How the USPS became such a big part of my life.
Updated: Aug 29
Please indulge me.
Through a quirky set of circumstances, I bought a small mailing business as a side gig in the spring of 1986. By the fall, it became clear that this was my full time job. From 1986 to 2012, I had a great time running my business and meeting some fantastic people. I worked with builders, doctors, large corporations like Volkswagen and JC Penny. Mostly though, I met small business owners who were also working day by day to succeed. Together we went through economic good times and bad.
The one thing we could count on was the United States Post Service (USPS). I had great relationships with the people behind the counter in front and behind the post office doors. Those of you who worked with me knew the drill. If you were just doing a general promotion, standard mail, then called bulk, would do the trick. That mail had a much longer delivery schedule. But, the wonderful pre-sorted first-class mail, that was the key. You could save money, but you would have your mail delivered in one to two days – just like first class mail. Because, in 1996 after a few years in discussion, barcodes arrived. Yes, the cost of my software pretty much tripled, but I was able to keep the costs to my clients the same. At first, I took large jobs to the metroplex in Troy and then in Pontiac. I even got to go behind the scenes and see the barcode sorting machines in action. They were truly a thing to behold.
That business took me around the world and bought me a home. But the world was knocked off kilter by the recession of 2008-10. The combination of the recession and the increase in email was a combo death knell. I still do some mass mailings (never call it junk mail in my presence), but not that many.
So, what is happening at the Post Office today is so sad. And I feel like it is personal. Our USPS has made it through world wars and depressions. It has delivered by horseback, my train, by air and by boat. Our postal carriers delivery medicine, and checks and even chickens! Did you know the mail boat in the Great Lakes has its own zip code?
In closing, we must get control of what is going on and invest in one of the only entities that costs the same for everyone. There is no cost difference to mail a letter by where you live, or what you earn. I urge you to contact your representative and senators and ask them to continue to support the USPS.