Monday, August 24, 2009

You will miss it when it's gone

We often take things for granted. You name it — family, jobs, transportation, electricity, newspapers and the U.S. Postal Service — and we assume it will be around forever.

Mail has always been a personal obsession. I'll own up to it. I love opening up the mailbox and finding a surprise — a letter from a friend, a card from my mom or a special offer. Junk mail sometimes excites me. It typically doesn't motivate me to spend money, but I'll take a look. 

Today, most of the mail goes directly into the recycle bin. I have no reason to apply for a new credit card. I don't need a new vehicle. 

I receive a few bills in the mail, but the majority of them have been converted to paperless alerts via e-mail. The bills are also paid via an electronic method. I rarely spend a 44-cent stamp to mail a payment. 

I love the post office system. I think it's great that I can send a card to my nieces or nephew (my apologies to my brother Tommy for not sending a card in time of his birthday). I drop it in a box in Del Rio, Texas and it arrives at their home in Georgia. 

For 44-cents, it's a cheap method to communicate. 

It's not a cheap system to operate. I was reading on Sunday how the postal service wants to drop it's Saturday delivery. Oddly, people responded it wasn't a big deal. While mail is not my priority on Saturdays, I always check it. Or find myself on Sunday checking the box. 

Some cities stopped Saturday deliveries in May and June 1947, according to postal history on the USPS Web site. An attempt to cancel Saturday deliveries in 1957 were axed. "On one Saturday —April 13, 1957 — there was no mail delivery. Public outcries prompted President Dwight D. Eisenhower to sign a bill more fully funding the Post Office Department three days later, and the next Saturday service resumed."

The problem today in 2009 is that there are so many things that need to be fixed from health care, Social Security, etc. to curb government spending that I'm not sure public outcry will be enough to reinstate some cuts. We may just have to suck it up and deal with the changes. I know easier said than done. 

The economy has already changed the private marketplace. The Sunday edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution isn't delivered all across the state of Georgia like it used to be. Why? It's the economy. Newspapers are making cuts in their delivery of expensive paper products. You can find all the news online, so there is no need to use vehicles, gas and manpower to truck a print edition all over the state. 

It's a loss. A new generation will grow up reading the newspaper at a desk or on a laptop rather than creating a black and white mess all around the living room floor. The online method is a new, more cost effective delivery method. So, I guess we need to get used to it. 

I doubt I'll get used to no Saturday deliveries whether it's a surprise note from a friend or a magazine. I'll miss it (if it happens), but I know my paperless statements have helped contribute to the changes. Businesses and government leaders have to make decisions — tough decisions — to get going in this economy. 


  1. Probably for quite a while, I'd keep checking the mail box on Saturdays, but I'd get used to it. We get so much junk mail. Frankly, I'm surprised all the politicians sending out solicitation mails has not rescued the PO. Jimminee, we get a lot of those!

    Straight From Hel

  2. As a news nut, I treat the political propaganda as future evidence.


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