U.S. Postal Service
Posted: November 16, 2012
It's no surprise that the U.S. Postal Service main office in Eau Claire has staffing concerns as the local operation attempts to maintain its overhead costs. But it's been frustrating the last few weeks as it has become more common for my two business post office boxes to not get filled by the 9:30am posted deadline.
In the old days (like 20 years ago), mail was in my post office box before 8am. In fact, there was an older postal service employee back in the early 1990s who took great pride in filling all of the commercial post office boxes before 7am. However, with staffing cutbacks and expanded services provided by the postal service, having my mail delivered to my post office box before 9am rarely occurs. Only a few years ago the posted deadline for post office box delivery was 8:30am.
I spoke with Eau Claire Postmaster Kim Leith who confirmed that staffing issues have resulted in later-than-normal delivery of the post office box mail. In addition, the deluge of election-related mail pieces put an extra strain on postal staff as the election neared. She assured me that, although mail should be delivered by the 9:30am deadline, upcoming retirements at the downtown postal service facility would make meeting the daily deadline a challenge.
My office is located in downtown Eau Claire so it isn't such a great inconvenience for me to make two trips to the post office to retrieve my mail. However, for those small businesses who don't hire a courier service, it can be more expensive than it should be to have an employee wait for the mail to get placed in the receptacle. Plus, there's less productivity in the workplace if an employer has to pay for someone to stand around and wait for the morning mail.
I don't fault the postmaster or her staff for the late mail. But it's a reminder that we are all creatures of habit; and when the daily routine gets altered, it takes a while to get used to the new way of doing business.
FUN FACT#1: According to many economists, the housing market is finally on the upswing. In fact, in 2013, housing is expected to add one half of one percent to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Did you know that every $100 increase in the average home price lifts consumer spending by $3? (The Kiplinger Letter, Sept. 28, 2012)
NOTE: There will be no issue of The Bottom Line next week. Due to the installation of new computer hardware in the office and the shortened work week due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday, the weekly newsletter will not be published. We will be back on November 30th. Happy Thanksgiving!