Saturday, December 27, 2008

Postal service, workers need some competition

Nothing angers me more than poor service to the customer, particularly the taxpayer.

And the U.S. Postal Service in the past several days has shown itself to be an institution -- like The Tennessean -- to be more interested in serving itself first.

I tried to mail some important legal papers on Christmas Eve here in downtown Nashville. I walked about a mile to the post office, and it had closed at noon. It had only been open for three and a half hours. Yet I'm sure employees got paid for a full day.

Now I'm not a Scrooge, and so I forgave that. Yet the day after Christmas, I returned to the same post office and it had closed at noon again, for another three and a half hour day. Now that went too far.

If you are branch of the federal government supported by the taxpayers, then you stay open a full day and work a full day. If you don't want to, then take a holiday or sick day. The Postal Service sure doesn't hesitate to raise stamp prices. The place pays well and workers get a lot of holidays. Good for them and their union.

But for goodness sakes, please put in a full day when you're supposed to, just like the people who are paying your salaries.

Now I know this post -- just like what I write about The Tennessean -- won't change these entrenched institutions dedicated to first serving self. That's why new and aggressive competition is needed. Surely there is some entity that could make things run for less than the current stamp price and fewer holidays and a tad lower wages.

Competition is the only thing that ensures the people are served first and best, as it should be.

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