I hate the damn Post Office. Oh I find a few clerks and carriers here and there that are nice people, but a majority of the people I interact with there are just frustratingly incompetent and/or assholes. I don’t do any direct mailing, so fortunately I do not have to deal with them for that. However I do a lot of EDDM mailings which means I am often at the front counter trying to mail 5000 postcards. This is where what little hair I have left gets pulled out.
Let me first tell you what an EDDM mailing is. It is a program the Post Office came up with that is actually a good thing. You can mail to entire carrier routes for just $.185 per piece in postage. It makes it really affordable for smaller businesses who depend on local communities for work to be able to mail without breaking the bank. As an example, a local pizza place can mail to the carrier routes around him and have his coupons delivered to every house within 10 blocks around his place for a very small price. They have a website to figure out the routes (not terrible) and then the site will print out all the paperwork you need to complete the job. One of the things you have to do is have the items rubber banded in groups of 50 or 100 with a cover sheet on each bundle. Each route has to have its own bin. This way when you check in at the counter, they just take the bin and give it right to the mail carrier for the route, avoiding any processing by people or machines. This is where you get the savings. It is also supposed to be quick, often going out the next day or two at most. So to deliver a job, I would show up with 5, 7, 10 bins or whatever the number is, each having several bundles in it all with cover sheets. There is a summary sheet that lists all the routes and the amount in each which I also present to the clerk so they can compare what I brought to what was ordered online. I’m thoughtful like that.
Now the fun begins. At my local post office there are about 6 different clerks that I see there most times. 2 have no damn clue how to even process an order, so I end up having to wait while they trade me over to one of the other 4. 3 of the remaining 4 just kind of slack their way thru the process. They vaguely look at the bins and see if they can recognize any numbers on the form, but end up taking the check and taking the bins to the back when done. The last guy is a nightmare. he takes EVERY BIN and removes the contents. He then unbands one of them and counts it to make sure it is 50. Then counts each bundle (not individually, but the number of bundles) before placing them back into the bin. Then repeats this process with every bin! The bundles are supposed to be banded twice, once each direction. If one band is missing he shoves the whole pile back at me and goes on to the next. You know, sometimes rubber bands break. Oh well. I always have extras on me just in case I get this asswipe. By this time I have been at the counter now for 15 minutes or more. The line of people waiting is huge, and he just takes his time. Then he goes over the summary sheet. He looks back at all the bins now behind him and checks each one to see if the routes match the summary sheet. Then he takes out a calculator to see if the math, which the post office program calculated, is correct. Then finally we get to the part where I have to pay him for this. Can’t use a credit card so it has to be a check. he KNOWS it is a company check but has a cow each time i present it to him because MY name isn’t on it anywhere. Most times we just pay for it online, where for some reason you CAN use a credit card. Makes no sense at all.
But the real reason I hate the post office, or at least the local one here, is that the mailing is supposed to be out a maximum of 2 days after it is dropped. EVERY TIME I drop it off and the guy takes it in, it is at least a week before it seems to make it into mail boxes. I didn’t realize this until it cost me a customer. It was bad enough that this lazy-ass customer took his sweet time getting me the art for his 4th of July sales flyer. It was even worse when he kept making changes to it so that by the time he OKed it the sale was just a day away. When I was able to deliver it to the post office, his 10 day sale had just started, so people would be getting this with 1 or 2 days of his sale over. I am sure by now you get where I am going with this. It took the post office 5 days to get this into people’s mail boxes. The sale was half over. Customer was livid, I ended up losing him as a customer (not an entirely bad thing since he was always late approving things and then getting mad when I couldn’t perform miracles) and the postal response was crickets. Way to really fuck up one of the few good programs you have, USPS