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February 1st, 2003

An Open Letter to the Post Office

Dear Post Office Near My Workplace:

It’s February 1st. Have you noticed that yet? I was thinking that it might be time to take down the huge banner you have across the front of your building that says, “Your holiday shipping center” and shows a postman walking through snow to deliver presents.

You can probably also pull down the signs you have inside showing families opening their gifts by a fireplace, with the men wearing fuzzy sweaters. The Christmas decorations are visible in the pictures and it’s pretty clear they were meant to be taken down about four weeks ago.

What’s taking you so long, guys? Is it just that you haven’t gotten around to taking down your tree yet? Or are you trying to keep Christmas with you, all through the year?


[ Update… as of early April, the raggedy sign from outside had come down but as of early June, the holiday sign inside the post office, which has a note on it that says “Display until December 29, 2002,” is still hanging. ]

Posted in Consumer Commentary

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday February 1, 2003 -- 12:47:58 pm
This coming from the guy who kept his christmas lights on the house way into January last year ;) I trust you got them down sooner this year?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Saturday February 1, 2003 -- 1:47:50 pm
How'd I know you were going to bring that up? :)

Actually, this year, they never went up... so, in that respect, I had them down 11 months early!

FROM: Paul
DATE: Saturday February 1, 2003 -- 2:26:41 pm
Hey, can I add a postscript?

My local post office has a big poster up talking about... postage. But they took a low-resolution image from PhotoDisc (yes, the infamous "looking down on a person" shot) and blew it up to about 2' x 1'. Therefore, it's all pixel-y and blocky.

Please, get rid of it. Thank you.

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Tuesday February 4, 2003 -- 1:38:10 am
They can remove the holiday signs when all my damn Christmas presents get delivered to my friends. (Which as of February 4th, hasnt happened yet).

Until then, ho ho ho, dammit!

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday March 18, 2003 -- 4:56:08 pm
As an update, on March 18, 2003, the banner is still hanging up outside (now even rattier and filled with more holes) and the "warm holidayish" signs are still posted inside.

Dave -- Have your friends gotten the Christmas presents you sent yet?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday March 18, 2003 -- 5:01:21 pm
I just sent a version of the letter that appears here to the USPS via their web site. Let's see if it makes anything happen.

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Tuesday March 18, 2003 -- 6:23:07 pm
Ryan --

As an update on this front, one did, although the box was EXTREMELY damaged (fortunately, the gift box was just slightly damaged, and the actual item came out ok) for the other, It's a good thing I got the thing insured..apparently, it either fell off a truck somewhere around Atlanta, or someone decided it was an early Christmas for them. In either case, I got my declared value for the item in a check..with which I then purchased the same item again, and used FedEx to send it. They got the item 2 days later.


FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday June 3, 2003 -- 1:46:20 pm
Just a note: I added an update to the "sign situation" at the local post office.

John Public May 14, 2007, 12:55 pm

Why does the USPS pretend to offer tracking on packages when there is never any current information available? Often the info will finally show up days after the package is received. I know that people use USPS because it’s cheaper but let’s drop the pretend tracking service. Like most people I know, I only use USPS when no other service is offered (eBay) but I should still expect some degree of honesty from a government agency. Either compete in a real fashion by hiring non-attitudinal workers and otherwise emulating the the quality shipping companies or just live in the reality that the USPS is a second rate operation based on price alone.

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