I've just learned that the Postmaster General of the United States, John Potter is retiring. Since 1967, I have offered my services as a replacement PMG, and have never been chosen. Perhaps now is the time! The Postal Service (formerly the United States Post Office Department) has been adrift for some time now in a sea of debt, slowing revenue, and poor planning.
I would offer a number of changes if given the chance, and if I couldn't save the USPS, I would at least let it die in a dignified manner.
First off, the "Quasi-governmental" period must end. Quasi anything is just plain stupid, unless you are a bell ringing hunchback. The Post Office was brought to life over 200 years ago as a department of the United States Government, and it should be returned to that status. What used to be a proud job, garnering envy from friends and neighbors, has turned into a joke. The mailman (or woman) appeared every day like clockwork, bringing not only the day's mail, but neighborhood news and gossip as well. They knew every member of the family since they stayed on the same route for years. They were dependable as well as honest and were the true ambassadors of the U S Government.
Carriers now are forced to rush through the overburdened routes, no longer allowed to walk on sidewalks, instead, forced to wear a path on your lawn. Due to the constant cutbacks of employees, they are forced to take parts of other routes when there is a sick call or vacation. No one knows anymore when the mail will arrive, nor who will bring it, or worse yet whose mail you will receive!
When I'm PMG, I will ensure that we are fully embraced (and funded) by the federal government and that we are equals with all other branches. No more quasi anything for us! I would remove the many layers of managers, micro-managers, and other unnecessary positions that don't have a hand in moving the mail. The people eliminated would be excessed to offices needing substitute carriers, or clerks. Their pay would be the same as their fellow workers, and they would be held to the same standards.
I would insist all carriers use the sidewalk and respect the property of their patrons. I would order that they be given enough time to not only complete the route, but to polish the reputation that we lost years ago. It's time we regained the trust the public used to have in us!
Distribution Clerks would revert to being clerk-carriers once again. There isn't enough work for an 8 hour day, so they could fill in as substitutes as well.
Supervisors, especially delivery supervisors would be freed from the continuous data entry into DOIS. DSIS, and all the other time wasting programs they do now. They will instead walk the floor and observe how both crafts are completing their assignments, offering encouragement, and help if necessary. Threats, scoldings, and humiliation would be prohibited, and lead to suspension.
The Window supervisor would ensure there was always enough staff on hand to provide service in a timely manner. There should never be only one clerk at the window at any given time, nor should any of the window personnel take a break while customers are still in the building. New products must be developed to generate revenue, and no limit should be put on earnings.
So there you have it, my manifesto for fixing the current mess.
I'm available to start right away, and my first change would be to move Headquarters to here in Mountain Home Arkansas. We will hold meetings on a rented houseboat whenever possible, and business attire would be prohibited!
Please, bring your own fishing poles and beer!