Saturday started out as a really wonderful day. No alarm clock, morning dog walk with the neighbors.
Just as I was getting ready to leave for my long anticipated Spa Day, I saw the postman walking up the short path from the gate to the front door of my cottage. I went to the door to meet and greet him.
That was the end of my wonderful morning.
The weekend postman explained to me that the regular postman was holding my mail at the Post Office because I had put my brand new mail box up on the outside of my brand new fence surrounding my brand new cottage rather than 35 feet up the unlighted, dirt/mud track to the 50 year old mail box of my neighbor.
When Common Sense and Government Bureaucracy Collide
My address is a brand new address issued by the township for this brand new cottage! In fact, when I first went to the Post Office on August 3, they claimed the address did not exist.
The postman felt no need to even notify me he was unhappy that I had not put the mail box “at the established mail stop” as “decided by the mail carrier” – per “USPS Regulations”.
Am I the only adult in this nation of 330 million who has not read and absorbed the entire USPS Mail Delivery Regulations Manual before purchasing an “approved” mail box at Home Depot?
After I installed the mailbox – right outside the front gate – I received mail for the week after Labor Day. Then there was no mail – puzzling but not alarming.
If I had left 5 minutes earlier last Saturday, I still would not know — and it wouldn’t have occurred to me — the Post Office was holding my mail or considered my mail box somehow illegitimate.
I am not seeking a confrontation. I am not asking to be treated differently than anyone else in the community. I am only expecting the Post Office to deliver the mail to my address.
Fed Ex and UPS are privately owned businesses that earn good profits because they provide good service. They are regulated by the government but receive no government guaranteed right to exist.
Their drivers open my gate and place the package inside with a smile and a wave. Sometimes they walk to my front door because the package is heavy. They are “selling” service.
Fed Ex and UPS drivers understand that I have a choice of parcel carriers and they want to maximize their share of my shipping dollar. That’s how they keep their jobs!
The US Postal Service is a Congressional protected monopoly. Post Office employees can fail to deliver the mail without fear of job loss or any sort of work place discipline.
Civil Service protected employment and a generous pension regardless of job performance are chief among the reasons the Post Office has accumulated losses of $46 Billion since 2007 – losses guaranteed by you and me.
Regulations are the Antithesis of Customer Service
Since the establishment of the republic, the Post Office has promised to deliver in “rain, snow, or dark of night” – until now.
Now, one of the bureaucrats who run today’s federal government and government services have made an inexplicable decision to make an exception to this rule in my case – demanding, I guess, that I trudge through “rain, mud, and dark of night” to get my mail out of a mail box at a different address.
Five agencies of the federal government touch the lives of most Americans – the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration (VA) and the Post Office(USPS).
To most Americans these agencies ARE the government.
What characteristics do these five agencies share? All of them are too big, bogged down by 20th century business models, and fossilized by 20th century bureaucracy – empowered by the ineptitude of Congress. The last time Congress passed USPS Reform legislation, the Apple Computer had not yet been invented!
The first impulse of the Bureaucracy is not to streamline, modernize or “serve” citizens. Just the opposite, they hide behind “regulations” they’ve invented or invent still more rules that penalize honest Americans.
The failure of Congress and the Executive to reform and modernize these institutions results in denied and/or delayed services for citizens — a tax, in fact, if not in theory, on the personal productivity of American citizens.
Is it any wonder, then, that 53% of Americans believe that the government infringes on their life and liberty, that the majority of Americans are afraid of and angry with their government and discouraged by the ineptitude of Congress?
I AM MADDER THAN HELL and I am not going quietly into the rain, mud, and dark!