My mail saga continues. There is a knock at the door today. I open it to see the owner of the landscaping company that mows my lawn. We see him all over the place, at parties, friends homes, restaurants. (It’s a small town) Anyhow, he hands me a package that he found on the side of the road about a mile away from here. It’s addressed to my wife. It looks like its been outside for awhile, as it is pretty weathered.

I look up the tracking number, and USPS says it was delivered a week ago.

Delivered (or not) by the same government that wants to be in charge of delivering your healthcare.

Categories: Me


D · July 25, 2023 at 2:49 pm

While I’d rather abolish the post office, ours hasn’t been bad. I can’t think of a time in the last 14 years that they’ve ever failed to deliver a package or lost it.

Once, they brought a package that was completely mauled, but our carrier said “I just wanted to show you this and make sure you’re fine with me marking it as ‘damaged’ so you get a refund”. I don’t recall now what it was, but it was something big and metal. I told her it would have survived a fall from space, and opened the package in front of her. I said “see–it’s fine”. Problem solved.

Although election time is a different matter. While neither my wife or I vote for candidates, we do turn in ballots rejecting each and every tax increase to make sure someone else isn’t voting for us. During the 2020 election, I received my ballot. My wife didn’t receive hers…but as a bonus, we received 3 ballots in our mailbox for people we didn’t know but they lived in various houses a few streets away. We took them to the PO later that day and had them properly delivered.

I suspect my situation is an abnormality. If I had the choice to get my “postal mail” via UPS, I would take it in a heartbeat–mainly because I think 99.9% of the government should be abolished.

Big Ruckus D · July 25, 2023 at 3:08 pm

I would love to hear how the PO explains that, if you even bother bringing it to their attention. Between the piss poor service from USPS and the possibility of a UPS strike, plus brewing labor problems at FedEx (pilots for which just rejected a new contract offering a 30% pay increase) we may be looking at a really bad situation for getting anything shipped in the latter half of this year.

Meanwhile, the strike against Yellow truck line has been postponed for now, but that is only a 30 day reprieve, and I don’t know how they possibly make good on paying a $50mil shortfall in pension fund contributions in the next month. But if they don’t, they are almost certainly finished as a going concern, as a strike will kill the company. I don’t know the exact numbers, but YRC moves an fair amount of LTL freight, so a shutdown there would definitely have at least a serious short term impact on movement of freight, on top of any other problems at UPS/FedEx/USPS.

I foresee a future where it is a lot more expensive and difficult to get product moved and delivered reliably. Which is not good at all in a world where the trend has been towards buying damn near everything online, and having it delivered. The underlying infrastructure of shipping and delivery contractors is not looking so great now.

Bad Dancer · July 25, 2023 at 4:14 pm

First off good on that fella for bringing it to you and now after that what the heck? Did some carrier pitch it to shorten their run and not get marked down for undelivered mail, did someone steal it and pitch it? Weird

wojtek · July 25, 2023 at 5:24 pm

So I can see how we all depend on delivery of government mail (at various levels – national or local). Perhaps a case could be made for a new government service that only delivers such mail (which means letters under certain weight). Especially when combined with some regulations on how much times the government must give you to respond, and how to use electronic means as auxiliary means of communication with the said governments.

But otherwise maybe it’s time to privatize post offices?

The concept of a post office as a government unit arose long time ago, when this was considered to be a crucial and “state of the art” service that required a lot of investment. So it needed the government and our taxes. Similarly it was the case at various points in time with telecoms, railroads, bus lines, etc etc. But perhaps USPS is the need of such a powerful protector?

Does government really need to be in the business of selling stamps? Or packing supplies?

Alternatively: which services today should “belong” to the government? Personally I would start the list with controlling the currency, keeping the registry of the land ownership, law enforcement, military, but what else? (Note I am not talking about judiciary, as I consider it to be part of the government.)

exile1981 · July 25, 2023 at 5:31 pm

More than obce we have seen ups drive by toss a parcel over our fence and drive off.

anonymous coward · July 25, 2023 at 6:19 pm

There is AI which is frighteningly competent, yet USPS can’t set a notification that a package has not moved in their system for a week, and assign someone to look in to it?

Rick · July 25, 2023 at 7:27 pm

Two months ago I was unable to find the case of ammo ‘delivered’ by United Parcel Service (UPS). Long story short, two days of investigation by me revealed that a UPS supervisor signed off on it. She had signed it as delivered to my doorstep, signature required.

I was home all that day. Not only that but she forged my name. My biggest worry was a thief with MY ammo. Similar stories featuring FedEx and USPS.

Noway2 · July 26, 2023 at 1:47 am

While the USPS is a big corporation with govt. protections, and certainly has its flaws I can also state that I’ve had some really good experiences with it. First, back at my old house, the older black lady driver would do things like move the garbage cans out from in front of the driveway after the city garbage collection would posit them their (pulling forward fro where they were placed). At one point we had temporarily relocated out of state but couldn’t forward our mail back from the campground we were staying at. One Saturday afternoon, the doorbell rang and she asked if we were back and I said yes and explained the issue. She said, I’ll take care of it and most of our mail suddenly returned to our house.

I now live in a small town and have ordered chicks via mail. Twice now, I’ve gotten a phone call at 730-8am from Pam at the PO that my chicks have arrived and been able to go get them before they open at 9:30.

Yes, they do have their faults, and serving of the complaints they may be, but the PO is not all bad.

    Divemedic · July 26, 2023 at 9:35 am

    Nothing is all bad. There are good and bad employees in any field. The problem with the post office is that, although it is nominally a private company, its employees are treated as government employees. This means that there is no real incentive to be good at your job. The ones who are good, are good because they want to be. The ones who are bad, are bad because there are no consequences for being so.

      Noway2 · July 26, 2023 at 1:58 pm

      After reading your reply, I thought I would post a little anecdote that might give you a chuckle. Years ago, I worked for a company that made currency validators and the bid came up for the postal contract. The bids had to be received by noon on a certain date at the postal HQ in Wash DC. The company I worked for sent their bid in via FedEx because no other service would hard guarantee the delivery date and time. The company got the contract, which ended up being their undoing as a losing competitor bought them afterwards, but I would NOT have wanted to be that FedEx driver.

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