The Post Office Dilemma
December is a busy month for most people, as most run around getting ready for the holidays. Even the post office overflows with people sending packages around the world. Unfortunately, the post office desperately needs the business this year. Due to a bad decision in how the post office runs, the entire organization is going down in flames, with a debt of billions and no solid path to get back to running in the black. The bad decision I refer to is the decision to let Congress determine how the post office runs. Every change must be run past a body of politicians who have nothing to gain by helping out; instead they act as though they have much to gain by not acting, or acting poorly. Sometimes I think that Congress wants the post office to fail, though for the life of me I cannot understand why. What the post office officials need is the power to manage themselves without daily Congressional oversight. They need to change according to the economy, the real current economy, and not according to the fairyland economy that most politicians live in. Maybe with some power to change things, the post office could turn it around and begin to make money. In a case of life imitating art, Terry Pratchett wrote a book called "Going Postal", in which a man is forced to turn around an almost dead city post office. Pratchett creates his own version of Internet and email as the leading contender for sending messages, then shows that you need a letter for SWAK (sealed with a kiss). He examines the various types of communications and how each has a place in the world. If I were a rich man, I'd give every postal official a copy of this book for Christmas. Even though they probably could not use the methods in the book for prosperity (it is fictional), I think they would find inspiration and hope.