It bums me out that they’re trying to kill off the Post Office. A congressional act in 2006 required the Post Office to pre-fund 100% of its future obligations for 75 years worth of employee health benefits. This is not required of any other public agency, and it’s also an impossible goal to meet – it’s like requiring a congressman to pre-fund all his future divorce, alimony, and child support payments. No family-values guy could possibly afford that.
There’s a very funny older lady who works at my post office. Always smiling and cracking lighthearted jokes, she knows her customers by name and greets them when they arrive. Last Christmas I was waiting outside in a line of people who, like me, foolishly believed that they could beat the holiday rush by showing up early. It was bitterly cold and windy. We shuffled in place waiting for the building to open. At 7:50 the postal lady walked up to the door, dangling a set of keys.
“Okay,” she said, beaming a smile, “give me a half-hour for my donuts and coffee, and then I’ll let you in.”
You’re not gonna get that kind of humor at a Fed Ex or UPS store. Not a chance in hell – there’s the corporate brand image to protect at all costs.
Congress most likely passed their law to weaken the postal union and drive mail business to private companies. Because we all know that private companies are the most efficient way to do anything. Arthur Anderson and Enron proved that.
But perhaps there’s some humor to be found in the killing of the Post Office. The branches likely to bite the dust first are the ones in rural areas favored by conservatives who are obsessed with paying off our debt by the end of next week.
There aren’t FedEx stores in places like Hell, Michigan. So maybe some day we’ll hear people telling their grandkids “That’s nothing. I used to walk seven miles, uphill through snow both ways, just to mail a letter.”