Post Office, be proud
Is it just me or did the Post Office fail to give us any warning about the one cent rate increase they just made? I didn't hear anything about it. Post Office officials claim they have been talking about this rate increase for awhile but who were they talking to? Themselves apparently. You can't just pass the news of a rate increase around at the Post Office Christmas party and think you've informed the nation.
A postal rate increase affects the way people do business. Letters without the correct postage... come back. What if I would have won 10 million dollars from Publisher's Clearing House but my prize winning entry came back because I didn't put on the stupid one penny stamp?
"Buy penny stamps now" posters should have been up at every Post Office. I have been to the Post Office a lot in the past months and I'm telling you - if they did have posters up they must have been the size of a stamp because I didn't see anything about this rate increase. I don't claim to be a marketing genius but how about a big poster with a penny on it that says "Spend Penny Now. Make sure letter gets there. 33 cent stamps coming, January '99."
And I am not complaining about paying a penny more to mail a letter. I think it's amazing for just 33 cents you can actually get a letter from here to there. Planes and trains and trucks and sorting machines and polyester uniforms and flack jackets and violence abatement programs and doggy pepper spray and lots of other stuff are all needed by the Post Office to get a letter from my place to the exact spot I want it to go. To do that for 32 or 33 or 49 cents is an incredible bargain in my mind.
But it's almost like the Post Office felt ashamed that they had to raise their rates by a penny. (Two voice exchange) (mumbled) "Excuse me sir, that'll be 33 cents." "What?" "It's aaa.. 33 cents now..." "I can't hear you..." "We raised the rates, it's 33 cents... kind of embarrassed about it, just give me another penny please.."
Or, maybe the Post Office decided not to print posters or have a television ad campaign because news stories about people who didn't hear about the rate increase and are hacked off because all their letters are coming back would act as their whole marketing campaign for the rate increase. Maybe shrewd thinking like that is why it only costs 33 cents to mail a letter.
So I would like to say to the people of the Post Office-- be proud. You do terrific work. I can send a one pound package across the country for three bucks. It may not get there in the 2 or 3 days you advertise but it gets there. If I need to get something somewhere on time of course, I use UPS or Fed Ex. I'm not an idiot. But if time spent standing in line or getting the package there is not an issue you Post Office people are great.
So be proud and next time please, tell us about your little penny increase. In fact, make it a two cent increase and spend the extra money printing up some posters.