Wednesday, August 18, 2010
U.S. Postal Service ad: 1979. Story: yesterday.
Okay, maybe less a story and more a gripe. In line to weigh a few letters and send out some metered mail when the clerk, cashier, postal officer (what do they call them again?) says they *probably* shouldn’t accept the metered items. Cue Walken in True Romance to Hopper: Come again? “Yes, see, it’s dated more than two days ago, technically we can’t take this.”
“All mail that’s run through a meter has to be sent within two days of the date stamped.”
Forget MTLB customer logic that since I paid for it, I can send it whenever I want. I explain that this is one of many batches of mail that have been already sent over the last month IN THIS SAME POST OFFICE with no problem, and well beyond their two-day limit—that I’m now just learning about. “Well, we can send it this time.”
YOU’VE ALREADY SENT IT EVERY *OTHER* TIME.
(I didn’t yell, but you want to, ammirite?) This is also going on while the lady next to me isn’t getting the discount she read about on the Postal Service website for something she was sending. (Maybe there was a “Send shit free” day email blast that I missed?) Anyway, *her* helpful agent then counters with:
“The internet is wrong. Don’t come in here and be mad at us.”
It sounded less bitchy than it reads, but it seemed to sum up the disconnect they have with technology in 2010. In a perfect world, all aspects of a business are linked. Even if they may not be aware of a specific promotion, the pleasant, helpful staff can still look stuff up online and verify, see?
The week before, I’m in there and four dudes who look like they haven’t seen the better part of a salad bar like, ever, are hanging out behind the counter talking about a post-work function they’re going to. Perception that this is an agency staffed by people who know they can’t be fired? Check!
When I look at that ad, it’s as obsolete. Forget the extra $20, mom and dad transfer funds into their kid’s bank account now. Get the zip code right? You mean check and see if they’re on chat. Donate space to a government agency in a magazine for commercial purposes? Talk about a bailout.
Nowhere in that equation does the U.S. Postal service factor in. (Care packages, maybe.)
I suppose they’re not going anywhere though, considering Ben Kunz’s point that they still move a shitload of mail every day for a nominal fee. Even then, is that mail still relevant in a society coming to terms with adopting electronic billing? And when Uncle Sam has your back as one of the few services actually mandated in the Constitution, you’d probably feel untouchable too.
Which means until Saturday delivery cuts actually happen, my boys behind the counter can keep ordering all the pizzas they like. Why not, we’re paying for them.
Posted 12:18 PM