• Reply to: Does the Postal Service Need to Re-examine Its Delivery Service Standards?   4 years 12 months ago

    I avoid using the postal service because of the inequities of pricing. It costs me 44 cents (I think) to pay a bill by mail. It might weigh a quarter of an ounce. I pick several ounces of junk mail from my mail box almost every day. Guess what I'm not a rocket scientist but I don't think the postal service collected .44 cents an ounce or per piece for that pile of junk.

    Let all the people who use the postal service pay the same rate and maybe you wont need to stop Saturday service.

  • Reply to: Does the Postal Service Need to Re-examine Its Delivery Service Standards?   4 years 12 months ago

    I agree with Karen, door to door service is a thing of the past, either install centralized mailboxes at each street's corner (continue to provide door to door service for those with special needs of course) or move surburban neighborhoods to a more rural style with mailboxes at the street so a delivery person could make many more stops in a truck than pushing a cart down the street. The solutions are obvious, perhaps hire an inspector general with true business experience running a large corporation. And as to Saturday service, I can wait until Monday to throw out the hundreds of pieces of trash mail I get a week!

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    After reading through these posts, I realize that this blog is worthless. I have worked as a letter carrier for 20 years and seen a lot of changes, most to the detriment of the postal service and the blue collar worker. The comments here are amazing and some of them totally stupid. Asking the public how to fix a problem that they don't understand is like asking me to explain quantum physics to my niece. If you want to fix a problem you go to the people who know the job and you LISTEN to them! There is a saying in the post office that pretty much sums it up, if you can't carry, they make you a clerk, if you can't figure out how to be a clerk, they make you a supervisor and if you can't do that job, they promote you to postmaster. I know that sounds sarcastic and crazy, but I have seen it happen. I am out of here, this is a waste of time, one more example of how the USPS is wasting money.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    If you want to read a post that hits the nail squarely on the head, read post 90 from Eric! Great post Eric, this is a person who actually knows wha is going on in the post office.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    I dont think that we need to cancel sat delevires. We could raise the cost of packages that we send out.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    Don't just eliminate Saturdays. Reduce to 1/2 the residential routes on M-W-F and the other half on T-Th-SA, 3 days delivery per customer. Mail volume is already much lower than a few years ago due to both i-net and economy. Now is the time to get efficient with delivery.
    Why is it that mail service on Saturday, especially in the Summer, comes two hours earlier? Don't think the shift starts two hours earlier. Must have fat in the delivery schedule???

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    The biggest problem with letting the postal service do away with pre-paying retiremnt, is that management will see this as an opportunity to raise their bonuses. They will put the USPS back in the red within two years. Supervision needs to be cut back and postmasters need to be made to do their jobs, instead of having supervisors doing their jobs for them while they play on the computer. The postmasters and the supervisors above them intentionally create a hostile work environment for the employees by making routes so long they cannot be finished in eight hours and when they aren't finished, they have both postmaster and supervisor in the office with the employee,often without the benefit of union representation and threaten them with their jobs. When the employee speaks up to defend themselves, the postmaster and supervisor create a story that the employee is threatening them and guess who gets the shaft? The employee. The office of the OIG is not going to fix anything for the working conditions of the employee, but the will take care of management so they can continue to get their bonuses at the expense of the employee's who actually do the work of delivering the mail everyday.

  • Reply to: Is It Time to Re-evaluate the Retail Network?   4 years 12 months ago

    I think you need to stop delivery of mail on Saturdays, BUT keep post office open on Saturdays in big cities and any towns over 500,000 people. Have all post offices open so folks can get to their mail boxes. I like the idea of buying stamps at my local grocery store, which I do. The rest of what you run, I do not use.

    In our medium size town we have two post offices. The one in middle of town is very busy and the newer one never seems to have but very few cars there and not more than a dozen folks standing in line for service, even at Christmas.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    The clerk craft has been losing many jobs and cuts in hours for PTF's. There is a craft that management has been slow to catch up with over the last few decades.
    The rural carrier craft routes need to be reevaluated at a much faster rate. Most rural full time carriers make more money than city carriers or clerks. Most rural carriers work MUCH less than 8 hours a day for 8 hours pay. On any given day some work 4,5 6,7 hours. Now there is an idea that has been sweeping the nation for about 100 years now. 8 hours WORK for 8 hours pay. TA DA, a billion dollors a year saved.

  • Reply to: Does the Postal Service Need to Re-examine Its Delivery Service Standards?   4 years 12 months ago

    I as a fellow worker for replacing mail boxes when knocked down. What they need to do is by me there is about 2 post offices and I live in a little village and i can not see why they can not get ride of the older post offices.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    Restructuring of jobs from the ground up.

    To obtain a leaner workforce via attrition. A serious evaluation and reduction of Post Offices. And more imortantly the staffing of each Post Office.

    Serious consideration of using a roving Postmaster, that oversees 5-10 small offices in which is staffed with a L7clerk. (small offices would be from L18 offices down)
    Noting that a L7clerk already holds the responsibility of a major portion of job duties that a Postmaster performs.
    Postmasters bulk of reporting is from the computer and can be handled from a remote area.

    Cost savings is derived from the reduction of Postmaster positions (an average of 7 out of 10 positions could be eliminated via attrition), which are presently being utilized at a higher rate for work then what can be and are present duties of the clerk position.

    Noting that staffing at most of these offices are not so much overstaffed as the problem lies with the staffing structure.

    Recent years there has been a push to standardize the Post offices across the nation which has completely stripped the ability to address geographical needs of its customers. In effect, reducing the potential revenue by providing for the consumer demand.
    With the assumption that further emphasis will be made to improve the retail product side, the pushing down of retail decisions to the individual office would allow a one office to address the needs of that geographical area.
    Examples: card sales work in some offices that others it will not; stamps; all retail products; and all services.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    Eliminate media mail. Now that we have computers we do not this rate to promote literacy.

    Eliminate Parcel post. I have lost many Priority sales lately because people say I sent it parcel and it got there just as fast. only need priority and Express.

    Some type of DC for letters. At tax time I heard repeatedly- I don't want them to sign for it, I just want to know it got there.

    Notary Public. I am asked at least once a week if we have notary services.

    Become a pick up point for Fedex and UPS, and charge them. I have people frequently bringing in packages with fedex or UPS labels, and have to tell them we can send it, but would have to charge them. If they want to use their label it is up to them to contact our competitor for pickup. I know we had the pick up for one company, but only ever saw one package. We need to become a pickup point for these 2 companies for any packages with their labels, especially since they now come every day anyway. People in small towns do not have access to UPS or Fedex.

    Hub Postmasters. PMs in small offices are now used for many hours sorting bulk mail so clerk hours could be cut {this shifting of work in violation of our contract has not been addressed}. This is a waste of talent. You are trying to save money by taking the {supposedly} most skilled worker and using them to accomplish the least skilled work. At level 18 and below you should have one PM for every 5 offices. They come in one day a week to accomplish MANAGEMENT level work, or to make contact with local business customers. many of the clerks are just as skilled as the postmasters, and routinely fill in when they are gone on vacation, etc. Use your management people for management, and your craft workers to complete the craft work.

    Further cutting of personnel is not practical. It has been months since I have seen a piece of bulk mail with a delivery rerquest date that was not already past the date. With that kind of service we are going to lose our customers. Further cuts will only make things worse.

    There are some very small Post Offices which should be closed. But, limiting access to our services will cost further business. I constantly have to listen to complaints that we are closed during the middle of the day, or that people can't access our services because we close too early. Moving into Target is not going to help this for country people. They are not going to drive 40 miles to Target to use the Post Office. By further cutting access we hasten the demise of the Mail as people realize they must find another way.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    I think they should put some pay cuts in place. Even a dollar an hour most people can handle, but still have a job. That would keep money from going out in the future. Also, give an incentive if an employee didn't take out health insurance. The company would pay less out in incentives than to the insurance companies.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    I heard several years ago on Paul Harvey news that he heard from a listener to SELL advertising space on postage stamps. Thin about the revenue it could generate and the dollars it could save. This would not solve the problem but it would help.

    Note: It was not done then and I doubt the post office management can think outside the box on a good idea like this.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    I read through some of the other comments here & many people have good ideas. I hope the Post Office is serious about considering them. I absolutely think they should look at streamlining the operations before cutting customer service. That means START at the top & work down if jobs need to be changed or eliminated. The Postal System has to start operating like any other business in competition for customers. Technology has changed our world & there is no going back. Health benefits are a challenge for every person & company in this country. There is no reason postal employees should not contribute & make concessions. It's better to have a job & pay something towards your health care than be out of work. Whichever day of the week has the least mail volume should be the one eliminated....personally, I would think it would be less disruptive to eliminate like Wednesday delivery, that way Sundays & Wednesdays would be off with time in between to keep mail from stacking up as it would w/2 full days off in a row. Again, people tend to want every service, store, business, available to them 24/7 but many still think that THEIR jobs should only be 9-5 mon-fri. Just not the world we live in anymore. If the Postal System can change their thinking so as to be competitve (like any other private business) they will survive. I shudder to think what it would be like without them.

  • Reply to: Does the Postal Service Need to Re-examine Its Delivery Service Standards?   4 years 12 months ago

    The post office without a doubt has multiple issues to address and being a Government run business doesn't help one bit.

    First and foremost is they are over paided and under worked. Way to many locations and days of service.

    That said I still think the post office offer a fast, reliable serivce and price to other mail serivces who serivce and quality have slipped. But they have adjusted quicker and faster to the changing ecomincs to stay profitable unlike or Government!

    If the Government and Government workers opened their eyes to the other 80% of the common ever days workers they would see and do the right things.

    Time have been hard and our Government and Government workers need to show the America people they understand our hardship(s) and will surport the Amercia worker not live off them!!

    There as a time a long time a go when the Government care about the people and did not live high off the hog! It is we the people!!!! Not we the Government!!!!

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    Firstly, let me say that asking the general public for suggestions on how to better run the USPS indicates a level of incompetence normally reserved for fallen empires and bailed-out businesses. Will soemone in the USPS (hello senior adminstration) please stand up and make the hard decisions without worrying about there own necks and wealthy pension plans. Taking a competitor's business plan (UPS/FEDEX) and making it better/more efficient would be the most logical and easiest first step to take. This is not rocket science people, but it does take unwavering leadership and someone/group with the commitment and 'sack-up' attitude that is currently void within the USPS. Declare bankruptcy (which is what you are, and would be if not for the American tax payer), void your previous pension obligations whilst doing so, and construct new ones in-line with industry standards. Dump your old business model, make a lot of people unhappy (but all at once and weather the firestorm), culture-shift,re-badge, and re-invent. Like many other government depts legacy costs are outrageous and undeserving. Working twenty years for someone these days doesn't guarantee you diddly-squat, so get over it already! A fair pay for a fair days work, without the promise of an extra 20-40 years of 'retirement benefits'. Stop mortgaging the future of my children - WAKE UP AMERICA!

  • Reply to: Prepaid Debit Cards Services   4 years 12 months ago

    OK this is going to sound like a complaint session from me. As a dedicated employee for 10 years I have seen a lot just in my office alone.

    first: Someone needs to come in and evaluate offices WITHOUT ANYONE, even the Postmaster, knowing that this is happening. For what the ex-coworkers were getting paid, they were not doing the job. The Postmaster was not doing a very good job either, and you should see his desk...

    second: When re-evaluating things, whether it be bulk mailings or how to make things more efficient in the production area, get the employees involved that have done the particular job for years. We have great employees there that want to express their opinion and ideas but are never heard..

    third: Again, the pay. Come on people, the union has helped to over-pay employees and upper management drastically. The mail carriers are out in the rain, sleet, and snow and DO deserve higher pay, and no I was not a carrier. I have done supervisory, clerk, window clerk, and OIC.

    fourth: I worked as an OIC and seen what was brought in and paid out in a month. Cut the hours in these small offices or float Postmasters to do 2 offices. They can handle it in these small communities.

    I do not want to see the Post Office go down, but mismanagement of money is the biggest problem.

    I hope that someone reads this. If they do and are a member of the Postal Regulatory Commission, you can find ut who I am by looking at my logon ID.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    Look at perhaps decentralizing funding and giving each zip code a budget, and they figure out what they want to do to get mail to their constituents. This is a way to get free market influence without really being free market. Each household represents X dollars, and that is how the money gets farmed out to each zip code. A big metropolitan zip code will get a lot more money than a rural zip code. I am OK with this. People cannot live in the middle of nowhere and still expect to get the same services at the same cost as someone who lives near millions of other people. They should bare the cost of their lifestyle decision. Then each zip code can make an executive decision, do they centralize mail pick up and drop off and have one robust 24HR mail center for the whole zip code? Do they elimimate Saturday delivery? or only do delivery every other day for the rural places? etc. likewise the busy places will be able to spend money on more customer service, etc, to decrease wait times, and maybe take a note from the social security administration. At my local place, you walk in, you go to the touch screen machine, you tell it why you are there (buy stamps, mail insured package, etc), it gives you a number, and then the computer system can prioritize all of the requests in the lobby at one time and tells you what counter to go to for your service. Kind of like the DMV also. this would make sense in an urban area.

    And of course USPS employees should pay the same rates and get the same benefits as other feds. We all are "servants", why are they so special?

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    One solution solves both the labor and transportation/energy budget problems. Pneumatic Tube delivery direct-to-door. If Post Office buildings were turned into Pneumatic Tube hubs and combined with sorting locations, the carriers would never be necessary. Tube delivery locations do not have to be attached to your house, or run inside apartments or high-rise buildings. Homes could go back to street boxes (surrounding the end of the pneumatic tube). In apartments or multi-tennant buildings a personal box system can be used (much like they are today). If mail carriers didn't have to drive millions of pounds of paper around the country, but instead use a sophisticated and technologically advanced pneumatic system costs would plummet.

    You would never have to hire another mail carrier.

    Packages would still need to be trucked, and can simply be stored at a PO. Instead of having to deal with counter agents, large boxes can be used, with ID readers, to store packages so individuals can pick them up. Similarly, an ATM style card and PIN system could be used to identify persons for package pickup at a PO. This would put UPS and FedEX out of business. Instead of having to talk to a driver to sign for a package, that package could be picked up (24-hours a day) at a PO. Kiosk systems could be used to service every other package/postage need.

    You would never have to hire another counter agent.

    Slowly, over time, as the tubes are installed, and sorting facilities are automated even further, to deliver mail directly into home delivery pods, and sent directly to route customers, carrier labor can be transitioned to maintenance, support, and operational staff (with a far more efficiency-orientated staff) hopefully hired, and trained into non-government job classes, with privatized retirement plans. In 10-15 years we would all have more efficient mail delivery, and there would never be a need to increase baseline costs. A growing population, expanding communities, and for a while (before the mystique wears off) infatuation with the new delivery system will create a self-supporting system of mail delivery.

    We can not think of eliminating the real, physical mail. Humans are tactile beings. The touch and feel of correspondence (albeit long forgotten) evokes emotional connections with others. Wedding invitations, birth announcements, magazines, letters from generations left behind by technology, and wonderful colorful postcards, should never be the method or lever of bureaucratic budget posturing.

  • Reply to: Prepaid Debit Cards Services   4 years 12 months ago

    saturday mail out, cut out high paid managers don't really need them.make these people sending junk mail pay first class, no bulk mail!

  • Reply to: Is It Time to Re-evaluate the Retail Network?   4 years 12 months ago

    I own a franchised, independent printing, packing and shipping store. I pay basically the same rate for postage that my customers do, and then mark it up in a similar fashion that I do to FedEx and UPS services (which I do buy at wholesale.) It amazes me that most customers, not all believe me, but most are willing to pay my price and possibly even more to avoid going to one of the many local stations. Mr. OIG, what does this tell you?

    Retail counter customer service is simply abhorrent at most stations. I'm sure there are exceptions, but in general, people who do not have unlimited time on their hands or have a choice in carriers prefer to go elsewhere. Time is money to them. And if they are willing to pay us, they are probably willing to pay you if the service is a s good.

    That's job one. Job two and beyond are even larger quagmires. Distance based pricing, streamlined processes and operations, creating a merit based organization, changing a culture that seems bent on never changing...good luck Mr. OIG.

    And on another note, someone in an earlier post said get rid of contract carriers. On the contrary, if it weren't for our rural route contract carrier, I would severely limit the amount of USPS services I offer.

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    I would definitely ship with the USPS more often if they change their operations in its entirety. It is frustrating walking into the post office and always receiving third-class services. It's like being treated as dirt and garbage.

    To change its operations to reduce costs and increase revenue, I suggest the following,

    1. renegotiate the worker's contract and reduce waste with unnecessary "benefits" and pensions.
    2. establish a better tracking system of mails. It is outrageous that my packages, which are sent with tracking information, is not scanned until it is delivered. It does not take more than 5 seconds for an employee to scan the package at the local post office. Let the public know their money is worth the services paid. If you want to compete with Fedex and UPS, ensure the tracking system is live and employees are doing what they are suppose to do.
    3. re-examine the online services section. hire a competent programmer to re-design the website and mailing system. If you seriously want to compete, you need to include all services online. Is it that hard to provide registered mail or return receipt options online? Is it that hard to provide live feeds of signature confirmations for shippers? If FedEx and UPS can create such a database and online service, why can't USPS do it?
    4. get rid of luxury compensations for future CEOs. There is not a need to buy his or her home as a condition to move. If he or she really wants the job, he or she will move to th corporate office. There is no need to include a relocation expense. That's ridiculous! One million dollars for relocation? Now that's pathetic!
    5. change the post office delivery system and methods of delivery to increase volume and decrease employees.
    6. customer service training! it is so hard to believe that common courtesy is not in place. Even a trip to the post office is like a trip to the dentist.

    I have so many ideas... yet I believe the USPS is doomed to fail with the current board and management. They all need to go... FIRED! They are useless.

    If you seriously want to reform, contact me! We can definitely work together to fix the system

  • Reply to: The Great Debate   4 years 12 months ago

    We do not need any other layoffs expecially our postal workers. I think if the goverment could cut some corners like no Saturday services, no overtime for any postal employees, and if need be no raises for a period of time. I do not think any other benifits for the postal employees should be cut. I am so tired of all these company's laying off there employees, there are always corners that can be cut and I would pay a penney more for postage stamps then see another persons family suffer a layoff. We need to get off the layoff talk that comes out of the goverments mouth. We live in the USA and almost every american that worked for a manufacture or major company paid there workers a good wage and benifits untill some dumb nut decided to get the mexican worker to work for a lower wage and do the same job come on America did you think that they would not move there companies to Mexico as well. What the goverment needs to do is take there operations and usps to Mexico to give the Mexicans the lower pay to do the jobs all of the american workers do. (Ha! Ha!) what a joke! All these companies that take there jobs out of the USA should not ever be able to come back in the USA ever again to bring there companies in or there products for sale. If we started to make are own products in the USA think about it our USPS employees would have there jobs because thoses same company's would need the services of the USPS. The house and the senate up in Washington DC need to wake up and use some commen sense. The whole bunch of them act like two year old kids when are they going to get it together.

  • Reply to: Does the Postal Service Need to Re-examine Its Delivery Service Standards?   4 years 12 months ago

    I'm all for cutting mail delivery on Saturday and I would even consider cutting it back on Wednesday as well.

    The most annoying thing about the mail is the tons of junk that arrives...what a waste of energy and materials.