Thursday, April 15, 2021

Pressing to restore on-time mail delivery

I know we all have our horror stories about the U.S. Postal Service. I have shared mine a few times over the years.

And, unfortunately, our readers get to live their own nightmares far too often with the delivery of our newspaper.

My biggest gripe with the postal service is its mail delivery.

I'll use my parents as a classic example of what has become nothing short of aggravation on a regular basis. They are faithful readers of this newspaper. They live in central Minnesota so their paper has arrived as early as Thursday, the day after it is printed (can't arrive any sooner than that) to the following Wednesday and anywhere in between. The most common seems to be the Monday or Tuesday after. Yep, it has taken as long as seven days for them to get the paper. 

Many of our readers outside of the immediate area of Steele County have experienced similar battles in getting our newspaper. I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Unless it's a holiday, we follow the same procedure every week and mail the paper on Wednesday afternoons. Just like clockwork.

Newspapers aren't the only things getting lost in the mail vacuum.

I had to chuckle in early December when my brother sent me a Christmas card from Wisconsin. I kept hearing about the card from my parents, but nothing showed up in my box. My mother mentioned something about me not getting the card. So my brother put another one in the mail.

You wouldn't believe what happened. On Dec. 16, I received two cards — one postmarked Nov. 30 and the other stamped Dec. 11. Explain how that happens. I can't even begin to offer an explanation.

While I continue to feel the postal blues, I took a little comfort in learning last week that Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her colleagues are pressing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on persistent mail delays and the need to restore on-time mail delivery.

It appears I'm not alone in my woes with the postal service.

Klobuchar said many Americans continue to face unacceptable problems in postal delivery performance.

"Our constituents have experienced missed paychecks and court notices, delayed critical prescriptions, an inability to reach small business customers and suppliers, lost rent payments and delayed credit card payments resulting in late fees, breakdowns in service to their communities, late personal mail such as holiday packages, and more," said Klobuchar.

The senators demanded that DeJoy not make additional changes that will harm service for the American people. They also urged the postmaster to be fully transparent with the public about the Postal Service operations and the reasons they are still facing delays.

Recent reports have suggested DeJoy intends to implement a strategic plan that would further slow down the mail and unacceptably decrease service for millions of Americans who rely on the Postal Service.

I recently took advantage of a survey from the Postal Service inquiring about how it's doing. I shared my woes in the survey. However, not surprisingly, I haven't heard anything back from the survey.

Maybe a jolt from a group of influential senators will shake things up. But I'm not really counting on that to turn things around.

One thing is certain.

Something needs to happen so the Postal Service can go in hot pursuit of remaining a vibrant, sustainable institution for generations to come.

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917
507-583-4431

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