Postal “service” (or lack thereof) blues

When we moved out here to the lake, one of the main reasons I got a P.O. box at the Rockwall Post Office instead of Rowlett was the constant congestion at the latter. Many times, I couldn’t even find a parking place at the Rowlett Post Office.

Now Rockwall is almost as bad. In both cities, recent construction on the streets by the Post Offices has exacerbated the situation. And in both cities, if you need to mail a package or otherwise need help from the counter, expect to stand in a line at least five to ten people deep. And I’m talking about on an ordinary summer day, not during Christmas season.

At least at the Rockwall Post Office, most of the clerks are friendly and helpful. At Rowlett, I always feel as if I’m lucky to get out of there without getting barked at or lectured. Most recently it was for not bearing down hard enough to get a clear copy on the 6 part customs form.

I already hate going to the Post Office, because it’s a big hassle for those of us with CHLs. You have to somehow disarm without "displaying" your gun, then rearm when you get back in the car. When I’m planning a trip to the post office, I usually put my weapon in a fanny pack instead of wearing it in an IWB holster as I normally do. That way I can take the whole thing off and stow it in the trunk while I go in, without "alarming" anyone.

And what ever happened to corner mailboxes? Not so many years back, there were big blue mailboxes in most shopping centers. Do they have mailboxes anywhere (other than at the Post Offices) anymore? And of course, you dare not use your home mailbox to mail anything important, now that they’re all out at the curb and subject to raids by identity thieves. Back when we were paying half what we are now for stamps, we had both shopping center mailboxes and to-the-door delivery at home. Don’t you love progress?

All this reduction of services might not be so irritating if postage rates didn’t keep going up, up, up. And the postal service is no longer the reliable service it once was. After having several items get lost in the mail (most of them bills, resulting in my being charged late fees), I now feel compelled to use Priority Mail for anything that really needs to get somewhere within a reasonable time. That means paying several dollars per envelope.

Even with hit-or-miss first class mail, we now pay 42 cents. That adds up fast when you do mass mailings. Maybe that’s why I get so few Christmas cards these days.

And they wonder why everyone uses email instead of writing "real" letters now.



About debshinder

Technology analyst and author, specializing in enterprise security. Author of or contributor to over 25 books, including "Scene of the Cybercrime." Fourteen-year Microsoft MVP, married to Microsoft FTE Tom Shinder, and proud mom of two wonderful grown-up human children and three amazing Japanese Chin pups. In my spare time, I love to travel - especially on cruise ships - and write about my grand adventures.
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