'm wondering if you have any more information about this for me.

And if it's really worth it to them, the commercial interests should be happy to pay more. Otherwise we're just subsidizing them, aren't we?

(If you are wondering, my question is sincere.)
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. They do pay more and more, and they're getting gouged too...
Edited on Wed Oct-29-08 03:56 PM by Gwendolyn
Look at it this way. Every catalog, flyer, PCH mailing you get had to be designed, written and printed by people. Those are peoples' livlihoods as well. Every time mailing costs go up, that one less catalog some company might mail out, or to make up for it, their product costs swell.

No catalog, multiplied by many accounts, mean people in the ad or printing industry lose their jobs. Product prices go up and either customers absorb the cost or the company loses revenue, in which case, layoffs result.

Think of all those small business owners who can't afford big advertising and depend on postal walk adverts to help make a living. Of course it's annoying to get all that stuff in the mail, but even as it goes into the recycling bin, that's a lot of peoples' rent and daily bread you're throwing out. Hopefully that will make you less annoyed at taking the trip to the box. :)

The internet is killing the post office... how many people pay bills online, buy stuff online, send emails rather than snail mail? Practically everybody. That's another reason the post office is hurting. Advertising has been picking up most of the slack and probably is what keeps the post office still functioning.
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elizfeelinggreat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. Huh?
I did not ask about the printing businesses or advertisers - that's another kettle of fish altogether. You need to start a new thread for that conversation, that's not answering my question.

And this isn't about the internet vs USPS either. You might as well ask the phone companies to go out of business so people have to write letters to communicate. Besides, I'd much rather send my relatives and friends a birthday card than an email. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I'm talking about junk mail sharing the costs of keeping the postal service in the black.
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Sorry, thought I answered that. They do, more than their share.

That's why I was explaining that the effect trickles downward, as the more it costs advertisers to mail, the less they will do so.

You're one person. The internet has made a big difference as there millions who are unlike you.
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elizfeelinggreat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Thanks for the reply
But I wanted specifics since I was under the impression that comparatively junk-mailers did NOT pay their fair share.

I know the internet has made a difference, that's why I said: "You might as well ask the phone companies to go out of business so people have to write letters to communicate."
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. It's equivalent to buy-in-bulk.
You pay less for the product but the vendor moves more inventory. Mailing costs are less, but the post office is guaranteed huge revenue. A direct mailer might send out 20,000,000 pieces at a time, which is lucrative for the post office, even though it's obviously discounted. If companies had to pay first class costs for material, everyone would go out of business.
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elizfeelinggreat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Yes, I know that
I am familiar with the concept. That's not the information I needed but thanks for trying.

What I am not up to date with are the rates and how they compare to rising costs. The last I recall reading about them - which I admit was years ago and why I asked for something more specific - they were not paying their fair share even considering the volume. That's why I said the rates should go up for them. I wonder if it has kept pace, that's all.

Are you connected with the industry?
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. I was.
There's no definitive answer, as postal contracts are negotiated with each business, depending on their volume and weight of material. But I can tell you that cushy contracts went out the window 2-4 years ago!!! We had postal reps at our place every month, telling us exactly what we could mail, what we couldn't, to keep costs down. Part of it was adhering to strict requirements that fit with their new high-tech sorting capabilities. A lot of stuff isn't hand-sorted anymore.

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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #33
74. Your intuition is correct: junk mailers are being subsidized by the rest of us
If the letter we send to Grannie really costs 42c for the first ounce, what would be the true cost of a flyer that weighs an ounce? It should be 42c, of course...but a commercial mailer pays 32c. A commercial mailer can send THREE ounces for the price we pay to send two.

The idea that they should pay less because they mail more is based on an inappropriate "thing" model. When what's being sold is a "thing" (e.g., a can of soup) it costs just as much to order, inventory, and sell one can as to sell a case - or 100 cases! So if someone buys in bulk, it makes sense to knock down the price to reflect the lower cost of sales.

But postal delivery is a service, like cutting hair. Delivering 100 flyers (or giving 100 haircuts) costs 100 times as much as to deliver 1 flyer/give one haircut, so there's no reason for any bulk-rate knockdown.
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #74
81. Not sure how you run your business, but that isn't how I would run mine.

If I'm a personal trainer and someone guarantees me three months worth of weekly training sessions, yeah I would definitely give that customer a break on the price and keep the guaranteed business that I can count on, over the some-time, one-time, off the street person.

What you don't realize is that direct mailers do some of the work upfront, that you, as a letter mailer don't. That includes pre=sorting, and delivery to postal stations. Do you pay a yearly fee to get good rates? Nope, you don't.

It's all right here.

http://www.usps.com/businessmail101/getstarted/bulkMail...

It amazes me that people want the USPS to go out of business.
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-31-08 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #81
83. All you're saying is that you aren't the post office
If you could, I'm sure you'd try to cover all your costs AND make your profit even if you had only one customer. But of course you can't because nobody would pay that much. So you're trying to dance between that unacceptable condition and the unachieveable one of being fully booked all the time.

That's not where the postoffice is or should be. The postoffice is a public utility. It should at worst be treating everyone the same, not reducing the cost of business by offloading it onto private citizens. Why should anyone be forced to subsidize your money-making activities?

When you trim your profit to try to stay in business, who pays and who benefits? You alone.

When the postoffice shifts the cost of business mailings onto non-business customers, who pays and who benefits? We do the paying, and the businesses do the benefitting. Why should it work that way?
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. Mass mailers pay less per piece than you or I do for first class n/t
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
9. Just have them deliver to residentials and let businesses pick up their own mail.
???
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Saturday delivery could go away also.
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
45. With a Monday holiday, that would make three consecutive days w/o mail
Unacceptable to a lot of businesses, and swamps the PO with mail on the Tuesday following the three day weekend. An alternative under discussion is to keep Saturday delivery and cancel Wednesday delivery.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #45
55. With a Friday holiday
how many businesses rely on a Saturday delivery to conduct their business. Enough to offset the cost of nation wide mail delivery on Saturday.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
43. if anything, they'd do just the opposite.
it's the (new) american way.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
10. The Postal Service can't compete as a capitalist entity.
I'm a retired postal worker.

Paying a bunch of workers $20 an hour (or, whatever it is now) to sort, pack, transport, and deliver, a letter from CowPie, Texas to ColdAss, North Dakota for $.42 and expect it to be profitable doesn't make any kind of sense. Multiply that by millions of letters, flyers, bills, etc, and you end up with bankruptcy.

The Postal Service should be completely publicly owned and funded as a service to the people.

I'm waiting to see what UPS, FedEx, or any other "private" firm will charge to deliver those letters to rural areas.



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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Amen.....It's an essential service, not something that can be spun off to the market.
That free-market ideology about EVERYTHING is poisonous.


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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. "I'm waiting to see what UPS, FedEx, or any other "private" firm will charge" ...
...so true.

The private firms will drop them as not worth the time, like all "profitable" private companies do.

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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
46. There are ways the PO isn't allowed to compete.
One is the PO is prohibited to own aircraft. Can't compete with FedEx's fleet of airplanes, BY LAW! USPS must pay for cargo space on planes owned by others, who always want some profit on top. The USPS has also signed contracts with "competitors" like UPS, DHL, and FedEx to deliver the "last mile" for them. And these contracts often include some weasel words to keep the USPS from doing negative advertising about these "competitors." Like for instance, that the private companies all charge more for their services than comparable USPS services.
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TheWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
12. Thank God It Passed!
:eyes:
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
14. They lost $2 billion dollars on advertising.
Why the fuck does the Post Office need to advertise?

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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
36. USPS wants to "compete" with the package mailers n/t
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
15. All I can say is "I Told You So" to this. I have been saying that * & Co is going to trash
everything publicly owned so that they can privatize it but no one seems to be listening.

And I am so pissed about this more than I can even begin to say! :argh:



Now, the USPS is looking to privatize the bulk mail which is incredibly ominous. These bastards are pure evil! :grr: :grr: :grr:


http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/jerseycity/index.ssf?/b...

"It is clear that a good number of these workers are Jersey City residents and these jobs are important for them, their families and our city," Healy said yesterday. "We also know that past efforts at privatizing have not done what they said they would, which is to be less costly to taxpayers."



p.s. Thank gawd it passed. :eyes:
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
47. Picture Blackwater delivering mail
Or Kellogg, Brown, and Root (Halliburton).
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Connonym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #47
65. gawd, they'd probably be armed and immune to the laws
:scared:
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dugaresa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
21. I hate to see anyone lose their job, but mail delivery is costly
and they are trying to find ways to make cuts, it is just sad that typically it comes in the form of job cuts.

Think about suburban mail delivery. Most of the stuff they deliver is junk mail and junk mail is where they make some money but probably not enough. The worst sort of junk mail are those customized pieces like Macy's advertising that has to be delivered house to house which means it is sorted. Perhaps insisting that type of junk mail not be address specific might reduce costs or make operations more efficient.

Perhaps alternating delivery days, instead of getting mail every day, every other day? However with the amount of junk mail that might not work...who knows. I am sure there are a lot of logistics studies going on at the USPS.
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Some is non-address specific, but there's more to it than that.

A direct mailer usually works off a list of customers most likely to buy their products. Non-address specific means a business has to print zillions more material in order to reach likely prospects. It isn't a cost-efficient way to do business.
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dugaresa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. oh I agree the problem is that the costs savings to one entity
may cost the other entity (post office) more money to process. I think that it isn't a simple problem to address.

as one poster above explained...you can mail a letter from coast to coast for $.42 and in reality it costs far more than than to do that.

I wonder too if revenues have not been affected by the use of the internet. For example online bill paying, email exchange...etc
technically they are still delivering junk or bills perhaps, but ...they aren't picking up as much???
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Oh for sure...
I posted that upthread. The internet is costing lots of people business, not only the post office. It's a time of transition.

The internet relies on passive selling, in that no one can "make" you go to Amazon, so it isn't always easy to get your message out. Advertising mail is more in your face as people do have to get their bills and are more likely to be a captive audience. While some companies have tried to make up for it through EDMs the response rate is terrible. It's easy to delete an email, and people have even less patience for that stuff online.

I used to work in direct mail. :P Although mail sortment costs money, this is all part of the contracts negotiated with large direct marketers, and they do pay for that service.
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dugaresa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. the ways to potentially save money may actually cost consumers more money
and I am not sure how much of the federal tax dollars already compensate for shortfalls...however having 40,000 people laid off is travesty. Granted they may pension out some folks earlier, but it is still going to hurt folks.

If you think about it the ways to reduce costs are to reduce the number of workers needed to process mail and I am sure they use a lot of high-tech sorting methods, but in the end it is hand delivered to either a postal box (which is a fee-based service) or delivered to an individual at their home which is not a fee based service. I am betting (cuz it makes sense) that the delivery to the in-house postal box is the cheapest method of delivery. The postal customer endures the cost of travel to the postal box and they can choose not to pick up their mail every day.

So the ideas are...charging folks for postal delivery to their homes, and if not that..pushing communities (especially new developments) to install postal boxes where mail can be delivered to one location instead of home to home (similar to an apartment building. But...in a nation where folks are used to mail delivered to their home...that idea would fly like a lead balloon.

To be honest, people bitch at the cost of government but they don't want to change their habits to make things more efficient or save money.

Junk mail...it comes to my home and goes immediately into a basket that I take to the recycling center.
Never look at any of it, I am a bad consumer..

I would gladly opt out of daily mail delivery. Heck I only need my mail delivered every 3-4 days. Don't get that many bills and most of them I pay online before my statements even arrive. Don't receive many packages and those I do come via UPS, DHL or FedEx..and that is rare.



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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. You are totally correct!
The postal box is the cheapest form of delivery. Although it means people have to get in their cars in ratty bathrobe and slippers during a blizzard to get their mail, instead of just reaching out the door.

Junk mail is okay for the pizza joint down the street to haul in extra biz for the weekly two-fer, or the new dry cleaner trying to drum up some customers. And there are a lot of nice old ladies who live for their weekly PCH sweepstakes entry. :)
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. cheaper if you look at it one way, more expensive another.
in terms of efficiency (fuel, time).
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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #31
79. Good points.
I get two bills, my monthly city utilities, and my once a year vehicle registration from the county treasurer. I wish I could get e-statements for those, too! Save a tree!

And the direct marketing mail is pure, concentrated evil. I've tried signing up for the "do not spam me with your crap" list on the industry trade association's website, but it just doesn't work. The shit keeps coming.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #21
41. Here's another thing:
The sort of mail you're talking about (not the catalogs, but the crap from Haband! etc) is called "standard mail". Generally speaking, anything marked "standard mail" where the stamp would go is "junk" mail and can be safely discarded without examination.

However, there is no standard for "standard mail". Most of these companies use varying types of paper and inks for the exterior envelope, many of them are not uniformly loaded (thicker on one side or along the top/bottom), many of them use plastic windows where the address goes, etc., and etc.

One thing the USPS could do to streamline their operations would be to dictate (yes, dictate) to the mass mailers what types of paper and ink they may use (INCLUDING colors- many of our machines don't like certain colors of ink on the envelope!), and adamantly enforce those regulations, up to and including refusing to take mail not meeting the USPS standard.

I know it sounds draconian and a bit totalitarian, but these machines are built to sort mail best when the envelopes are uniform in size, color, and thickness. Index-card type letters from businesses run the best, and that crap from Haband! runs the worst.

I do this every day for a living. Those big, glossy envelopes you get from businesses slow down the entire operation and jam the machines more than anything else.

Here's the machine we use the most often to sort letter mail:



You can see this machine in operation about one minute into this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5cmMZ3Z8Q8
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dugaresa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #41
50. i agree they should force a standard
and if they don't want to use the USPS to deliver their stuff...then they can look for another option (which they won't find)
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Progressive_In_NC Donating Member (448 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #41
72. Is that a Bowe Bell & Howell machine?
looks real familiar.
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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #41
80. I don't think it's draconian
One thing the USPS could do to streamline their operations would be to dictate (yes, dictate) to the mass mailers what types of paper and ink they may use (INCLUDING colors- many of our machines don't like certain colors of ink on the envelope!), and adamantly enforce those regulations, up to and including refusing to take mail not meeting the USPS standard.

I know it sounds draconian and a bit totalitarian, but these machines are built to sort mail best when the envelopes are uniform in size, color, and thickness. Index-card type letters from businesses run the best, and that crap from Haband! runs the worst.


Well it's not draconian or totalitarian when the U. S. Constitution gives it the power of monopoly over the mail.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
22. time to privatize!
:sarcasm:
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dugaresa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. cuz that works so well...
not
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
32. I meant to start a post of the whole sad picture
A perfect storm including disastrously applied postal restructuring, lower mail volume, high energy costs and no workable remedies means not only layoffs but projected insolvency by 2010, according to our union leaders. Reducing the processing work day from three shifts to two is another draconian measure along with the misery ploys to make sensible work for older workers rare to impossible to obtain while increasing unbelieveably counter intuitive retreats to heavy manual labor which could be done easier by automation- some of which stands unused most of the day due to poor staffing and concept. As our leaders say, it is as if it were a plan to destroy the Post office enough to call for privatization of the entire thing(which would further destroy worker's wages, unions, and any hope of improving service at all).

As our local president Bertolone says, you can vote for McCain and you can jump from a high building, the results are the same. The decision for postal workers is already too clear and the help needed already too late.

Consider just one example. The Post Office is ideally suited to entertain a fleet of electric vehicles with low distance range and low speed. Some thinking might be going into limited implementation NOW but, hey now there is no money. Money was poured into huge robotized central plants with mail being shipped away from its location the way fodd is stupidly shifted all around the globe for reasons other than the primary objective. The huge privatized automation was hurriedly acquired almost with the goal of getting something monstrous. Single-break-one-thing-the-mail flow stops super productivity that shreds advertising because its old junked drop cart design(letter machines). Stations isolated from watching problems along the machine or controlling the switching of schemes in a queue. Elimination of a smaller beter, mail friendly machine that could deal with otherwise non-machineable mail so it has to be done manually(the reason being the use of the auxuliary machines which should have bee purchased for the prime restructuring in the first place can help churn out productivity numbers to support the behemoths.) The first thing they did in making any moves was to scrap manual cases, old reliable machines, burning the bridges and then forcing the mail across the river. Then you push more bodies at the fewer cases and juryrigged, crowded messses while mechanics hover over the latest breakdown of the basketcase behemoth robot with all the eggs in it.

Such lunacy of course, with overtime to make the manual rebirth happen in low volume environment, is totally at odds with workforce reduction and especially shrinking the processing time window to get the mail out.

The other draconian moves would hasten postal demise perhaps in in worse fashion such as raising postage rates above inflation levels, thus driving business faster to electronic means and physical delivery competitors.

Meanwhile our pension plans, raided or attacked by every GOP President remain at the mercy of the government and solvency issues.

In short, the Post Office is a typical microcosm of the rest of the business and political crap the nation has been forced to suffer for decades to its inevitable result.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #32
38. Or, to put it more simply:
"I need an ET to the AFSM 100- the upper conveyor is jammed."

SEVERAL. TIMES. A DAY.

:grr:
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. Ah, you know exactly what I mean then
Edited on Wed Oct-29-08 05:20 PM by PATRICK
They have a great machine in the new generation AFSM1000's which would have left more room, more flexibility but not that absurd One giant robot model. It operates according to current to current letter sorting trechnology only totally along one line. The future then could be easier attained with possibly some frictionless system. Instead they keep adding hybrid additions and extensions to the giant 100's which is supposed to reduce more jobs, but in end sum they could have done that with a song with the smaller machines AND kept stations on those machines for people to insert non-readable mail, small parcels etc.. In a way I am glad they ended up dropping the ball and thus saving jobs but the result is another example of the financial ruin "postal restructuring" has brought about. Smaller offices without the space or money for the giants are forced to used the better machines but I bet without a sliver of competency in using them to their real potential.

No supervisor from the least to the top has been able to resist going for number counts in ways that hurt the end result and required workload. Not one. No high "numbers" doing mail we should not be doing(such as automation letters!) and they lose all desire to staff the machine or attend to its timed mail committments.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #32
53. the one more thing to add is that supervisors don't realize they are in the same
boat, as they need less of them as workers are eliminated
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #53
75. New supervisors
have less than six years and the unions will hold them to the chopping block before any senior workers.
Ever since things got automated and the worker management less visible, there has been a shift of priorities and lack of hands on concern for the simple task of getting the gd mail out.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
44. how about they treat it like the schools, and pass a NALB act?
No Addressee Left Behind.

they could start cutting and closing under-performing zipcodes and postal stations- and they could start in chicago, with the ravenswood 60625 station on lawrence avenue.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
48. Lol...one of my American friends response:
Edited on Wed Oct-29-08 06:07 PM by Evoman
"Damn...the one government service that actually works well gets cut".


Geez, couldn't they just shave off a little from the defense budget.
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
49. Gas prices are costing the USPS a fortune.
The USPS operates something like 150,000 vehicles. Most of them do a lot of stop and go (and stop, and stop, and stop) driving. Very bad for the fuel mileage. In the past two or three years, gas prices doubled. In the last month, they've come back down, but the damage was done.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. BINGO
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SOS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
54. If Wall Street gets $700 billion, can't the USPS get $2 billion
and keep 40,000 Americans working?
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #54
76. The shortfall
might be 15 billion in a year or two.
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onetiredmom Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
68. I've wondered for a while now
how the internet, emails, FedEx, UPS, etc., would ultimately affect the post office. There is someone in my office who orders off the internet ALOT, and it seems I sign for UPS/FedEx almost daily. That's traffic that would have come through the PO at one time.

I used to be a big letter writer, now I lean more towards emails. I sent about half my Christmas letters via email last year to save postage.
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deaniac21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
71. I haven't bought a stamp in 8 years. I do everything online.
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
73. just in time for the Xmas rush. BRILLIANT
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
77. I suggest that everyone read Terry Pratchett's brilliant "Going Postal"
He illustrates in a painless and very funny way what happens when what should be a public service is run for profit.

Outline: the postal service of Ankh-Morpork, once the pride of that city-state, was gradually transformed by greedy rulers into a cash cow and milked to death. Now the clacks system (like the internet, only with semaphores), invented by idealistic engineers, has been taken over/stolen by greedy bankers and is being milked dry the same way, again to the detriment of the city. Enter the Patrician, Lord Havelock Vetinari, despotic absolute ruler of the city-state. He assigns the role of Postmaster General to a former con-man, now officially dead, and tells him to get the system running again or else.

Like all of Pratchett's work, Going Postal is amusing on the surface and thought-provoking underneath. His books usually take several readings at different levels to begin to get everything he puts into them.
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
78. When Republicans can't see the need for a functioning Post Office...
Edited on Thu Oct-30-08 07:08 PM by lib2DaBone
.. we are headed for Civil War. $10 Billion a month for Iraq? No problem. Fix the pot holes in your roads? No way.
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Dukkha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
82. I always use USPS over the commercial shippers
Much cheaper, easier access and it arrives quicker and actually in one piece! The lines do suck ass but my local branch has a wonderful 24/7 access machine I use all the time late at night.

The Anthrax scare I know cost them a lot, plus email no one writes letters anymore. You'd think with all this e-commerce they'd be doing better.
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