• Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 7 months ago

    Innovation may be a core element in economic growth as well as in the ability of individuals and companies to adapt to changing markets. To innovate or not and how to go about it may not however be the question the Postal Service should be asking itself.
    The network the Postal Service administers is basic and fundamental infrastructure. The questions being asked here belong to a different category of entity. I know that the conventional wisdom is and has been that the Postal Service is and should be business enterprise operated under business principles with the same sort of goals and incentives as business aspires and responds to. The problem is that this has always been a false narrative, an instance of cramming everything into the box of a single definition.
    We don't ask the interstate highway system to make a profit or be businesslike. The innovations that apply to the highway system or other infrastructures are fundamentally different than the sort of innovation that Schumpeter described in his theory of creative destruction. What we continually fail to do, and that definitely applies to the Postal Service, is recognize the differences inherent in various entities.
    The efficient operation of a business or corporate entity is not the same as the efficient operation of government or an infrastructure. They have, or should have, different goals and different incentives and when we fail to recognize those basic differences then we shortchange ourselves. o business starts from the premise of universal service or access. That may be a goal in terms of reaching more customers but it is a goal that follows profitability. Infrastructure, on the other hand, has a basic goal of creating universal service and access. Infrastructure provides a platform that offers opportunity for business entities to exercise creativity and innovation. The profitability of a business entity is measured by the income statement and balance sheet. The utility of infrastructure cannot and should not be measured so directly. A successful infrastructure may cost the community money but those costs are recouped through the actions of businesses that use the infrastructure.
    The Postal Service, those who create the laws that govern it, and those who use it have fallen into the trap of defining the world in such narrow terms that they have lost sight of the real value of the postal network. Discounts like the one offered for using QC barcodes ignore the value of the infrastructure. Let the mailing industry find innovative way to make mail more useful. Let the Postal Service build and maintain and infrastructure that all sorts of businesses and industries can use profitably. The problems facing the Postal Service are not problems of innovation but problems of identity. We are not faced with an innovation crisis we are faced with an identity crisis.

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 7 months ago

    Invention Unit...

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 7 months ago

    How can we even discuss innovation for the USPS when they need Congress' permission to even create such a unit? And no doubt will have to get Congress' permission to implement any innovation. As long as (certain members of) Congress throttles USPS operations such conversations are academic. USPS should either be folded back into the government or cut free to truly operate as a private business. Currently we have the worse combination of both.

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 7 months ago

    How can the postal service come up with new ideas when there can't even staff the city of Newport News Virginia with carriers......a postmaster that refuses to hire any CCA's is killing his moral and positive energy on the floor. ..overworked employees run rampant through the postal service. ...drug addictive and alcoholic carriers are all that's left!!!!! Shame on the upper management for ruining people's lives by forcing employees to work so much overtime and take all their days off...and get his own day off!!!!

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 7 months ago

    Another fearless leader to give more bonuses to for inspiration. How did that work for the Superintendent of the Atlanta City School System.

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 7 months ago

    Thank you for putting those questions out there for us to comment on and contribute to.

    One thought keeps coming to mind for me, and it has to do with the basic premise, the concept of "disruption."

    Will apologize in advance if this is presumptuous, but I will say that I DEEPLY admire what the USPS is and does and accomplishes around the globe every day (and ESPECIALLY for our military service members, you are the lifeline to home and you represent all that they are away fighting for) so I'm going to speak candidly and from the heart about this issue that has been a long time irritant though I have never shared this before because I frankly had no interest in being targeted by marketers and others making their living off the jargon du jour.

    So, with that said ...

    Frankly, I've gone back to lessons I learned from my grandparents about how to build a business and raise a family through two World Wars and the Great Depression of the 30s-40s. I detest this concept of "disruption." It's like saying a baby's birthday "disrupts" the child's grown. Pleez. I've got a decades-long cultivated engineering school schooled mindset, and I love technology as an tool, and enabler of great things, but frankly I think the concept of "disruption" is rooted in things that are fearful, lazy and reactive. Forget "disruption" --- GROW INSTEAD.

    [and p.s., apologies in advance if this post starts a flame war on your board; no disrespect intended, but we NEED the USPS to keep on doing the excellent work you're tasked with, and I just had to speak out. I hope it helps.]

  • Reply to: Is Five-Day Delivery in the Future?   1 year 7 months ago


  • Reply to: Is it Time to Consider New Uses for Facilities?   1 year 7 months ago

    I would like to suggest the postal service create more PO Boxes to help pay the costs of maintaining the property. In addition, I would like to suggest they start an archive service where important, irreplaceable items be kept. Financials and identity docs should be kept at a bank, but photos, diplomas, and other life achievements should be kept at an archive. Like PO boxes, they can be rented long term so that no one will ever be faced with losing everything. More revenue for maintaining a postal service location.

  • Reply to: Crime Takes No Holiday   1 year 7 months ago

    I would like to suggest the Post Office market their PO Boxes as part of security. Anyone moving should be strongly suggested to have their mail forwarded to a PO Box. This allows the postal service to charge rent in exchange for greater security in an uncertain time. Customers can be educated to use PO Boxes as secure mail while regular first class mail be used for business marketing and bills. This would save the USPS in delivery and sorting costs and enable a steady revenue stream to keep post offices open.

  • Reply to: Perhaps No Free Lunch, But Free Samples   1 year 7 months ago

    I love free samples

  • Reply to: Pushing the Envelope Hits 5-Year Mark   1 year 7 months ago

    I like that you cover a wide range of topics. Even if I don't comment on them, I do read the blog each week. I especially like when they hit on current news.

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 8 months ago

    Are there detailed instructions online for how to use the kiosks? I hate having to learn to use it with other people waiting in line behind me.

    Maybe "buy one plain stamp for one plain letter in one plain envelope" should be an option.

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 8 months ago

    I was not able to tell how to buy a plain stamp, to mail a plain letter in a plain envelope. I tried two times, one time selecting buy stamp, one time selecting mail letter. There are no pictures of what you are buying, and the wording I'm sure makes good sense to people who speak Postal Service, but I don't. In the "mail a letter" process it asks if a printed form would fit, but I don't want to have to fill out a form, I've already addressed the envelope.

    The line to see a clerk had too many people in it to wait. I don't find the machines at all well thought out. On my second attempt, the person in front of me also gave up in disgust.

    The old machines where you could see what you were buying and push a button right next to it were vastly superior.

  • Reply to: To Award or Not to Award: What’s the Postal Service to Do?   1 year 8 months ago

    No...USPS employees are paid too much now, for the work they do, which for some (not all) employees, is shoddy, careless, irresponsible handling of all US mail. With packages being sent and getting damaged enroute, and stuffed inside these damaged envelopes\packages are these nice, sweet USPS notes of apology for damaging my mail/package....and when the contents of my packages disappear enroute, no one wants to try to locate my items for me. Did they just trash them if a package becomes torn? Do they just toss my items instead of repackaging them and send them on to their intended destinations? No....just recently, I sent a package, Priority Mail (for whatever that means) to my sister in Raleigh, NC...I found out that she received it damaged, minus all the contents inside save for 1 book. This 1 book was not in the padded envelope in which I shipped the items...it had been placed inside another padded envelope and a plain, white label with her name and address written on it slapped onto this padded envelope. She said it was not my handwriting...and, the envelope contained the 1 book I sent plus the little sweet, apology note that USPS always sends when a package is damaged. And how and why do damages incur? Because USPS employees fail to do their job as they should, totally irresponsible and without due consideration to the priceless contents inside a package that a customer has sent. Now---will I be able to locate the rest of the contents of that padded envelope I sent? I seriously doubt it. I have filed a complaint but have no hopes that my items will be found. Not sure exactly when or where the damaged envelope occurred, I have speculated that two post offices in Raleigh, NC MAY be to blame--but there is no proof. Meantime, my lost articles are God knows where in the system. And for this "careful handling" I must pay for a price increase? I think not. I have sent 5 packages this year alone and all were damaged, with some of the contents intact, others had zero contents. And the USPS wants a pat on the back and be given raises? No, no, no!!

  • Reply to: Exigent Price Increase Proposed   1 year 8 months ago

    No...I cannot see postal prices continuing to climb. I see, first-hand, how mail, packages, etc. are handled by the USPS and I dislike what I see. Lost letters, lost packages, damaged mail, damaged packages over and over with no improvement. The service gets worse and yet USPS keeps pressing for more money...I have witnessed USPS emnployees handling mail and packages---tossing them through the air like balls, ripping open mail going through sorting machines...complete carelessness and irresponsibility. And to see service like this at the salaries they make---it it disgusting!!

  • Reply to: Making Global e-commerce E-asy   1 year 8 months ago

    The idea of global e-commerce seems to be good but I don't think it would be ever seeing the light, and even if it does, it won't be there in the near future for sure. The customs and taxation policies are different in different countries and they still keep changing, especially in growing/under-developed economies. In such countries, the governments would be supporting and shielding their own local industry and would not let big-fish from other developed economies encroach their territory. Too early for eggs to hatch.

  • Reply to: Electronic Postage Statements – Boon or Bust?   1 year 8 months ago

    The article says everything about this new technology of sending paperless mails however, one thing I am still curious to know is about the security aspects. How are these guys ensure that my data remains confidential and in integrity.

  • Reply to: Fall Mailing Season Gets Rolling   1 year 8 months ago

    Absolutely no improvement. I've mailed 5 packages to Europe this month. I've paid over $10 a lb. for 6-10 day delivery. None of the packages arrived in 10 days or less and no refunds are available. The packages spend 3 days in Capital Heights, and then lingered in Chicago, IL a while before being forwarded to France, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Norway or wherever to their customs facility. USPS needs to UPDATE their time expectations or LOWER their prices as I'm not getting what I'm paying for. Pathetic service=lost confidence=finding alternatives.

  • Reply to: Exigent Price Increase Proposed   1 year 8 months ago

    Well, I disagree to a degree. I have observed "many" of the employees that do a great job!
    Sadly, it's not the 5-10%-20% rule though. And, definitely evident in other places in givernment, where it's the same, or much much worse.
    As you probably noticed during the giverment shut down, 50%-60% of the world didn't really care.
    Universal Service does not mean to take a tractor and a 37' trailer, and a helper employee, and drive 23.9 miles through morning traffic to deliver
    a political post card to a post office after 0950 when the carriers have already left and give it to the Supervisor of subject PO for delivery, then repeat that action
    to several other PO's and return to P&DC to collect OT after tour, while MVS Supervisors drink coffee & eat cake! BTW, this would be an ideal time (elections) to observe this practice, unless of course, the winds of change have actually had some effect on this circus act!
    All the while during a consolidation period when an existing smaller PO in same district is closing, and the attendant clerk at subject PO, who spent 16 years,
    and never would have considered taking a sick day, or other day off, as work ethic would not permit; Is being excess-ed to various other PO's as Pist Poor management
    sees fit. It's everywhere in giverment, or academia, among other large private sector companies w/1000 or more employees, where the concept of an enterprise is not the business model! And, you're right Martha! I don't receive 80% of mail anymore, except that which I somehow cannot exclude from the mails system by virtue of default via Universal Service technology restrictions or government exclusions. And, they still put the wrong mail in my box, or I never get the mail which was processed? Who would know? As my kids retort.., Jus sayn!!!

  • Reply to: Passing up Passport Revenue?   1 year 8 months ago

    I'm a recently upgraded level 18. My neighbor level 21 office was having a string of poor Mystery Shops. Processing passports is not the 12.5minutes that you are credited for. Often it is much longer, and that affects WTIL. So the office stopped taking passports and directed customers to my office which is about 4 miles up the hill. It's basically just myself and one clerk who is the passport agent. During our peak period at the start of summer, we were processing an average of 12 per day with a maximum of 16. We purchased a passport camera on EBuy and it's been a huge money maker. WalMart and Costco does photos for $5 and we charge $15. But most customers would rather have us do it because it's more convenient and they trust that we know what we're doing.

    Passport service has been a boon to my office by earning more clerk hours, not to mention customers like the atmosphere of a small office. The other benefit is that now we have more new customers coming over to our office rather than standing in a long line at big office.

    We also get good support from Hawaii state passport agency when we have difficult and unique situations. Doing passports in small offices can be a godsend for revenue generation and earning more hours. It's also a great strategy in relieving the long lines in big offices.

  • Reply to: Exigent Price Increase Proposed   1 year 8 months ago

    i could see if they did a good job but they r getting worse .my mail gets delivered all over my neighbors .
    they cant do a good job any more .wished they would close down and it would be privatice they would not get pay for doing a bad job .they always got too much money for doing nothing they also dont answer their phones.so what good r they

  • Reply to: Postal Service Flexes its Workforce Flexibility   1 year 8 months ago

    Amen to that...What happened to working your way up the ladder so you could understand first hand what specific jobs really entail??

  • Reply to: Who Should Pay for Mail Forwarding?   1 year 8 months ago

    If a letter has a return address and you know it is from someone or a company who is just soliciting, you should be allowed to refuse it and have it returned to the sender at their expense. You should also be allowed to write on it refuse, return to sender, do not send solicitations here, thank you. But my post office does not allow this.

  • Reply to: Fall Mailing Season Gets Rolling   1 year 8 months ago

    I ordered eye glasses from Glasses.com. I ordered and paid for them September 29th. I was told they should arrive by October 15th. It is now October 23rd and it seems like they don't know where my glasses are. It was sent to Des Plaines, IL October 11th. It was then processed at USPS sort facility October 12th in Forest Park, IL. It then departed on October 12th to USPS sort facility in Forest Park, IL, then on October 16th it was processed through USPS sort facility in Forest Park, IL, then on October 19th, it was processed through USPS sort facility in Des Moines, IA, then on October 20th it departed USPS sort facility in Des Moines, IA, THEN of all places on October 22nd it is processed through USPS sort facility in Forest Park, IL again. What in the world is USPS thinking of???? Is this why they keep raising their prices? Why should we pay for such terrible, terrible service. I need my glasses and it seems like they don't know how to send them to the right address.

  • Reply to: Fall Mailing Season Gets Rolling   1 year 8 months ago

    my package is lost!! Some service! Service sucks! Cannot talk to an actual person who does not give "lip service" & no one seems to be able to tell me where it is! I sent it last week & it has not even been taken to the sorting faccilities! Or at least the Tracking does not show where it is, so where is it people!! They did this to me last year as well. Only that package had been opened, stuff taken out & then re taped & sent on. Minus the contents!!! I filed claims on it & still no answer or anything! Where is that one??? If this package is not delivered, I will have 2 broken hearted grandsons (AGAIN) as this is their costumes, same as last year. From now on I will use alternative shipping. USPS SUCKS!!!