Dec 05 2008


Gutless, incompetent, greedy

— the US Postal Service! 

     While everyone out there is busy flexing holiday business muscles by beating up on our gutless car manufacturers, incompetent government, and greed-saturated Wall Street, I propose we have overlooked the longest standing American institution of them all –which happens to be gutless, incompetent AND greedy– the US Postal Service!

     Whaaaat?  I LOVE my mail carrier. 

     Oh. yeah, well I have news for you: my Father was a US Post Office Special Delivery Messenger for over 20 years (and no gift to higher learning I might add, but I loved him nonetheless). 

     There is no Special Delivery designation or service anymore.  It’s been replaced by overnight delivery services and the Internet.  Whaaaat?  Yup, nobody in the P.O. (including the “Postmaster General”) had any B.R.A.I.N.S. or the foresight to see it coming.  And when they finally did, the solution was layoffs and stamp price hikes?

     Having Special Delivery service in the 30’s and 40’s, then closing it out as express mail options came on the scene, is like being ahead of the other team 25 to 0 in the first inning, and losing.

     I practically grew up in and around the stupidity that permeated the P.O. (or “P.U.” as my Dad routinely called it while holding his nose).  Add to that, the fact that my career has included massive direct mail experiences (including responsibility for 1.6 million mailings per month at one point, and annual mailings of 8-9 million at another), and I can tell you with some measure of authority that Postal Service management has gone from dumb to dumber in two short decades.

     What prompted this tirade, you might ask?  This week, I received a lunatic 4-page survey from the highly undistinguished Gallup Poll asking for multiple choice answers to 37 zillion stupid questions about how pleased or displeased I was with the US Postal Service.   

     First of all, the missive was addressed to my long-closed and dis-incorporated company of years ago and delivered (only heaven knows how the wheels of government turn) to my relatively new P.O. box in a different state! 

     I mean, I would love to hear the explanation of what the value is of how what I think of whether my P.O. box mail arrived before or after 10am in the last 30 days and if the carrier behaved pleasantly.  Duh.  Do you, in other words, make it a policy of tracking your routine mail deliveries by time periods and carrier dispositions?   

     What contribution are answers to these inane questions ever going to accomplish in helping this disintegrating giant of disorganization to rise up and slay the (now commonplace) successful overnight delivery companies of the world?

     Don’t the ninnies who run this establishment realize that while Fed Ex and others have been busily teaching their drivers that they are not just drivers, that they are account managers (and this, by the way, for more than 20 years!), and realize as well that the public has simply passed them by?  Are they blind to the fact that UPS has risen to the occasion and outperformed them? 

     Have they never heard of being competitive in the marketplace?  Do they still think they are viable?  Have they ever reckoned with being referred to as “snail mail” all these years of emerging Internet communications domination? 

     Oh, and who’s worse?  The Postal Service for being so blind and unbusinesslike for so long, or the Gallup Organization for taking advantage of the P.O.’s plight, to whip together this ludicrous questionnaire?

     $urely, this $urvey wa$ a big-ticket a$$ignment to Gallup.  Dear Postmaster General – You should know that I could have solved the problem (instead of prolonging the agony with meaningless surveys) for whatever amount was paid to this failing polling organization.  The solution is called strategic competitive marketing.  Surveys won’t show this! 

     The Postal Service obviously hasn’t a clue.  Gallup knows even less.  Maybe they deserve each other: two fading giants of the past.  Let’s hope someone wakes them up, shakes their boots, and gets at least one of them back to planet reality.  halalpiar        

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