Everybody stand up and give a cheer for the United States Postal Service.
Once again, and I’ve been saying this for years, the USPS has proven itself to be the most efficiently run government entity we have. A recent report said that the USPS had a 97 percent on-time delivery rate for the months of April, May and June.
I can attest. My daughter graduated from high school in June and we sent out invitations to her graduation party. I dropped a stack of invitations at the post office on Broadway Road in Dracut about 9 a.m. on a Monday. By Tuesday, I was getting phone calls from friends and relatives asking what they could bring to the party. I was getting out-of town phone calls from people who said they got the invite. And this was just a little over 24-hours after I dropped them in the mail. All for 42 cents apiece. Incredible.
There is no other government agency that works that way. You know why? Because the Postal Service is an independent government agency that is run like a corporation. In other words, the government has a kind of hands-off policy. It’s a federal job, but there is not the interference and meddling that we see in other government agencies.
Here are some numbers: U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 146 million homes and businesses, six days a week. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars, to pay for operating expenses. The Postal Service has annual revenue of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.
The 97 percent delivery service performance report is the highest score ever achieved by postal employees.
“These record delivery levels are the direct result of employees all across the country working as a team to provide excellent service to our customers,” said Delores Killette, Postal Service vice president and consumer advocate.
Oh, if only other government agencies had that mindset.
My friend, David, is a postal carrier. He gets up in the morning, heads to work, collects his mail that’s all sorted for him, jumps in his truck and goes about his business. In sunny weather, rain, sleet or snow, he gets it done. I have other friends who work for the Post Office — Rick, Gibby, Kathy, Karen and Steve just to name a few. They’re all very friendly people.
My mail carrier, a woman whose name I have never taken the time to learn, much to my shame, gets the mail to my house before noon every day. It’s like clockwork. I don’t even think about it. Noontime comes, I turn on the news on television, sit down with a sandwich and a beverage and look out the living room window at the mailbox. Without fail, the mail is there. Clockwork.
She has been delivering my mail for years, without so much as a “thank- you” on my part. In fact, the only interaction we’ve ever had was in the form of a small note she once left in my door, politely asking me if I could make sure the walkway was shoveled after a particularly heavy snow. I remember her saying something about her fear of falling.
Since then, I have always cleared the walkway and made sure it was sanded or salted.
So, maybe before this column even gets to print, I’m going to find out her name. Maybe I’ll find out her birthday. And maybe this year, I’ll leave her a little something at Christmas. After all, she’s the one who brings me the wedding invitations, the birthday, anniversary and Christmas cards. She brings me all the publications to which I subscribe. Yeah, she also brings the bills I have to pay, but that’s not her fault.
She’s just doing her job. And she’s doing it very well.
Dennis Shaughnessey’s e-mail address is email@example.com