Can I tell you something?
When I hear folks complaining about the USPS, it makes me a little sad. Because I adore the postal service.
The US postal service provides an amazing service and isn’t in as much financial trouble as the rumors report.
My postal carrier delivers mail to my doorstep 6 days a week. He picks up packages from my door to take back to the postal office. And USPS will hold or forward my mail if I go on vacation or move.
Isn’t that amazing?
If that strikes you as ‘same old, same old’, then let’s chat about the postal service in other countries:
- In Australia, the postman does not pick up letters from your door. Or deliver on Saturdays.
- Some countries do not offer a hold on mail, so you are responsible for managing your own packages while on vacation. Other countries charge a fee.
- The Canada Post had a 12 day strike in 2011, leaving many people (and businesses!) unable to conduct their normal business. Can you imagine?
- The USPS cost of shipping a package is much cheaper than in many other countries!
We receive continuous service for a low price (even despite last year’s price increase). And USPS does it all without any taxpayer money (unlike Britain’s post, where low prices are a result of heavy subsidies)!
You may have heard that the post office is experiencing financial difficulties, which is true. It’s happening all across the world as people send fewer letters.
However, much of the losses come from government legislation requiring USPS to pre-fund a benefit account, a unique funding situation most companies don’t have to contend with.
Yeah, it’s a tough situation… but don’t take it out on your mailman.
In Maryland, a postal worker was recently shot amid numerous recent attacks on mail carriers.
My mailman is a ‘substitute’, since a hiring freeze leaves them unable to hire more permanent carriers. But he still his job amazingly, even bringing me bags (for my outgoing boxes) without me even asking.
Your carrier is probably stressed during this busy season, and the negative sentiment going around about the post office can’t be lifting his spirits. So, next time you see your mail carrier, give him a friendly wave! Say hi! Tell him you appreciate him.
He brings happiness to your doorstep!
I’m with you on this one. I live 22 miles from town. My mail carrier has to cover everything from town. Every road, every road the shoots off of a road, every mail box, everything. She drives down township roads that are often not wide enough for 2 vehicles, sometimes in winter not plowed very well. She never misses a day. She starts her route 5 miles out of town and comes out to me and then another set of roads and mailboxes. She is always cheerful. She only comes to the house when I have package to large for my box. My box is 1/4 mile from my house, because that is the closest the post office will allow it to be. So because she bids for her contract out here bringing a package to me is on her dime.
Yep I really like my postal carrier. I always try to give her something at Christmas. Homemade cookies, or a hat I made. Something just to say Thanks!
Cookies is such a great idea! And you’re totally right… I didn’t even mention the rural carriers- boy, do they have a tough job!
I have a similar situation so I can totally relate. I LOVE the USPS for all the the reasons both Stacey and Trudy stated. And from my experiences, in most cases the USPS fees are cheaper than any of the other services.
Love to the mail carriers of the USPS!
Speaking as a retired mail carrier it is nice to hear something positive about the postal service. Your mail carrier sounds like a gem.
He is a gem… but you know what? I’ve had a lot of carriers in my life (in 4 different states), and they’ve all been great! I could be really lucky… but I also feel like most folks (no matter what their profession) want to do a good job. And if you’re nice to them, they shine through!
This article epitomizes one of the primary reasons I so love you and your blog! When I first stumbled across your site this year (I wish I could remember HOW I found you), I was immediately taken in by your positive attitude and spirit! Not only do you design amazingly cute animals, you have such a generous and giving spirit. Your website is bright and fun, and while I don’t know you personally…I feel like I do…it is reminiscent of your personality.
THANK YOU! For being a bright spot on the Internet and in the world…and for reminding us to focus on the good!
Oh, Karie… you are the sweetest! Thank you so much for your kind words!
Merry Christmas to you, too!
When anyone complains about the post office to me I generally will say : “well then, here’s a letter i am sending to Japan, will you take it there for me for $1.00 –no? Oh ok I will go to the post office then”
I like your attitude! I also think those of us that were in the recent ice storm need to stop criticizing the road crews!
Yes, Jann… the same applies to road crews!
Where I’m originally from (Maryland), we would get occasional snow storms (36″ in 2010!) and folks were very cranky about the road crews. But, the frank truth is that somewhere like Maryland doesn’t own the same equipment for handling snow as a state like Minneapolis… and given the frequency of the snow, that’s actually a wise choice! It would be nice for folks to keep in mind that workers are generally doing the best with the tools they have available.
A couple of years ago a wrote a post about my postmistress. She’s the ONLY staff at my tiny local PO and she’s awesome. She’s worked there now for 52 years! http://www.shinyhappyworld.com/2011/11/meet-becky-and-thanks-and-a-peek-at-december.html
I, too, love the USPS. I don’t even have to go to the post office to mail packages from my Etsy shop. They pick it up at my front door! I always give me carrier and knit mittens, scarf or arm warmers during the holiday season.
I will say that one reason many countries have high post charges, is they are heavily taxed for their “free” health care.
Have a great week,
I agree that the USPS services is amazing. I can tell you that in France, the services are not as good and there is always a huge line at the post office (making customers angry, so they are not so friendly with the personnel, which as a consequence is not too friendly neither…). The people working at my post office in the US are always smiling and very helpful.
I love to hear that, Cecile! (Well, the nice stuff about the US postal service, at least 🙂 )
Funny this post was in my email box today-I happened to be near the front door when the mailman came today, which almost never happens…so I opened the door, and said, “Hello mail-person!”, then thanked him when he gave me the mail. What I smile I received in return!
For a little bit, mail service had gotten pretty lax at times, but to me I have seen a noticeable improvement. I have also come to learn that sometimes delivery issues such as the mail-person coming at 8 pm on a non holiday weekday, usually has more to do with their managers poor scheduling skills than the mail-person. So, thanks for letting your readers know!
Yes, that’s a great point… one day, my mail came very late… it turns out that the person who was supposed to run the route quit- without telling anyone! He left all the mail in the truck in the garage and just went home. Everyone scurried to get the mail out… and it was late, but it came! So many companies would have just said, ‘oh, well, we’ll deliver it tomorrow’, but not USPS!
How uplifting are your thoughts and words. We only hear or see the negative about others which I have never seen from you, and you are to be applauded for your positivity. Also, for your great blog which I truly enjoy.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Thank you, Pat 🙂
I love the USPS! In the 5 yrs I’ve been using them to ship patterns to LYS there’s only been one MIA – and it was made good through insurance. That’s some kind of wonderful!
So for anyone from USPS reading this: THANK YOU & Happy Holidays! I appreciate your hard work – have seen it in action and it’s awesome. 🙂
(and thanks for this post Stacey! HH2U2!)
Totally agree with Loving USPS! Currently live in China, would have to take over the website to describe to difference between our good-old very inexpensive, efficient, RELIABLE, US Postal Service and what you can sometimes access here if you are lucky, come on the right day, and carry enough yen to cover all unforseen possibilities…… ;-D
A different country can really give you a fresh perspective, huh?
The thing about needing extra money to cover taxes/fees has come up in conversation with a few people… seems so crazy to us Americans!
I love my mailman!! His name is Jeff and goes over and above to give us great service!!
Chicago is notorious for questionable USPS employees, and I’ve had my share of terrible experiences – but I have also had some really great ones, too! As a person who also sends and receives a LOT of packages, I have learned the optimal times to go to the post office, who the “good” clerks are at the window, and not to be afraid of the self-service kiosk or printing shipping labels at home (those last two are a real joy!). I remember my French teacher in high school telling us about all of the mail strikes which would happen when she was studying abroad and how terrible it would sometimes be because she would be waiting on more money or provisions from home! We’re definitely lucky that isn’t something we have to contend with here. Since getting mail is the highlight of my day now that I work from home, I sometimes forget all of this stuff and get frustrated when my mail arrives super-late. Again, NOT a big deal! It’s all about perspective – at least the mail arrives each day, rain or shine!
What anoys me is people that I order say a block of the month
(I am a eager quilter too) send me a tracking nr and then wait for 21 days for my parcel, then afther 21 I normally contact them and complain about parcel not received yet, they then always give the post office the blame. Afther long email discussions and without my paid parcels they still blame the post office. To find out that the tracking nr was not registered at all makes me feel very sorry for people in the post offices get the blame and not the person who made the mistake at the beginning of sending parcels.
Yes, it is very sad to blame the post office if it isn’t their fault!
Thank you for this post especially linking to an explanation of the reason for the Postal Service’s financial difficulties. The USPS provides great service that we often take for granted. I get tired of the knee jerk criticism of the USPS that I often hear.
I’m not even in the US and I love the USPS! Their tracking numbers actually work (until the package reaches Australia and into the hands of Australia Post), and they deliver things quickly and very cheaply! Also, from what I understand you can buy postage stamps online? That’s amazing! I didn’t realise they actually came to your door. I wish they would do that here; it was 40 degrees celcius here yesterday and I had to walk up a hill to the postbox 1km away!
It’s true, we can buy stamps online and the grocery store! It’s very convenient 🙂
i just had to agree – i always give a kind word of thanks to our mail carriers… they do a great service and i dont ‘think people get all they do.. I have had issues with them on occasion, yes… but overall, if we lose the USPS, it is going to impact all of us… my dad always says he tries to give them more “business” and i tend to use them over stuff like online bill-pay … anyway… where we are it’s not that big a deal (no snow) but i can imagine in areas where it snows regularly in the winter, yet they still deliver…
I love seeing all of these wonderful comments and stories regarding the USPS. I myself am a carrier in Philadelphia and I can most definitely say all the carriers I work with often go above and beyond for their customers. Buying stamps or even bringing older people groceries once off the clock is something I know myself and others have done many times. Its always service with a smile even when I may be having a crappy day or its freezing cold and raining. Its all about good service to the customers and in the 3 stations I’ve worked throughout the city in my 10 years with the company
Thanks so much for writing in, Sean! I know that carriers provide a community service even though it’s not technically part of their job description: my grandmother always found the visit of the friendly carrier a highlight to her day!
I’d say 95% of my fellow carriers are always striving to do th best job they can. Thanks and merry Christmas!