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It's been a tough month or so answering the phone at the Messenger office. There have been cutbacks at the U.S. Post Office, and we've been bearing the brunt of late paper deliveries to outer lying areas week after week. This results in call after call from paying customers who want to know where their papers are. They're angry (understandably so) and we're frustrated, since dealing with the upper levels of the USPS is an effort in futility, to say the least. It's much like peeling wallpaper from an endless wall, one aggravating tiny shred at a time.
The local post office branches are not to blame. When they receive the bundles, out the papers go, on time week after week without excuse or delay. The hold-up is at the distribution centers where they must throw the papers in a corner and forget about them for a few days until someone trips over a bag and decides to maybe send the papers out. And sometimes they don't get delivered at all. Don't ask me where they are when that happens, probably on a truck to Georgia or something. From where I sit, the USPS overall is not an efficient or reliable organization, that is for certain.
Our hope for a solution was that after receiving so many complaints from consumers, companies and publishers, over time some changes might be made in how the system works. That hope was quickly dashed this past week, however, when word spread that instead of improving upon their business model of delivering the mail, the USPS is going in a whole different direction. High fashion. Soon, and I wish I were kidding, we will be able to purchase "mail wear". If you've ever longed to dress like your local carrier (for events other than Halloween), you will soon have the chance. Space has already been purchased (with taxpayer dollars) in New York's fashion district for the promotion of this ridiculous fashion line. Who thought this was a good idea? And didn't congress, or someone, have to approve it first? When did we, the people, get into the retail business?
I guess I thought postal carriers wore the uniform so they are recognizable to the public when coming up to the door with mail. I had no idea it was a fashion statement.
Bottom line is, if you're not receiving your Messenger on time –– or at all, you can try calling the post office distribution centers in Mankato or St. Paul to complain. Just be prepared to give them your coat size, and be sure to have your credit card handy.