Post Office

Will Post Office Closures Cause Workers to Go Postal?

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Around the country today, postal workers are learning whether their shops are on the chopping block—more than half of the nation's 487 mail processing facilities will be shut down when (if?) a congressionally imposed moratorium expires in May.

Regular readers will remember that the postal cutbacks process has been—gasp!—highly politicized. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) pointed an accusing finger at those newfangled electronic mails, while the union prefers to blame Congress

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports that people don't like to lose their jobs:

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service plans to step up patrols at hundreds of mail processing facilities in the coming days in anticipation of potentially adverse reactions by workers as they learn whether their facility is slated to close.

Because nothing drives people to violence like losing their jobs "mostly through attrition," as the closure plan specifies.

At a Springfield, Missouri, processing center slated for closure people are bummed. They thought they were safe because mail processing is "one job they can't send to china." Oops.

For customers, he implications sound pretty dire:

So how does this affect you?  You'll still be able to mail materials at the center in Springfield, but they won't be sorted there.

So hypothetically you could send a letter to your next door neighbor and instead of arriving the next day it may take an extra two or three days to get to there.

Our God-given right to send subsidized next-day mail to our door neighbors is under attack. Fight back, postal workers! Fight back!

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  1. Mailman hate in 3…2…

    1. My neighbor just met a bisexual man on —datebi*cOMit’s where for men and women looking
      for bisexual and bi-curious individuals to meet in a friendly and comfortable environment.
      It’s a nice place for the people who have the same sexual orientation.

  2. Yeah, I hate mine.

    1. You mean you actually know your mailman? I haven’t known mine since I was a child, and mail was actually delivered to our mailbox on our front porch. And when we got a parcel, he made sure to knock on the door or leave a note that i was at a neighbor’s house. h, and h got a bottle of booze from mom and dad every Christmas.

      As an aside, that guy was crazy as a loon, and would regularly get drunk and fire his guns during fireworks on July 4, Memorial Day and at midnight on New Years. Funny, the local cops would just laugh it off back then.

  3. great cumuppance when all those unprofitable rural routes, mostly in red states, have to count on the freeze market for service.

    1. This isn’t a red vs. blue issue. It’s a money issue. No one owes postal workers a job. If their service is no longer needed, then no one should be forced to pay for it. Would you have it otherwise?

      1. yes! We still need to pay milk delivery men! They have families to feed!

        1. didnt know congress mandated rural milk delivery too. thx

      2. This isn’t a red vs. blue issue. It’s a money issue.

        Its TEAM STATE v. TEAM MATH.

        TEAM MATH is undefeated.

      3. WHY DO YOU HATE THE MIDDLE CLASS?!!!

        1. Why do you hate us?

    2. You mean services offered by UPS, Fedex, DHL, et. al?

      1. You’ll never see 50-cent mail delivery from UPS, Fedex, DHL, et. al, even if they were allowed. Rural addressees will get reamed royally, if they can get delivery at all. See Alaska, for instance. Careful what you wish for.

        1. That’s part of the price of choosing to live that far away from everything. They get the perks of living far away, why shouldn’t they bear the burdens too?

        2. “Rural addressees will get reamed royally find alternative means to forward shit

          ^This.

        3. Local post was all the rage back in the day. The rural folks will be just fine. Mail is highly subsidized, let’s just pull the plug and see how it works out.

      2. As someone who works in logistics, I’d like to point out that market actors don’t really have the means to make traditional mail delivery profitable. I mean, who would willingly tell DHL, UPS, FedEx, and dozens of local carriers all of their address information, along with names family members and employment history? No one.

        But that’s exactly the kind of information that USPS relies on to maintain accurate delivery, and Parcel carriers rely on the USPS to get that information when they have an issue. If they don’t get it, the items are generally returned (or trashed, with compensation to the sender based on declared value). That makes more economic sense than maintaining a Dead Letter Office and trying to get mail out for decades after it was originally sent, but it’s not something that customers would like to hear & that’s sort of a PR nightmare.

        1. (Holy shit, character limit)

          I’m not one to defend the Post Office (or government in general), but widespread profitability of Post is a thing of the past. Good riddance, of course, but there are legitimate infrastructure issues that arise from a collapse of the USPS. The industry needs to start building that up in order to remain viable in the long-term, and that will require accepting that the USPS will go broke and that, yes, they (the carriers) will be sort of fucked if they don’t develop independent infrastructure that customers can tolerate.

          I look forward to your negative comments.

          1. dont let facts get in the way of good ol hatz-me-sum-unionz !

            rural customers are screwed, and most are red voters who swallowed this santorium whole.

            and they’re gonna get a mouthful

          2. that ignore the legal problem imposed by the fiat monopoly on the current market condition are useless as anyone who does logistics (cough, cough, bullshit) would know. The same thing was said about commercial internet development to justify a legal ban. Ball those progressive era lies you are spouting about market failure justifying inefficient public utilities (learn anything from the collapse of the Soviet Union, son?) up in a ball, shove them deep up your ass and choke on it.

            1. im onboard w eliminating delivery to unprofitable rural routes…but id bet rural red voters will complain about the hatz-unionz santorium they drank

            2. Wow, asshole, thanks for the ad hom assertions. Good to know I’m a Progressive who doesn’t know shit about the USSR, and that I lied on the internet about my employment.

              No shit the monopolization of the market is having hugely negative consequences. For one thing, it’s fostered a dependence on the current structure of recipient verification- this was more or less my point.

              DHL, FedEx, and UPS are all still relying on the model supported by the USPS, and they don’t really seem to think that it’ll be shut down any time soon. But it WILL happen and so they’ll need a system that works independent of the current clusterfuck they seem to think will go on forever.

              1. I WANT the Post Office to fail- maybe you missed that part, or maybe I didn’t make it particularly clear. But I also want the businesses that are best-suited to handle a post-USPS (pun intended) world to actually consider that they need to start developing alternative means of recipient verification.

                Nowhere did I say that the government has to do anything to make that happen. I said “widespread profitability of Post is a thing of the past” and that “there are legitimate infrastructure issues that arise from a collapse of the USPS”. See the difference?

        2. If they want to stay in business, they will find a way to get by.

          A delivery address and a billing agreement is all they need. All the other information is out there anyway. The only thing that matters is where the current package needs to go, not where to find someone. So screw the dead letter shit.

          1. if Babbage ever gets that difference engine up and running, it might be possible to track enough information to make it possible in a mostly private, well regulated market, but right now that is just a pipe dream!

            1. Do you have any idea how many tubes that would take? And how many people it will take to monitor all those tubes?

        3. Traditional mail delivery will die. People will cut down on sending shit, and the shit that gets sent will be forwarded the way a lot of documents are anyway. So fucking what.

          1. That’s more or less how I feel about it. The traditional model doesn’t (didn’t?) work, and it’s going to have to change. HM asserted that Parcel carriers like DHL already service rural areas, implying that the way these companies are structured is fit to serve traditional Post delivery. I was just trying to point out that, since traditional Post is (or should be) dead, the fact that Parcel service hits those regions already doesn’t mean that they would receive similar Post service were the USPS to collapse.

    3. “cumuppance”?

      http://madhatters.me.uk/2009/0…..m-uppance/

  4. the union prefers to blame Congress.

    I got an earful of that recently. Congress wants the USPS to fully fund its pensions!

    AAAAAAAAGH WTF INSANITIEZ!

    Everybody knows union pensions should be funded out of operating income; if there isn’t enough money, just raise prices, duh!

    1. except congress has oversite, not the freeze market. do try to keep up

      1. “oversight?”

        words dat soundz lik udder wordz is hards… so i jus maks em up

  5. One reason I love Amazon Prime is that, besides being cost-effective and getting me my goodies (almost) RIGHT NOW, it allows me to avoid using the USPS, whose tears to me are sweeter than maple syrup.

    1. It’s all about hate, then? Good motive.

  6. Two mailmen enter, one mailman leave.

    1. Break a pool cue, throw it on the floor, and let ’em know whoever comes to the second interview gets the job.

    2. Two mailmen, one mailtruck.

    3. Broke Post Office Mountain.

  7. How about we just get rid of the USPS’s monopoly on first class mail? Then the postal workers can just get a job with UPS.

    1. And then you can look forward to $10 mail. Yay!

      1. Why would it be $10?

      2. If it costs somewhere between 50 cents and 10 dollars to deliver letters, something is very wrong with the post office’s “business model” and funding structure.

        1. The USPS is the most efficient business in the world, and only clueless libertarian ideologues don’t see the truth that everyone else just takes for granted. It takes a special kind of unicorn fart huffer to think they are in the majority of opinion on that one.

  8. Q: What does it mean when the flag at the post office is at half staff?

    A: Job opening!

    1. Q: What does it mean when the flag at the post office is at half staff?

      I lol’d. Then I posted it to my Facebook. I’ll keep you posted on what kind of reception it gets.

      1. Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.

        1. Seriously, that is going to be repeated for generations to come.

        2. Tip the veal and try the waitress.

  9. I need to get back to Pratchett; left off around Lords and Ladies.

    1. Yes, you should.

      I found the witches and wizard’s lines to be not as good as the Night Watch and Industrial Revolution lines, but YMMV.

      Oh, and RIP, Terry Pratchett.

      1. RIP? Not quite yet, although unfortunately probably fairly soon. Unless you’re talking about his writing career.

        1. Glad to hear that. I must have jumped ahead when I heard he was terminal.

      2. He ain’t dead yet, you know.

        1. Then he shall not have been… mortally wounded in vain!

      3. That’s SIR Terry Pratchett to you!

      4. He’s not dead, he has Alzheimer’s.

    2. Yes, you do. The stretch that included Night Watch, Going Postal, and Monstrous Regiment is probably his best stretch of books.

      1. Does anyone remember which book it was where you find out about Vetinari’s time with the Assassin’s Guild? I vaguely recall time travel…

    1. You mean, when you control the male, right?

    2. Who controls the mail controls the presents?

  10. From now on, this topic is about Terry Pratchett. And how his BBC specials on assisted suicide are super sad. And how he better finish Raising Taxes before he dies.

    1. I see Amazon has kindle editions from both Transworld Digital and Harper Collins, the latter being a little newer and two bucks more expensive. Any meaningful qualitative difference between the two?

      1. Have you tried the samples for comparison?

  11. These god forsaken places need to close. Only the most worthless humans with an impeccable lack of work ethnic need apply.

    1. Racist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Those of you who think first class mail delivery will suddenly jump to $10 a letter of the post office is taken over by UPS or FedEx or whoever are laboring under the common assumption that nothing else will change.

    1. All of a sudden, sending and receiving paper will become a lot less important to a lot of people. Email, baby, email.

      1. I suppose we have to give the USPS a little credit. They did think ahead enough to propose being everyone’s cryptographic certificate authority for only $.40 per email message.

  13. correct, because UPS/Fedex aint required to service unprofitable rural routes so they’ll be dropped.

    1. It appears that someone is operating under the misapprehension that the more often you bring up an irrelevant argument, the more valid it becomes. Who gives a flying fuck whether a farmer in rural South Dakota gets his Kroger ads in a timely fashion. He or she might just have to pick up the ad when at the grocers… oh, wait. We live in a completely static world that cannot adapt to changing circumstances. Doh!

  14. Our God-given right to send subsidized next-day mail to our door neighbors is under attack. Fight back, postal workers! Fight back!

    Actually, it is the only legal way to have a letter delivered to your neighbor’s mail box. Those boxes are federal property (another infringement on private property if you ask me), and it’s illegal for anyone to tamper wit them. That includes delivering mail, a newspaper or anything else, unless you work for the USPS.

    1. That’s right, I bought it and put it on my property, but the feds seized right away. Don’t tell the post office, but someone else installed it and put address number decals on it when I wasn’t even there.

  15. What will the mildly insane do if they close all the post offices? Where else can they wait for an hour to buy one stamp?

  16. Terry Pratchett is a God among men.

  17. I’m glad the postal service is doing something to make its operations more efficient–something that is long overdue. I can’t gloat too much about it because I have two friends who work for the postal service-jone works at one of the service centers slated for osure, and the other works as a regional truck driver. Botg are close to retirement age but I can’t feel too good about them losing their jobs. If the Postal Service had bitten the bullet decades ago to fix its outmoded operations and combat inefficiency and money losing ways it wouldn’t have had to make this big sudden change. Alas, politicizing the closures and efficiencies only increased the overall impact now in favor of feeling good in years past.

    1. And of course the current closures are likely too little, too late.

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