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Brian1946's avatar

What personally-viewed evidence have you seen that the US Postal Service is doing less business than it used to? If you haven't seen any, what evidence have you seen otherwise?

Asked by Brian1946 (27509points) April 1st, 2010

I’ve seen evidence to the contrary, but I realize that my anecdotal observations aren’t necessarily indicative of the overall economic status of the USPS.

Here they are anyway:

I went to my local branch last 2/22 and the line was almost out of the building.
It was at least as long as any other line that I’ve seen there, and I’ve been going there for about 20+ years (it might be 30, but that office might not have been there when I got my house 36 years ago).

Today as I was trying to deposit a letter in a box near my house just before pick-up time, I had trouble opening the deposit door because it was so full of mail.

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13 Answers

escapedone7's avatar

Just in my own personal life, I do e-mail now more often than hand writing letters. I do still send many cards and hand written letters, but not near as many as before. However I am ordering loads of items from online instead of shopping at stores, and much of what I buy is now shipped to me via the postal service. I also have sold many many things on ebay and shipped via the US postal service. So really although technology has changed how frequently I write small notes, it has increased dramatically the number of packages I send and receive.
I pay some of my bills online, but many I prefer to write out the check and put a stamp on. I don’t know why. I just do.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

They’re talking about not working on Saturday anymore.

coogan's avatar

I don’t have hard evidence, but the performance of one branch shouldn’t serve as an indicator for the whole. USPS also is their own entity. They’re not part of the government as some might think. Aside from that, they’ve had problems with employees timing their stops (technically time theft), so they can do the bare minimum and know they won’t get fired. UPS, who I have worked for, deems you get all of the packages off your truck before you come back…or else. That’s why they’re animals on and off the road .Chances are you won’t see a fat UPS employee for long. They’ll either shed the weight or quit.

chyna's avatar

They took out the stamp machines at our local post office, so now I can’t buy stamps there on off hours. I have to buy them at the drug store. Kinda silly that you can’t buy stamps at the post office.

MissAusten's avatar

There’s always a long line at our local post office when I go, which is about once a week. I ship packages regularly for my husband’s business as well as a book swapping website I belong to. However, I go to the post office shortly after noon, which is when I take my son to preschool. At that time, there are probably more people using their lunch hour to mail things or buy postage, and all but one or two of the postal workers are on their lunch hour. I’ll have to go in sometime other than lunch to get a different perspective!

Even when I don’t leave home to mail packages, I still use the USPS website to print and pay for postage, then schedule a package pick-up. I still use snail mail for things like invitations and thank-you cards, but we pay almost all of our bills online now.

So, locally, I haven’t noticed a difference in postal activity in the past several years. They still seem to be quite busy. As long as companies insist on sending out junk mail, we’ll always have plenty of mail arriving in our mailbox. :)

YARNLADY's avatar

We no longer receive nor pay any of our bills by mail. It is all done on computer. All our personal correspondence is done online.

All of my hand made greeting cards sit unused, because it is all e-cards now. I had to stop making greeting cards to send out as gift boxes, because people don’t use them. The only time I use the mail is to send out packages with the coasters, picture frames and tote bags that I make.

jaytkay's avatar

It doesn’t take much imagination to see how email and the Internet in general are replacing physical mail.

Sad for me, I love the post office.
A letter goes cross-country in 3 days for $0.44.
Priority mail packages in 2 days for $4.90

I hoped that Internet retail would make up the difference, keeping up the volume. But the USPS is running huge deficits and I doubt Saturday delivery will exist in a year.

trailsillustrated's avatar

oh my god. I regularly mail stuff to australia, the last time the line was out the door. There was a handwritten sign taped up ‘no passport applications between 11–1’, some guy that had apparently taken time off to drive across town went off in the lobby. A postal worker pulled my daughter and me out of line to use the automatic machine (we had large packages) I know these don’t do foreign mail, but the worker assured me they did. Of course, she was wrong, and had to explain and apologise when we got back in line. Then we got some woman who did our packages totally differently than usual, they took twice as long to get there, was rude… gah

jaytkay's avatar


Yes, there are usually lines at my neighborhood post office. And it’s tiny, with 2 clerks, it’s not like they could add/remove people and reduce/lengthen the line.

I buy postage online, but I drop off mail in person, hoping they get credit for serving me. I really want that office to stay open.

Nullo's avatar

In just the last few years, my area went from having three post offices to having one.

escapedone7's avatar

Yes, the one area where I could really see them saving some money is the way many post offices are so close together. Some rural areas are dotted with one tiny village after another, each one has its own post office. It seems they could consolidate a little, letting one large post office cover 3 villages or something. I am thinking of one village in particular that is about 8 streets wide, and is only 5 miles from two other larger villages with post offices. Does there have to be a separate building with separate employees for every little tiny village, when they are often only a few miles apart? That is where I think some waste is going on. Yet in some really huge cities just a few post offices can cover quite a large area. Hmmm. They choose to tackle their budget by cutting Saturdays and pulling stamp machines. Seems like they run things just a little silly.

FutureMemory's avatar

I have two uncles that work for the post office. They say overall volume is down, to the point they are no longer offered extra shifts (overtime).

CodePinko's avatar

There’s talk about the Postal Service eliminating Saturday service.
Am I the only one that’s excited about the price of stamps coming down?

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