Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night

Megan McArdle writes pointedly about the future possibilities for the survival of the USPS. I’ve had some more ideologically strong-willed friends complain about why it’s permitted for the Federal Government to do this (ignoring those constitutional mentions, I guess).

But for me, the real reason that USPS is headed down the drain is this:

We received a notice of an envelope mailed to Sarah (presumably regarding her father’s estate, for which she is the executrix) which required a signature when we came back into the country (more on that shortly). Today, I went to the Georgetown post office, in the rain to retrieve this. The relatively surly clerk looked at the form, and then we had the following exchange:

Her: I’ll need your ID.
(I gave her my driver’s license)
Her: Who’s Sarah?
Me: My wife.
(she gives me an incredulous look)
Me: Our last names are the same, and the address on my driver’s license matches that of the delivery.
Her: I can’t release this to you. If you had been home, you could have signed for it, but now that it’s here, you’ll need to have her write a statement and sign it over to you.
Me: So I could have signed for it without presenting ID at home, but can’t sign for it, with ID, here?
Her: Yes.

This is an example of precisely why the USPS sucks: completely boneheaded policy which is enforced by clerks whose attitude is “how can I be inconvenienced by you today?” So I’ve now (along with other interactions) been incentivized to avoid working with them if I can help it. When they eventually collapse, I will be completely unsurprised, and I hope that it doesn’t cost taxpayers too much to either spin them off or wind them down.


About thegameiam
I'm a network engineer, musician, and Orthodox Jew who opines on things which cross my path.

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