So, when I need something for which I normally would hop in the car and go to the appropriate store, I instead head for the computer and warm its keyboard.
I recently ran out of postage stamps. This is a rare occurrence because I don’t use them much anymore when it is so easy to communicate faster and frequently with emails, texts, and other forms of digital annoyance.
Being the good COVID-19 respecter I am, I decided to order the stamps online. Since I was going to be on the USPS site anyway, I thought I’d add in a few already stamped envelopes.
Now I’ve been on the site previously and found it to be annoying. It’s probably my lack of acuity in traversing such platforms, but I felt it was difficult to determine how much postage was required to mail a letter to Australia. Thus, I entered the activity with a bit of concern. Because now I was going to have to create an account, a significant step up from browsing.
I am pleased to say that turned out to be easy and I felt like a computer nerd. It was a snap to find what I wanted and place items in my cart. There was a menu that said “Stamps” and another that included the word “Envelopes,” significant clues on how to proceed. You have to be a little careful with the stamps section because, while they show you a large selection of choices, all choices aren’t the same. For example, there was one whose design I liked and almost ordered, only to find they were for international letters and cost over a dollar, not 55 cents.
Eventually I was ready to check out. Now these were items I could walk less than a mile to buy, and normally would. It turns out there is a shipping and handling charge. Maybe I can understand the handling, but these are post office items coming from the post office that presumably has an understanding of shipping. But, whatever. The post office is in trouble and I’m happy to help.
Then I see the notice that the items will be delivered in three to five days! The post office can’t deliver something readily available close by in less time, while Amazon can!
This wasn’t the end of it. A second notice indicated I should add three to five additional days because of a “heavy load.” The expected time thus ran from 6 to 10 days.
Why is the load heavy now? It’s even lull time between all the trash delivered before the local primary and that to come before the general election.
I placed my order August 20. I received a notice of shipment September 1. I received my order September 3, 14 days after placing it!
I can’t help but wonder if this is a not so subtle training of the public to accept the slowing of mail before the election. I know the Trump lackey running the post office has said that’s nonsense, that his top priority will be the election mail. Now, I believe him. I really do. I think election mail is his top priority. But to slow it down, not to deliver it in a speedy fashion! After all, he’s not going to put back collection boxes he snatched up or return to service sorting machines he dismantled. In fact, I have heard but not verified that, since his pledge to do no more harm before the election, at least one sorting machine has been taken down.
It’s a sorry situation when the only way a candidate can win is if he lies, cheats, and suppresses votes—or delays vote-by-mail ballots.
The United States may never have been as great a nation as we like to think it is, but over the last four years it has sunk to unforeseen depths. The post office sickness is only a small part.
We have one chance left, and only one. And it’s coming November 3rd.