Feb 07, 2013 (Tampa Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
I did something unusual the other day, at least for me. I mailed a letter. Since I do that three or four times a year, tops, I'm proud I remembered how.
It took a while to find an envelope and then a stamp, but I got 'er done. I wrote the address on that thing, put it in the mailbox and raised that little red handle to let the postal worker know to pick it up.
I can hear you mocking, but give me a break. I suspect most of you could say the same thing, which helps explain why the U.S. Postal Service will eliminate Saturday delivery, except for packages, starting Aug. 5.
For now, the Postal Service says there won't be layoffs, and that's good, but you wonder how long that can last. They say eliminating Saturday delivery will save at least $2 billion annually, but since the postal people lost about $16 billion in 2012, there is a lot more cutting to do.
Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night may stop the gallant postman, but massive budget deficits will every time.
Is anyone surprised
In our attention-challenged society, a lot of people won't even type out an email now. We communicate by text message or Twitter. It's almost a shock to receive handwritten letters by snail mail. People still do that
Some do, but not nearly enough.
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, whose district includes parts of Hillsborough County, has served as chairman of a subcommittee overseeing the Postal Service. He co-introduced a measure in 2011 recommending the five-day delivery plan.
"I applaud Postmaster General Donahoe for making the tough decision to reduce postal service delivery of first-class mail to five days," he said in a statement.
"I believe that the continued viability of the USPS is in every American's interest and we must continue to work together and make a concerted effort to streamline and modernize the Postal Service so it can meet the needs of a 21st century economy."
Most of the mail I receive at home is advertising fliers that go straight into the recycling bin. I've signed up for paperless statements from the bank and other places wherever possible. We pay most of our bills online.
Things just change, you know
You can get your newspaper or magazine delivered to your phone. An entire music collection can fit into a device the size of your finger, with lots of room left over. Want more music No need to go to the record store, if you can even find one. A couple of mouse clicks will do the job.
Don't like what the networks are showing on TV Netflix or Hulu will have whatever you want. And if you think things have changed a lot in the last few years, just wait 10 more.
It may seem a little weird the first couple of Saturdays when there is no need to check the mailbox. It will be aggravating to anyone having to wait through the weekend for something that didn't arrive on Friday as they hoped.
It won't be long, though, before everybody just shrugs and accepts the change. It's the next logical step in a direction we've been headed for a long time.
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