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OMG - No US postal service on Saturday being considerd!!!

by shmody / January 28, 2009 12:02 PM PST

OMG - No US postal service on Saturday being considerd!!!

Postmaster General John E. Potter asked lawmakers to lift the requirement that the agency deliver mail six days a week.

Faced with dwindling mail volume and rising costs, the post office was $2.8 billion in the red last year and, ?if current trends continue, we could experience a net loss of $6 billion or more this fiscal year,? Potter said in testimony for a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.

WOW...I mean, there's baseball, Mom, and apple pie ...the US Postal Service is an honorable mention there right?


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I have a suggestion...
by J. Vega / January 28, 2009 12:34 PM PST

The story said "The next postal rate increase is scheduled for May, with the amount to be announced next month. Under current rules that would be limited to the amount of the increase in last year?s consumer price index, 3.8 percent. That would round to a 2-cent increase in the current 42-cent first class rate.".
I have a suggestion. Keep the 42-cent first class rate that we ordinary citizens use at 42 cents, and increase the rate of bulk mail by 2 cents. I see two advantages, that would increase revenue and might cut down on the junk mail volume.

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(NT) Most recent info is 'Saturday will be kept'. Stay tuned.
by drpruner / January 28, 2009 12:41 PM PST
In reply to: I have a suggestion...
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Bulk mail is the bread and butter of the mail system
by Diana Forum moderator / January 30, 2009 9:35 AM PST
In reply to: I have a suggestion...

First class doesn't even pay for itself. Just remember, without bulk mail, we wouldn't have mail delivery except with taxpayer money.


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Do you have...
by J. Vega / January 30, 2009 11:07 AM PST

Do you have a link to the statistics about the cost, porfit, etc. of bulk mail? I had trouble finding them, but did come across something at the site of Citizens Against public waste.
Something caught my eye in that story. It said in part:
"GAO recommended to Congress that the USPS should 1) better measure costs related to mail processing; 2) update and improve the data used to determine delivery costs; 3) improve the measure of capital and support costs; and 4) improve the accuracy of mail revenue, volume, and weight data.
In other words, the USPS does not know how much it costs to process mail, how much it costs to deliver mail, how much it has spent on buildings and machines, how much money it takes in, or how much mail it delivers. The Service does not even keep enough data on its functions to be sure how much waste is occurring."
And later at the end the story said:
"To meet even this bare minimum requirement, the USPS must implement data collection measures that tell it basic information about its own operations. How much does it cost to collect mail? How much does it cost to process mail? How much does it cost to transport mail? How much does it cost to deliver mail? These are all questions that the USPS cannot answer. And until it can answer them, it cannot improve.".

The GAO report appears to be from 2000, but since then, has that problem been solved? If not, how can we know about the actual profit or loss figures for delivering the mail in any grade from 1st Class to Bulk?

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Sounds like typical government
by Diana Forum moderator / January 31, 2009 8:28 AM PST
In reply to: Do you have...

Does any government agency really know the cost of anything? Or even where they spend everything?

The reason that bulk mail is so cost effective is that it costs almost as much as first class and it is sorted by zip code and address so the sorting is next to nothing. It's all about personnel costs.


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Does any government agency really know....
by caktus / February 2, 2009 11:54 PM PST

....anything? Well, other than to take by force what does not belong to them?

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Maybe not Saturday, but Tuesday?
by Roger NC / January 30, 2009 7:06 AM PST
If the change is made, that doesn?t necessarily mean an end to Saturday mail delivery. Previous studies have looked at the possibility of skipping some other day, such as Tuesday.

?The ability to suspend delivery on the lightest delivery days, for example, could save dollars in both our delivery and our processing and distribution networks. I do not make this request lightly, but I am forced to consider every option given the severity of our challenge,? Potter said.

I've wondered in the past why they had Saturday delivery whenever they started talking about cost cutting.

Maybe I'm dense, but I don't really see that much of an issue with no Saturday delivery.

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Saturday would be a bad day to not deliver mail
by Diana Forum moderator / January 30, 2009 9:06 AM PST

As a substitute carrier at one time, sorting two days mail (like Sunday and Monday) is a pain. Doing three days (like Monday is a holiday) takes forever and a lot of mail gets put off until the next day no matter how hard the carrier works (and they work hard).

A midweek day off would be better. Of course, the subs will not like it.


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The subs may not like it?
by Roger NC / January 31, 2009 3:21 AM PST

I doubt if anyone delivering it would like it.

Unless the system is set up so only subs would work weekends of course.

It seems to me if you deliver only 5 days, with a day off in the middle of the week, then most if not all of your delivery people are going to have two single days off at different times of the week and work almost every Saturday with never a 2 day weekend off except for vacation and holidays.

In fact with only 5 days delivery, I see less parttime workers, unless you end up with mostly part time workers delivering and only full time employees in the offices, sorting centers, and hub to hub transportation jobs.

I'll grant there may be overload on Monday problems. I'm not sure how that would be dealt with. Perhaps the bulk mail would have to take the delay, being sorted and delivered after the higher classed the first of each week. Even if it provides much income, is normally lower priority, isn't it?

Of course, the schedule there may be so far from anything in normal industry or business that I can't imagine how it works.


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I agree with Diane. Tuesday after a holiday
by drpruner / January 31, 2009 5:49 AM PST

was always bad.

In any case, it will not be a pretty sight.

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I'm not sure what you mean
by Diana Forum moderator / January 31, 2009 7:21 AM PST

All the carriers where I worked were full time and I can't think of any that got Saturday and Sunday off. They got Sunday and another weekday off.

The subs would be the ones cut back. They would only work on vacations and sick days, etc.


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If I understand correctly, I'd hate that
by Roger NC / January 31, 2009 8:05 AM PST

Your normal schedule was Sunday and some weekday off for a full time position.

Well, if you gotta you gotta, but have Sunday and Wednesday, or any other day than Sat or Mon as a continuous thing would be bad IMO.

I realize (at least in the past) that pay, benefits, and job security made it an appealling job. But I'd rather have two days off in the middle of the week myself. Of course, working Sunday is personally objectional to many.


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Right. You gotta have a "weekend".
by drpruner / January 31, 2009 8:20 AM PST

My job is 24/7; my weekend is Thu and Fri. Plus I don't go back on until Sat afternoon, so it's more like 2.5 days. When we were shorthanded I couldn't make plans very well.

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I occasionally still work shift
by Roger NC / January 31, 2009 8:30 AM PST

and use to work it regularly.

Back then, I had a 4 day weekend, Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tues.

Then from Wed night until Wed morning I worked 11pm to 7am. I admit, getting off at 7am for your "day off" was a bit rough. That rotation was Wed and Thur off.

Then it was 3pm to 11 pm for 7 days with just Friday off the next week. After that, starting on Sat, were 7 days of 7am till 3 pm, then another 4 day weekend.

My last job, was a 12 hour shift. Work 2, off 2, work 3 off 2, work 2 off 3. I think that's right.

But regularly getting only a day at the time would be a bit irritating to me personally. Of course some jobs, are worth it I guess, particularly depending on what else in the area is available.

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Have you ever worked retail?
by Diana Forum moderator / January 31, 2009 9:00 AM PST

You can be scheduled anytime the store is open. You normally work at least one weekend day and can get any week day off. Getting two days in a row is rare. In fact, you rarely get the same days off each week.

For example, tomorrow is SuperBowl Sunday. Almost everyone was scheduled for today and tomorrow. I usually get Sunday and Wednesday off but that isn't cast in stone. I don't know until the new schedule goes up.

At least the carriers are full time. Part time in retail doesn't guarantee hours or even a job. The hours have been cut to 18-20 hours per week and about 20 people have been fired or laid off over the last month and a half. And this is just at one store.


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Yep, retail means anytime with little advance
by Roger NC / January 31, 2009 11:55 AM PST


Doesn't seem would be quite as necessary for the post office, but I never worked there.

Personally only worked retail part time as a teenager bagging groceries, then for a brief time as a part time busboy in a steak house.

I do remember my father working in a grocery store. They had Sunday off, and off Wednesday at noon.

But that was long enough ago, he was on salary even as a meat cutter in the store, and didn't get paid by the hour. He worked about 11 hours a day for 5 days and 6 on Wed.

If you have to you have to, when that's the best you can do where you are, you have to do it. If for where you are, the job in question pay and benefits are better than anything else, you may choose or have to do it also.

And in retail nowadays, too often they'll change your schedule constantly. On the one hand, the store has to maintain help during business hours. And it's often as much because of people not coming in or unpredicted rush of customers.

Unfortunately, sometimes it's to deny overtime pay or full time status too. Again, some people have to do it to get by at all.

But it doesn't change how bad it is, especially if it may not be necessary.

Heck, a lot of industry now have cut help so tight, even before this latest economic crunch, that every time someone is out, everyone else has to work day's off or double shifts just to fill necessary jobs. There are no even semi-extras. At least that normally means overtime pay for them, better than time shifting everyone.

But it's still hard on people, even the ones who get the overtime pay. Even the ones that want all the overtime (or need it) it's hard on them and everyone around them.

I know disparaging schedules seems petty when so many right now are out of work. Often, people have to do things to get by, even things much worse than not having two days off.

But even if scheduling is petty compared to out of work, it's still a real issue.


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It has nothing to do with petty
by Diana Forum moderator / February 2, 2009 9:27 PM PST

Retail has to make a profit or it's out of business and no one has a job. Sam's is pretty even. Monday and Tuesday are fairly quiet and it gets busier as the week progresses.

Normal grocery will be busy the first of the month when welfare and food stamps and WIC come out and gets slower as the month goes down. So you will get a lot of hours the first of the month and it gets less as the month goes on.

I know that this past weekend was a zoo everywhere. You couldn't have paid me enough to shop on Saturday.

I know that some of the parttimers are being cut back drastically and several have been let go.

Scheduling is a pain, esp. if you have more than one job. I remember working 60-80 hours a week in three jobs. Talk about scheduling. Luckily it was just for about six months. I didn't get any days off then.


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The problem is getting my sleeping into a pattern
by drpruner / January 31, 2009 9:36 AM PST

that lets me take full advantage of the weekdays off.
As to the job, it's full-time, easy for an old geezer, and has benefits like the old days. Worth it. Happy

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Midnights are getting hard for me too
by Roger NC / January 31, 2009 12:02 PM PST

One reason I'm just as happy to be off shift, even if it pays a fair amount more over the year for various reasons (Sunday work, holiday work, etc).

I use to get off my last midnight at 7 am and stay up doing things to about 7 or so that night. Doesn't work anymore. I may get up after only 5 hours sleep after my last midnight, but feel groggy and head-achy until I get back to sleep normally.

Still volunteer occasionally to work a shift when someone is off. It lets me have time off during "business" house and days to do some things dealing with agencies that still work a 8 to 5, M-F schedule.

That was one good thing about the shift work when I was doing it, I had my schedule for weeks in advance. I could even make a save bet on months. So I could schedule all doctor, dentist, eye doctor, anything like that, on my days off and not lose time.

Now I either have to use a vacation day, or lose hours. Often I can make do with half a day off, but that means losing 4 hours pay, since we can't take vacation days in less than 1 full day increments. Of course, if you can get buy without it, who wants to use up half or all of their vacation that way?

It's not much of a vacation day getting your teeth scraped or drilled.


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Here's my plan:
by drpruner / February 2, 2009 3:50 PM PST

I get off graveyard (3 out of 5) at 6AM. I go home and eat, then I sleep in a lounge chair with a memory foam mattress. I use one of the small bedrooms where I can't hear the phone or doorbell. I can sleep soundly like that until noon, if I want to get up to run errands or something. I usually wake up refreshed. In that case, I usually need to take a nap in the PM until about 8. I also have a Day Sleeper sign on the door, of course.

May not work for you if you don't sleep like I do.

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RE As a substitute carrier at one time
by caktus / February 3, 2009 12:02 AM PST

Ooh! Shocked So you were one of them Devil

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(NT) Fine by me
by caktus / February 2, 2009 11:44 PM PST
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