Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night
September 6, 2011 Leave a comment
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?
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.