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Don's World - 200807 - Mail Versus Email

Updated on August 7, 2020
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Don is a Writer and a Storyteller. He has published over 9 books on varied subjects along with many articles and commentary on his blogs.

DON's WORLD - 200807 - Mail versus Email

DON's WORLD - 200807 - Mail Versus Email, a comparison of plus and minus facts.
DON's WORLD - 200807 - Mail Versus Email, a comparison of plus and minus facts. | Source

I Love To RANT, Occasionally

I feel Grumpy today!

So, you may want to just jump over this article because it is definitely going to be a RANT!

To be honest, I actually like to rant about stupid things that I see happening in our world these days; and I’m not ashamed to say it!

And I have to admit that my rants can be about almost anything, from politics to the vagaries of human nature.

At my age, a good Rant clears my head, and if I get really P-O’d it probably clears my arteries a little too.

Anyway, I was sitting here this morning, finishing off my third mug of Coffee, and going through yesterday's pile of mail; real physical mail and not email by the way; when the size of the pile made me think.

Old Physical Mail

Bundle of old mail
Bundle of old mail | Source

I Tried To Help Our Postal System

The volume of the real physical mail sitting in front of me was not the norm; because I don’t get a lot of REAL MAIL anymore. You see, about once every year or so, I examine what I am receiving in my mailbox and I contact the sender of the truly important mail such as bills, birthday cards, and such to see if I can get their mail eliminated.

These days, the business's salivate over the opportunity to have me “go paperless”; which means that I get an email instead of yet another business envelope.

I try to get my real mail via my email and not physically in my mailbox because, well, it’s more efficient. What this does for me is that it reduces the amount of mail I get in that physical mailbox of mine, and it gives me the flexibility to get the same information sent to me on my computer. And I can get my emails regardless of where I might be, whether at home or somewhere on vacation.

By the way, my wife and I still use our old motorhome and we still travel a little in it, so when I change my mail over to email; I can be, at home or in a campsite, anywhere I have access to WIFI and I can still receive and respond to my emails.

At first, it was a great experience for me, being able to open my mailbox several days of the month and see nothing in it. I figured originally that every day I looked into an empty mailbox, I had helped save my government money.

I felt that I had accomplished several things;

  • I had helped save a tree or two, because there were less trees cut down to make the paper used in my physical mail.
  • I had helped reduce the size our local landfill because I was no longer tossing the vast majority of my physical mail into the trash after I had read it,
  • I had helped reduce the amount of my planet's natural fuels that was consumed by the Post Office systems, across the country and around the world, used to deliver my mail; both to me and from me.
  • I was now communicating instantly with people and companies rather than waiting 3-5 days for mail deliveries.

I was so proud of myself when I implemented this changeover the first time and I even thought others would do the same.

My email was getting to me and from me much more efficiently than ever before and I was confident that the Post Office systems around the world would take advantage of this reduced workload and make dramatic improvements in their delivery systems.

That paragraph alone proves just how stupid a person like me can be at times. I truly expected a government organization like the Postal System to be proactive and improve how they did things. HAH!

Postal System Problems

Here are a few of what I see as some of the problems with our Post Office system and how it operates that they will never change, mostly because they have no real incentive to be a better tool for Americans;

  • Stamps - The postal system originally tried to pay for itself with those little postage stamps you stick onto envelopes and packages you wanted to send to someone else, somewhere else.
  • Fiscal Responsibility - In all honesty, the Postal System spend so many years without any responsibility for their costs of operation that they would just raise the cost of a postage stamp if they needed more money.
  • Inefficiencies - By continually raising the costs for mailing packages as a reaction to inflation, the Postal System eventually provided an opportunity for numerous package shipping companies such as UPS, FedEx, and others to design more efficient package management and delivery systems and take the majority of this business away from the Postal system.
  • Politicians took over - I think this was the death knell for our national Postal system, the fact that our politicians decided to take over the budget allocation for our postal system. But you know our politicians; they know how to spend money, but they are pretty stupid when it comes to intelligently managing the changes necessary for improving anything they touch. And the Postal System is a great example of their failure.
  • Ridiculous Costs - Let me give you an example of the outrageous costs of using our Postal System;

I took a book to the Post Office so I could mail it to my Son, a little over a month ago. It was just a normal sized paperback book, mind you.

I have always been able to do this in the past for only a dollar or two because it was categorized as being a document. When the postal clerk rang it up though, the postal clerk told me the charge was going to be over $11.00.

Well, I choked on such an exorbitant charge and I started in on the clerk, He held his hand up to stop my tirade and said, “Sir, I can ship that for less if you let me use First Class mail.

I asked him how much it would be so he pressed a couple of buttons on his computer and now smiling at me he said; “That will be only $6 (roughly, I can’t remember the actual number)”.

Grinding my teeth, I stuck my debit card in their machine, paid their fee and escaped from this scene of such financial insanity, vowing never to go there again.

What Can Be Done?

But, as I sat there in my car, wondering why the cost was so high, I thought about a few other things with post office charges.

First, what happened to the old “Document” charge where you could send a document, be it a book or a magazine, to someone for a low price.

Secondly, why can business’ send their little packages to me for very low fees, literally only a couple of bucks on average, and i cannot?

Third, and most importantly, I have to ask just how long we as taxpayers are going to allow such an inefficient outdated monster like our Postal System, to survive.

I mean, should it be torn down and commercialized? Look at how many delivery companies are beating our Postal System prices which they are delivering to us faster and cheaper?

Anyway, I’m a little more calm that I was when I started this rant, so I’ll just sit here, reading my email on my PC and watch as the; UPS, FedEx, and Postal Service trucks jockey around each other on my street looking for parking spaces so they can deliver their packages and move down the block to their next stop faster than their competitor.


‘Nuff Said!


by: Don Bobbitt, All Rights Reserved


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Don Bobbitt

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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      11 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Eric - Yes, snail mail, as you call it really does work for me also when it's actually something someone took the time to actually write.

      But, when all they want is for me to fill in some boxes with my credit card number and place x's in boxes, just email it please!

      Thanks for your Comment,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      11 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Liz - Oh, I love to get a card or maybe a few photos of my grandkids, so I also ride the fence on the thought of a complete changeover from physical mails. But, I do have to reiterate how much faster and convenient the email systems of the world are for me when it comes to about 75% of what I use.

      I guess I was a bit of a fool to think our government would evaluate this wnole world of mail/email and come up with a next-generation system that worked better, faster and cheaper?

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      DON

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      interesting rant. Actually if that is all you got -- don't even call it a rant hihihi. I would rather subsidize my mail carriers than so much other things.

      But do not look over here, our life is too good. Yes I write at least two snail mails per week.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      11 months ago from Beautiful South

      I think I go through a daily rant about all the junk mail, bills, medical and pharmaceutical statements from our insurance carriers (at our age those add up) that pile up on my sofa and make it nearly uninhabitable. Sometimes it takes days to clear it all and file the necessary mail. In the meantime, our poor cats lounge on the chair arms instead of lying beside me. Being a writer, there's no room on my desk for all this pile of mail. So there was a time when I wouldn't have cared a bit about the demise of the post office.

      But then I started converted to ebilling and started facing those consequences. I found that some companies, like a utility company, used outside billing sources that charged for electronic payments. The average charge was around $3, which was about six times more than the price of a stamp, and those companies provide free envelops. The finance company somehow locked my electronic account when I chose electronic billpay, and I had to call them monthly to unlock it. Sometimes the internet or my computer was down when the payment was due, and I was late on a couple of payments. Our credit rating could be affected through no fault of our own.

      So, I've concluded that as frustrated as I get at the mail that comes in, the demise of the post office would be a detriment to the average consumer.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      11 months ago from UK

      Your switching over to email is impressive. I have noticed a divide in the UK between those, like you, who are keen to switch for many good reasons, and those who still prefer the old mail. I too have been horrified by postal charges.

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