The US Postal Service is doomed

Matt Yglesias has this nice little vignette from a mailman that shows why the USPS is already dead, it just doesn’t know it yet:

I do see myself as a sort of catalyst for the community. I meet the new people who move in first, and I can tell them if other people might be interested in meeting them, if other people have kids their age. There are some people I check in on, like this elderly gentleman who lives alone. He’s always doing his thing—on Tuesday he dusts—but I just think it’s important that someone’s looking out for him.

And the neighborhood has been so sweet to me after this surgery. I’ve been getting a lot of emails.

Meanwhile, I added a less entertaining anecdote to my arsenal this afternoon. Due to changed procedures no longer need to go to the Post Office regularly but still have to mail one or two Priority Mail envelopes a week. So I thought I’d pick up some 5.60 stamps that would allow me to mail them from home.

After waiting in line the usual 10 minutes, I handed the clerk the Priority Mail envelope that was going out today, and asked for ten 5.60 stamps. He looked at me funny, then asked a colleague if they had any 5.60 stamps. His colleague replied, “Oh, no, we aren’t going to have those yet, we only have the 5.15 stamps right now.” In other words, even though Flat Rate postage went from 5.15 to 5.60 on January 27 (over three weeks ago), they not only didn’t have the new stamps, they thought it was silly I might think they did.



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