Snow, USPS Created ‘Perfect Storm’
Mother Nature, the U.S. Postal Service, and I owe you a huge apology.
Our March issue was late getting to you. It started out with a production issue causing our timing to be slightly off, then came the ice and snow storms that shut down the entire region for Monday and Tuesday and again on Friday afternoon in the same week, with snarled traffic on closed roads taking people hours to reach their homes.
Just when we thought we were finished with Old Man Winter, we got a beautiful four inches of snow the following week. We all know that this town shuts down in bad weather, but this was almost more than I could bear.
Did you know the post office also shuts down under these circumstances? Well, maybe that’s not totally accurate, but they do reduce services dramatically. Did you notice that you didn’t get mail for several days during those days of “Snowmageddon?” After the snow and ice had melted and we tried to reach out to the seven post offices we work with to find out the status of our newspaper delivery, we got nothing but busy signals and unanswered calls for two days.
When I finally reached someone, the response from each of the post offices was similar: “Due to weather, we are backed up and we will deliver your papers as soon as possible.” Whatever happened to, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds?”
I came to find out this motto is commonly misidentified as the creed of U.S. mail carriers. I’m not sure what motto they operate under, but they certainly don’t seem to operate under common business practices. We can’t fire them, they have no real competitor for door-to-door mail service, and there seems to be no recourse for the customer.
I’ll climb down from my soapbox now and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Let me hear from you.