Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Postal Service: Slow on the Trigger

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Postal Service: Slow on the Trigger

Article excerpt

LET'S SAY you are running a business that is part of the massive service industry.

You notice that complaints are pouring in from customers. They say some of your employees are real goofups. They loaf and are rude, sloppy and careless. They don't care if they make a sale or fill an order. They view customers as a nuisance and work as an intrusion, all the while acting as if their paychecks are a God-given right.

You investigate the complaints. And you are horrified to discover that they're true: While you have many fine, dedicated employees, you also have a large number of 8-balls. And the terrible customer service has been going on for a long time.

What do you do? You don't have to be a Fortune 500 CEO to know the answer. Unless slumping sales and bankruptcy turn you on, you find the chronic goofups and fire them. Then you hire people who want a decent job and are willing to do it right.

Ah, but we're talking about the world of private enterprise, profit and loss, and dog-eat-dog competition. Or, as some long-forgotten philosopher said: "It's a jungle out there."

Then we have the Postal Service.

A recent government investigation of mail delivery on the North Side of Chicago says it is a disaster. Maybe the worst service in the entire country.

The investigation found postal workers who refuse to go out if it's too cold; bags of mail tossed into lobbies of high-rises; mail gathering dust in postal stations; delivery slower than Pony Express; phones never answered, and a stick-it-in-your-ear response to complaints.

Actually, the problem isn't new. For years, the North Side of Chicago has been prosperous and crowded. Every catalog for fashionable clothing is sent there. Mail bags are stuffed with needless commercial junk mail.

Nor is it a crisis. How much mail requires an immediate reply? What, some outfit trying to sell you an authentic Greek fisherman's hat?

But whether their mail is relevant or not, people should have it delivered within a reasonable time.

One problem is U.S. Rep. Sidney Yates. He has long been the regal congressman for much of that part of Chicago. He is loved on the liberal lakefront.

But he is more interested in giving federal money to weirdo artists. …

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