Postal Service needs revamping from the top executives on down
The United States Postal Service (USPS), which was once perhaps the only dependable benefit of the federal government’s creation, is now fastly becoming the worst bureau of this current age. In fact, from what we editors have seen in the last six months, this large agency is crumbling under its own weight, due to its inefficiency.
At no other time in recent history has our Newspaper Industry, and this newspaper in particular, been let down by the postal service so many times, because of its lack of transparent planning for modernization, efficiency in daily operations and willingness to work with its customers to correct problems. In fact, this newspaper has gotten more complaints from subscribers from afar in the past half-year than ever before. For example, one subscriber in the Mountain State’s Northern Panhandle receives her newspaper one week late, while, by way of contrast, this publisher’s brother in New Mexico generally receives his weekly edition on the Saturday of the same week.
The USPS’s handling of the growth of the Internet’s e-mail services has been too little, too late and too knee-jerk, in that all the agency is doing is letting people retire and not replacing them. For instance, the Glenville Post Office, which once had four full-time employees, is now down to two, as far as we editors can see and count. Those two employees are overworked, with no actual Postmaster being officially appointed in over six months.
The other USPS corrective initiative is to close as many small, rural post offices as possible in order to reduce the giant bureau’s expenses. This move by way of miscues has demonstrated the “inefficiency” of the current postal executive structure more than anything else. To prove this point, let’s just look at the failed record of this area’s USPS closure announcements and how they are being handled.
In the case of the Shock Post Office’s proposed closure and public comment meeting, the USPS executive just didn’t show up on the publicized assembly’s date. When contacted that evening with a packed house anxiously waiting to comment, he said that he had forgotten about it, so the meeting would have to be rescheduled.
Every postal executive serving Gilmer County ought to have a pocket calendar and if he or she doesn’t, the official is either stupid or needs to see us editors at this newspaper to explain why he or she lacks one. There’s no excuse for that omission.
Then, there was the Linn Post Office’s Public Comment meeting on the proposed closure of their unit. Once again, a group of concerned citizens awaited the postal officials, who dutifully took down their many comments which we reported in this paper’s news in one recent edition. Later, however, to the chagrin of the USPS and anger of local residents, the USPS admitted that they sent the wrong officials to collect the comments. As a result, the agency had considered rescheduling the meeting with the regional manager leading it as required. At this present time, however, the USPS has opted not to hold that second meeting, thereby, once again, causing confusion among Linn area residents who had been asked to come out to make the same comments at the second and ostensibly legitimate meeting.
Next, at the Auburn Post Office’s Public Comment meeting, the USPS’s executives confessed that they didn’t know anything about the future of that unit, but were just there “to take down the public’s comments.” Moreover, before the once again packed house, one hearing officer admitted that if these smaller post offices were not closed, well, he might lose his job. Heaven forbid, hadn’t he heard of the recent recession when a whole lot of workers fell victims to unemployment, so why would postal officials be any different?
Nevertheless, the fact that the USPS representatives at the Auburn meeting admitted that they didn’t know how to answer the local people’s questions and were just there as secretaries to take down notes is very condemning to the agency.
Finally, on one recent week we editors read a notice posted on the Glenville Post Office’s door that a closure Public Comment meeting about the “Glenville” office was to be held the next week at the “Orlando Community Center.” That news hit us hard, for we editors had thought this local Post Office was large enough to escape the closure studies. Besides, having a Glenville PO meeting in Orlando didn’t make sense, either???
As it came out, the USPS executives had mistakenly placed Glenville’s name in the news release, when it should have been the Orlando Post Office’s closure hearing.
Now, that’s inefficiency!
In conclusion, the United States Congress should be made aware of the gross inefficiency of the top management in the United States Postal Service, thereby opening the avenue of replacing those officials with more competent ones. Then, maybe the planning to revamp the postal system can get on solid footing rather than being done in such a helterskelter manner, as noted above. Nevertheless, like in the military, if planning and efficiency problems exist within the top brass, it’s certain that the “foot soldiers” on the “front line” post offices will not be able to be the typical helpful, courteous and successful USPS representatives to their local customers that they have been traditionally.
Inefficiency is no excuse for the USPS, when it’s no excuse in American businesses.
The Glenville Pathfinder is a newspaper based in Glenville, West Virginia. It was formed from the merger of the Glenville Journal and The Pathfinder. We publish new articles every weekday morning, Monday through Friday.