My name is Jack and I live in Silver Spring, Md. We’ve never met, but we share one thing in common: we were both employees of the United States Postal Service. You for 15 years and me for 37. I retired in July of 2009. I was fortunate to be under the “old” civil service and just shy of 40 total years working for the government.
I don’t usually respond to commentary in newspapers, but I really enjoyed your article on Goin’ Postal....
I began my career as a clerk in 1972 in Silver Spring where we have eight offices and eight different zip codes in the “209” area.
Silver Spring was like a family. We all worked together for our common goal — processing and delivering the mail with pride.
In 1985 the postal service thought bigger was better and built a large processing (MSC) center.
Problems could no longer be solved on the local level in a timely manner, if solved at all.
We were just told to “handle it ourselves.”
Yes, things really began to decline under “Carvin” Marvin Runyon. The service part of Postal became secondary to business and making a profit.
We gave away the store so to speak with our parcel post and Express Mail. Remember when brown and Fed Ex were tiny players in the system?
We banked heavily on the first class monopoly.
Yes, the computer, Internet, etc., have taken a good share of our business. But even more so is the caviler attitude of a lot of the new and younger employees.
I worked most of my career along side the carriers and still have many whom I call friends. Sure we had the usual jokes between us like when the weather was too bad, bring your pets inside, but the carriers had to go out or the reason you’re clerks is because you couldn’t pass the test to become a lettercarrier.
But I had the utmost respect for those who delivered to every address of every home or business.
Yes micro-management will continue and soon points will continue to be added, as you said, Big Brother is watching.
So I’ll just continue to pay my bills the old-fashioned way — a check and a stamp on the envelope — not because I couldn’t pay online or I can save the postal service, but because it’s the only horse I’m going to ride until it’s gone.
So, thanks again for a great article and I look forward to reading your commentary in the future.
Silver Spring, Md.