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Let’s make the USPS a little less crappy

I really hate the USPSSo yesterday, I wasn’t able to get to the post office to get my package. Today, after seeing that the mailman had already stopped by (he didn’t ring the bell this time, we were home all day). It looked like it was just one of those mailers sent out by grocery stores, so I just shoved it into the box (again, the mail man just leaves it hanging out) and continued on my way to the post office.

I had checked the tracking on packages that I was expecting, and another was just dropped off by UPS at the post office (Oh how I love those dual carrier shipping methods…), so I advise the lady at the counter when I got there that there were probably two packages. She tells me that if they just got it in today, then it’s out on the truck to be delivered, then proceeds into the back to get my packages. She returns with one small box, the box that is supposed to be on the truck being delivered right now. I advise her of this, and she then goes in the back again, to return with the package that I was to have received on the 31st.

The best part? When I returned home, I take that grocery mailer out of the box, and find two slips about not being able to deliver packages. He never even tried to deliver them. Plus, one said it was a final notice. The package that she left in the back would have been returned to the sender if I hadn’t checked the tracking and told her that there was definitely another package back there…

I have an idea as what we can do to make the USPS a little better.

Step One: They enter the 20th century. Everybody gets a USPS email address. You can either check it on their site, or forward it to another address. When you sign up for any government services, you’re given the choice of mail or email for any documents that they would normally be sending you.

Step Two: Following this, home delivery stops. When you receive a letter or package, you get an email or text advising you that it’s been received and you can go pick it up. You can still pay for home delivery, or apply for it if you are unable to go to the post office yourself, such as for the elderly or infirm.

Step Three: This is a minor step really, but it will be rather helpful for us. The USPS puts a big garbage can in their office, and when we pick up the mail, we hand them all the junk that we don’t want, and then they have to dispose of it. With the current system, what little “profit” they make generally comes from the tons and tons of junk mail that is sent out. Nobody writes letters anymore. The only people that send mail with any regularity are the ones trying to get you to sign up for a credit card. Since the USPS are the only people that want this crap, let it clog up their trash.

Step Four: We stop giving out a street address for reasons of mailing things. Since we don’t get delivery to the street anymore, why would we use our street address? When we set up our personal USPS email, we give them our current street address and they then assign you a post office. If you move, instead of giving out your new address to thousands of different people and companies, they would continue to send to your personal address, and you would only have to update your address with the post office. Your personal address would consist of a hexadecimal number and two word. So your address may be “3a4f98 Red Maple”. This way, its still a familiar format to what we currently have, and give the ability to have many different addresses. You wouldn’t need to include a name, city, state, or zip, since that would be associated with your mailing address by the post office. This would also help keep your mail a bit more private. You would still receive mail sent to your street address, but eventually, this could be phased out as usage drops off. This address could in fact be the same as your email address, making it easier to remember or contact the people that you need to contact.

By switching to more email, we can reduce the amount of paper that is used and mailed by the federal government. This right here will greatly reduce costs and make things easier. The post office will save money on not providing service to the door anymore (not just paying the mailmen, but also cost of new vehicles, maintenance, and fuel), and actually make money based on the people that still want to receive it. Likewise, post offices would start to offer more p.o. boxes for customers. People with a box would not have to wait in line to get their mail from a desk clerk. This means more revenue going into the USPS for people who do not want to wait in lines. All those unemployed mail carriers would now have an option to work inside the post office itself. There would be need for more clerks to watch the desk now that there will be more foot traffic, as well as people behind the scenes to move and sort mail. With more people coming into the post office, they could also bank on more supplies and services offered on site.

The USPS could be so much more than just a place where the employees are rude at you for not knowing the difference between first class and priority mail.