on Jul 20th, 2009 in Ideas Worth Exploring | 127 comments
As noted in the update on Wednesday, there was a tremendous response to last week’s brainstorming exercise! As of Friday afternoon there were almost 350 comments posted -- many more than usual! If nothing else, this shows widespread and heartfelt concern for the well-being and financial viability of the Postal Service. Not only was the quantity of postings notable, so was the variety of ideas; they covered a broad spectrum, from cost-cutting possibilities to new lines of business. And many of the postings received replies, for instance Nostradamus' original posting received 13 replies, which is a testament to the thoughtfulness of everyone involved. The creativity shown by the participants makes categorizing the ideas difficult, but we’ve attempted to develop poll questions to highlight the common themes, and get your reaction as to the relative importance of these items. While every comment received attention, some ideas stood out as particularly thought-provoking or creative. In order to gauge your reactions as to the viability and value of a sample of ideas, we’ve developed another poll question. The following ideas were submitted by Sheri, Randy, D. Traver, Move into the future, JM, and others. This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).


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I agree with the Saturday PO Box delivery. This would finally make PO Box service a true "Premium service" for the smaller offices, and be a possible revenue windfall. I think you can do 6 days in the non delivery offices pretty easily, since all of their mail would be po box mail, whereas the mail in the delivery offices would have issues with seperating the box mail from the street mail. Also a good way to make the smaller offices more productive, and take some of the load off the bigger offices.

MM reply to the flatfoot,

I mean the average front line supervisor salary is $61000

I know how much upper management makes,

for instance, potter makes $250000 /yr

Like you said most upper management makes more than $110000

I meant the front line supervisor


Eliminate the postal medical section. What do they do? We have a postal Medical "Clinic" at our P&DC. But if someone gets injured or sick on the workroom floor all the medical section does is call 911. They do not help the person directly, fearing a lawsuit I suppose. The medical section used to administer drug and alcohol testing, but they don't even do that anymore. Employees are sent offsite to a private sector occupational health clinic.

Do any of our competitors have in-house medical sections? How about Walmart, or GM, Ford or Chrysler?

I think the best thing the Postal Service could do, is take back our parcel business. They have given it away to UPS and FED EX. The mail may go away, but people still order on line and expect delivery.
I have done some experimenting with a particular business and how they ship. The cheapest way to ship is through UPS, but is delivered by USPS. It makes no sense.
And also when a postal customer insures a package, and it is damaged, they have to fight to be made whole. It then gets advertised by a news team, and that would stop anyone from using that service.

Fuel efficient vehicles would save a ton of money. While it is not our saving answer, it would sure as hell help.

Much of the carrier time in College/University towns ia spent on COA's. In fact, USPS statistics reveal that over 40% of Americans move each year. This eats up a lot of clerk time, Sales Associates time, carriers time and CFS! Let's do a cost study to see how much it costs us down to the hard copy change order form and then charge for this service. Why give it away? They are acaptive audience and will have to pay to get their mail to follow them. Charge them $10 or more-whatever our cost is PLUS 100% just like retail everywhee else. There ain't no free lunch!

I know that their base might be 61k,but that's for a level 15 office.I work in a level 18,and his base is 67k plus he gets paid for every hour he's on the clock.You noticed I never said working.Add his total hours up,and we have managers here making over 90k a year.One of them was so stupid,he even told this to one of the carrier he made 95k last year. He also said that if we would give up one of our 10 min. breaks,the PO wouldn't have this money problem.

I want to mention about the direct deposit,as all we remember we used to get the paycheck by mail but somehow the postal service want to save their paper and effort to make the paycheck they recommend the employee to have the direct deposit,now you can simply go to the postal-ease ,with a click of button you can set up your own account,and you do not pay anything,nada.

Not just a postal service for instance, the social security check is same situation,they recommend the recipient to have a direct deposit so they do not have to wait in front of their mailbox to get the check anymore.

what the us postal service did to set up any kind of method to charge any amount for this web transaction?


Now, everybody makes the similar on line transaction through the internet because the all the government agency especially us postal service which is they are the one cut their own throat for recommending these kind of web-based direct deposit to their employee for their own conveniences.

they are cutting their service by their own hands so No service provided so No revenues.

even if the postal employee retirement the postal service forced to have the e-payment and communicate with e mail and file e-taxes.

I would say the postal service have No right to blame the employee,

Instead,they should ask themselves why they didn't do anything about it.

I recently retired after 42 years. The revenue generated for the postal service comes in over the window. Better customer service is necessary. Management is cutting more and more jobs and the customer is suffering because of this. The lines are long and there is not enough staff to handle customers. The vending machines were removed from the lobbies so one has to wait just to buy a book of stamps.

Bring in Donald Trump and fire most of management, starting with Potter.

the usps should work with the postal unions to develope an acceptable plan to go to 5-day delivery.obviously it is in the best interest of all that this accomplished.unfortunately the fear of how jobs are eliminated for the rank and file is preventing the parties from cooperating.
if the po were to do layoffs (as many fear would happen)it would cost $25,000+ per employee in severance and unemployment comp.if they would use this money instead to offer early out bonuses, i believe they would easily accomplish the 15% reduction in the workforce, which would be needed.the po would also have a much younger, more capable workforce who make less per hour, have less vacation time and are not sitting on a mountain of sick leave and ready to use it.
by coming up with a plan that avoids layoff and possibly makes PTFs, regulars and TEs, PTFs, the po would not only win over congress, but also the unions who have much influence with congress. WIN_WIN

On City Routes: any street with sidewalks must have mailboxes on the sidewalk, any street without sidewalks must have curbside delivery.

Yes, this is a reduction in service, as is the current elimination of 200,000 blue boxes that have been pulled in the last few years.

We don't have milk delivery to our house anymore, and the garbage man no longer walks 150 feet up our driveway to the garage to retreive our rubbish and carry it to the truck , as he did in the 1960's. Walking up and down dozens of stairs for one mailbox is a ridiculous legacy , the cost of which is burdensome.
Hardship delivery points would be excepted, of course.
We have 5 day delivery already 10 weeks of every year. They turn into a week of 5 10+ hour days.
making the other 42 weeks into 5 day would have a similar effect most weeks, and the 10 4 day weeks would be crushing.

We have 5 day delivery already in 10 weeks of every year.( http://www.opm.gov/Operating_Status_Schedules/fedhol/2009.asp )
They usually consist of a week of 5 10+ hour days. Making the other 42 weeks into 5 day would have a similar effect, and the 10 4 day weeks would be crushing.

OK Here goes. Don’t get offended by the accusation
of you're ignorance of government process. It's complicated, and, I hope you all follow through.

And, I already know my sick pay balance identified below, is AS SAFE THE SUN COMING UP Tomorrow.
But, the USPS continued existence is definately
on the ropes.

Now, I’m a techy currently working in transportation, so to set the tone, my answers to poll questions are
reflected as such.

Question 1. Introduce Non-traditional Postal Services, i.e. web based, IP, wireless lan/wan etc., intelligent transportation net, similar to other noted comments provided in Brainstorming 1.

Question 2. Develop Web Based digital mail (Charge new fees for new technology services.


I’ll bet my sick pay balance, only 1% or less know answers to the following questions. And, to assure accuracy, and prove you’re not peeking,

1. Who is the Chair of the committee?
2. Who are the ranking members?

Be honest with yourself.

1. First ask yourself to name the Congressional committee members that represent the USPS’s future, and the districts they are from and which one presides in you’re district.

2. Ask 50 USPS people you work with simply to name
the Congressional Committee these members belong to.

The Congressional Committee members who decide the USPS’s fate!!

I believe the FSS machine will vastly improve the Postal service quality and efficiancy. However I disagree with its deployment schedule. Presently the Phoenix P&DC is schedule to receive this equipment long before the Las Vegas P&DC. I feel this is a mistake for many reasons.

Las Vegas is more strategically located about the same distance from Phoenix and Salt Lake City as well as San Bernardino. If the FSS works close to its capacity it may be able to process mail from cities outside itself. It would be more logical to have these cites sending their mail to Las Vegas than to Phoenix due to distance.

Also Las Vegas does not have the traffic issues that Phoenix struggles with. The mail would move more efficiently from Las Vegas to other areas.

Also our airport has more flights throughout the country (and the world for that matter) than Phoenix. Therefore our magazines and periodicals were have a quicker dispatch route.

The FSS machine is a vital part of our recovery the deployment of this equipment needs to be handled carefully. I realize eventually most facilities will process their own FSS. I just think for the start of the deployment Las Vegas is a far better choice than Phoenix.
Thank You,

Virginia Evans

I agree with the solution to save money is to cut management at least in 1/2. They deal with the same problems every day instead of finding a solution. As far as supervision, the people in the main office in PGH. call all the shots which leads me to believe that the PM position is now a low level management position and supervisor is now a no level management position. I don't see them getting any more done in 8hrs on the clock.Maybe they should pivot to other offices. We have supervisors doing clerk and mail handler jobs due to no personnel. They are paid a lot more than the person they let go. There is the u.s.p.s. management in action, but they think they got it right.They should add the prefix mis infront of management.

Let me ask you, do you think the public wants to see the Postmaster walking with the carrier because he is trying to intimidate the worker to work faster, or maybe that postmaster being involved in the community like fundraiser or food drive? I am sure they love seeing the postmaster walking down the street smoking and yelling into his postal provided phone when the public tells me they can never get a hold of him because oh wait he is never at the post office much anymore.. The new goal is to write up people doing there job right, but wrong, and removal is the new word... Oh ya why do you need a PM if the POOM is getting an office next to him?

Yesterday I went to the post office in my neighbourhood and discovered that they were closed at 4:45p.m. All I wanted was a single stamp to drop in the box. The stamp dispenser machine was out of service and the woman was right then closing the door and told me she couldn't help me out.

Based on this experience, I don't think there needs to be a small post office as such open and wasting money paying for property and employee. Perhaps the Postal Service should consider stiking a deal with the big grocery stores to install automated postal center machine with a box drop. It would certainly make life easier for moms and those shopping. The postal service will still collect revenue and pay less for space.

It still gives someone like me and others the opportunity to mail our letters at our convenience and not having to beat the traffic.

How about if we concentrated our efforts on developing a manageable and sustainable delivery metwork and measured the performance of that network in a fair and accurate manner?
I suppose you'll tell me that that is what EXFC measures and perhaps add - look how good our scores are? The plain and simple fact is that EXFC scores are essentially fraudulent, they deceive the public, they dishonor the intent of the public laws that create measurement standards and the attempts to distort them cost the Postal Service tens millions of dollars every year.
A perfect example is an incident that happened last Saturday in Mid-Carolinas.
A rural carrier was delayed in returning to the office by construction traffic. As a result the carrier missed dispatch. The carrier had a single tub of outgoing mail with 49 pieces in it. The PMR in the office was notified and eventually contacted the postmaster, who following District guidelines contacted her POOM. Because of the various delays the mail had to be driven 180 miles to the next distribution center. In the meantime the guiodelines in this District require the postmaster and the POOM to cinduct a walk through of the office to ensure that all other mail was properly dispatched. The situation was completely resolved by 3am.
I suppose there are those that would argue that our service commitments are inviolable and therefore this involved dance was both necessary and justified. That's absolutely ridiculous and any reasonable person knows it. Hundreds of dollars were spent to advance 49 pieces of mail and the only reason was to avert a dreaded EXFC failure.
Incidents like this one happen everyday throughout the system. We have personnel driving single pieces of mail miles to ensure delivery and ensure EXFC scores. Yes, we are here to provide service but the regimen surrounding EXFC is perverse and distorted. It does not result in realistic changes to procedures to build a better more efficient network; it results in a culture of rationalization and justification that cynically wastes resources to gin up performance scores.
We spend millions of dollars and tremendous amounts of effort to monitor EXFC performance in ways that totally distort the intent of the governing statutes. Resources that ought to be devoted to developing and improving our network and practices are instead diverted to attempting to identify and predict where EXFC drops are being made and when. It's true that it is virtually impossible to identify individual collectors in the EXFC system and I've heard DM's say they wouldn't want to know if they could but the simple fact of the matter is that the entire administrative response to EXFC is designed to subvert the system rather than learn from the scores.

The sad thing is that the OIG is willing to look the other way on this. The PRC is willing to accept "record breaking performance scores" regardless of the underlying lack of value in those scores. As an organization we have developed a perverse institutional culture with respect to measuring performance. Unless and until we break this culture we will never get a truly honest appraisal of our system and ultimately that is what has led and is leading to our downfall.

I find it interesting that the PMG feels the best way to solve the financial woes of the Postal service it to cut services to the American public. The Postal service is a huge entity with many different departments. Many of these departments are not needed and have nothing to do with getting the mail out.
For example, what does Diversity Awareness have to do with moving the mail. If you want to promote diversity fine contract a company to do talks once every quarter. This would allow the Post Office to eliminate that entire department. I am only speaking of one area of Postal waste. We need to cut the fat not service to our customers.

I totally agree what "MR.william tyndale" says.

It seems to me ,the pursuing the exfc goal with declining mail volumn and wasting the postal dollar is catching a fly with a hammer.

Whoever support the false system should go to the jail instead of getting bonus.

why? because you actually help the falsifying the official record and wasting the stamp dollar in order to achieve the falsifying and unrealistic goal.

is our competitor like fed ex and ups has the exfc?


they are still deliver the mail faster and accurate enough to compete with us without unrealistic system

and they are expanding every neiborhood in this country every in the corner.

and they do have their airplane,too.

why the postal service do not have one?

because they are behind and far behind and outdated system and wasting their money to pursue the unrealistic goal like exfc.

and the postal service still use the method to catch their fly with hammer.

This OIG site does not have a date in the heading paragraph. It refers to "Wednesday" but doesn't include a date. So when is this site extinct? Already? Please use more date information in future programs. Thank you

Angie A,

Thanks for your comment. This topic was posted on July 20th, but it's always open for more votes or comments. The date is at the bottom of the post. Sorry for any confusion.

I have an idea. Let Potter run the USPS like he was hired to do. Another idea close the OIG it is a total waste of taxpayers money.

First let me say I am not an employee of the USPS but a customer. I cannot in vision the US without the USPS. Through the posts I have read the answers I always see is cut management for craft workers. The answer I see from mamagement is cut craft workers. Neither is right. I have been on both sides in the private sector. Management and craft have to work together to make a better USPS in these bad economic times. I really don't think that all USPS employees know they have a decent job especially in these economic times.. If you are unhappy with you job just try one in the private sector. I sure it won't take long for you to change your mind. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence is true.

If they would eliminate Unions because of all the grievances filed and eliminate time clocks because of all the time used to micro-manage employees and run this organization like other Federal Agencies...the PO would be so far ahead. With all the grievances filed against the PO and monies paid out there would be a substantial savings right there.

Lets renew a theft blog, we need fresh ideas to stop the ‘THEFT’ epidemic.

In our area mail theft is at an all time high and it literally seems like there is no controlling authority. The integrity of our service is at stake and we are loosing customer loyalty, resulting in a further shift to the internet.
OIG Help!
just saying…
*what about a sting operation with an exploding paint letter?
*cameras on box units that are frequently hit?
*note to customer with theft alert
*more local and federal coordination
*neighborhood watch programs to shoot pictures and videos of thieves and suspicious persons
Let’s hang some of these thieves and pursue them with gusto publicly displaying their heads on national TV, and educating the public on identity theft via the mail.
Thanks, let’s show the USA we care.

Do you realize how many people HATE going to the post office b/c of the lines? I think a drive thru would be great! UPS and FEDEX do not offer that option.