Bad News

In a statistical overview of New York City, the NY Times mislabels a postal delivery person and mail box with a caption describing the City's monthly garbage output. [DH]

At least bad for the consumer. USPS has started printing the interiors of its express mail shipping products so they cannot be turned inside out and repurposed. [DH]

An update on my local post office. It reopened about two months after Sandy. Without any explanation of what took so long. As of mid-March, they still aren't accepting credit or debit cards or processing any international mail, and they don't want to talk about it. [DH]

Post Office Buildings With Character, and Maybe a Sale Price I found this article about selling off historic post offices so depressing I couldn't finish reading it. [TN]

USPS Releasing A Menswear Fashion Line In Spring 2014. Should this go under good news or bad news? [TN]

Outbox. Hard to watch. Harder to believe it isn't a parody. [DH, by way of JP]

Official USPS announcement. Remember when you used to get mail on Saturdays? [TN]

The competition is ruthless: "15 indicted on mail theft at FedEx sorting hub: Federal grand jury charges 15 former FedEx workers with stealing from USPS mail at Memphis hub." [DH]

My local post office was damaged by hurricane Sandy. As of today (12/7/2012) it has yet to reopen. I have invested several hours trying to learn if and when it ever will. To no avail. There is a New York City branch of the USPS's Consumer Affairs Office, which, as I have been told by many of USPS's useless but cheerful 800 operators, exists for no other reason than to answer questions like mine. I have called this office about ten times. Each time I get an automated message that says All analysts are currently serving other customers. Please try again between the hours of 9am and 4pm. (It says this no matter what time it is.) Then the system hangs up. I admit that it is an interpretation, but I view this as bad news. [DH]

I am waiting in line at the post office, watching the one clerk work with what can only be described as intentional slowness. It appears she is trying to broadcast her slowness to all of us waiting in line, like a forcefield. I would like to disable this forcefield and freely distribute stamps of all shapes and colors to my fellow customers. Then music will come on and the whole place will erupt in a spontaneous dance number like in that bjork video. [TN]

Starbucks to Open Another 1,500 Cafes in the US. I'm not sure why this is bad news for the post office. Something about competitive ubiquity maybe. [DH]

Without significant changes to its labor practices, Postmaster General Patrick Donahue believes the Postal Service could be headed the way of Hostess Brands. Which would mean no more junk mail with your no more Ding Dongs, Twinkies, Ho Hos and Wonder bread. [DH]

Four days of operating expenses seems too short. [TN]

$1.25 for two 44c stamps. [TN]

"Charlie Webster, the outgoing chairman of the Maine G.O.P., wants to investigate alleged voter fraud by unknown black people in unnamed rural towns..." using a non-existent USPS service: the return of undeliverable postcards. Read more. [DH]

Nixon, Ron. "Postal Service Reports $15.9 Billion Loss." New York Times Online. November 15, 2012. [TN]

The Post Office's Official Turnaround Plan [DH]
1. Change the standard of first-class mail from one to three days to two to five days.
2. Give away packing materials people don't mind paying for.
3. While withholding tape.
4. Incentivize new sources of junk mail.
5. Raise rates.
6. Abandon unprofitable zones/routes (rural America).
7. Eliminate Saturday delivery.

Lance was cheating all along. [DH]

Some speculate that the Post Office has forgotten what the green mail boxes are for. In New York City many postal workers appear to use them as lockers--the ones that haven't been cut from their bases and tossed out with the trash. [DH]

Mirkinson, Jack. "Newsweek Ending Print Edition, Going All-Digital In 2013; Job Cuts Expected." The Huffington Post. October 18, 2012. To say nothing of the ever-accelerating, post-print-world hit to the Post Office's bottom line. [DH]

Morath, Eric. "Postal Service Hits Borrowing Cap for First Time." Wall Street Journal Online. October 16, 2012. [DH]

The Associated Press. "Higher Postage Rates Coming in January." New York Times Online. October 12, 2012. [DH]

Nixon, Ron. "Seeking Revenue, Postal Service Plans to Deliver More Junk Mail." New York Times Online. September 12, 2012. [DH]

Spector, Dina and Kim Bhasin. " 11 Services That The US Post Office Has Already Eliminated." Business Insider. August 1, 2012. [DH]

Staff Report. "Mailbox vandalism spree reported in Bowie County." News Journal. July 3, 2012. [DH]

Greenhouse, Steven. "Next-Day Mail Faces Postal Service Cuts." New York Times Online. December 5, 2011. [DH]