The US Postal Service: Bah, Humbug

Okay, admittedly this is a first world problem. With thousands of Americans dying every day because of our government’s failed response to the pandemic, I guess there are bigger fish to fry than worrying about Xmas gifts and cards going undelivered.

But here is a case where you do have to give Trump some credit. POTUS and his lackeys tried hard to slow down the mail service as a way to help him win reelection. That didn’t work. But one lingering effect has been to delay the shipments of packages and cards during the holiday season.

Folks, if grandma hasn’t received the fruitcake yet, well good luck.

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And just to show you that I don’t make all of this stuff up, here’s from an article in The Washington Post:

“Competing crises are slamming the U.S. Postal Service just days before Christmas, imperiling the delivery of millions of packages, as the agency contends with spiking coronavirus cases in its workforce, unprecedented volumes of e-commerce orders and the continuing fallout from a hobbled cost-cutting program launched by the postmaster general.

“Nearly 19,000 of the agency’s 644,000 workers have called in sick or are isolating because of the virus, according to the American Postal Workers Union.

“Meanwhile, packages have stacked up inside some postal facilities, leading employees to push them aside to create narrow walkways on shop floors.
Some processing plants are now refusing to accept new mail shipments. The backlogs are so pronounced that some managers have reached out to colleagues in hopes of diverting mail shipments to nearby facilities. But often, those places are full, too. Meanwhile, packages sit on trucks for days waiting for floor space to open so the loads can be sorted.”

Well, I’m sure these are difficult times for the U.S. Postal Service and for its employees. And I imagine that working at the Post Office isn’t always ideal under even the best of circumstances.

Here’s the perspective of Newman, from the classic TV show Steinfield:

Oh, well. Like I said, the inability of the Post Office to deliver mail during a pandemic is a first world problem. And I’m not going to let it ruin my Christmas.

But it’s disappointing that for the first time in decades a running calendar that I send to a friend in Florida each year isn’t likely to make it.

I mailed the package at the Woodland Park, Colorado, Post Office on December 7. Now on December 22, it has made its way all the way to Aurora, Colorado, about a two hour drive by car.

But since there isn’t anything I or anyone else can do about this, I might as well just sit back and enjoy the holiday season.

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So it goes.

Published by

Rob Jewell

I’m Rob Jewell and I live and write in Woodland Park, Colorado, the City Above the Clouds. I've been fortunate. I worked for 29 years at BFGoodrich in Akron, Ohio. I started editing employee publications and ended as vice president of corporate communications. Then I started a public relations consulting company before becoming a full-time faculty member in the School of Journalism at Kent State University. I taught courses in writing, public relations and mass communication ethics. And I supervised a student-run public relations firm, called Flash Communications. During my tenure at Kent State I was honored to receive the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award. During most of this time I've been a dedicated runner. OK, jogger, if you take speed into consideration. But while my times are not much to write about, I was and am committed. For almost 30 years I ran at least 1,000 miles each year. (Except for one year when I tore my calf muscle playing tennis. So much for tennis.) Being on the road most mornings at 5 a.m. gave me some time to think. It also led to some amazing friendships that now span more than three decades. And my longtime love affair with running helped me shape my first novel, Then We Ran, which is available wherever electronic books are sold. And just so you don't think that all I did was work and run, I have other interests as well, many centering on family. My wife, Mary, was a successful and highly regarded career teacher in the Akron public schools. She now devotes her time and energy to a host of social and athletic activities in Woodland Park. My son, Brian, teaches at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs where he is also the head soccer coach. And my daughter, Jessica, has completed her doctorate at Kent State University where she is also an administrator with the Wick Poetry Center. I've done a lot of writing during my career -- but Jessica is the real writer in the family. I'll try not to make too many errors in this blog. I'm sure she'll be watching.

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