Friday, January 1, 2016

The Post Office?

Now I have been to Turkey. Of all the strange places I travelled, and meals I have consumed, Turkey was the only place in this wide world I ever got food poisoning, and I mean real food poisoning. And so did everyone else in my team. But the good news was that Turkey has Drug Stores where no prescription is required and in addition by choosing well you can buy a pharmaceutical from Germany. Thus the risk of further food poisoning and their effects was hopefully reduced at that time. Just to be clear my food consumption also included street vendors in jungle hamlets in Thailand, never a problem there.

So when I saw the NY Times piece on our wonderful US Post Office I was a bit taken aback. The author states:

My first year in the United States was full of surprises. I remember trying to figure out if the 24-ounce glass of ice water the waitress placed in front of me was a pitcher, to be shared by the whole table. But where was the spout? I had expected some of what I encountered — I had seen enough movies, and came to this country expecting big cars and big houses and wide open spaces. I got used to gigantic glasses. But I didn’t expect the post office. The first time I needed to mail something, I trekked over to my campus’s post office, looking for the line to get my envelope weighed. The staff was used to befuddled international students like me, I suppose, and one clerk took my envelope without fuss, said “first class letter,” and took my change. ...Yes, I was told, in the United States, mail gets picked up from your house, six days a week, free of charge....Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the link between infrastructure, innovation — and even ruthless competition. Much of our modern economy thrives here because you can order things online and expect them to be delivered. There are major private delivery services, too, but the United States Postal Service is often better equipped to make it to certain destinations. In fact, Internet sellers, and even private carriers, often use the U.S.P.S. as their delivery mechanism to addresses outside densely populated cities.

Now I would take fault with the above. At least my USPS. They leave packages in the rain, snow, under bushes, or not at all. Then  talk of friendly, the KGB was more friendly than any USPS agent. As to their competition....well 1 out of 10 Amazon packages are lost, delayed, sent to Guam....Imaging a USPS for Health Care, kidneys removed rather than small basal cell carcinomas, both kidneys! Ooops! That is the USPS and that could be the ACA in action....remember we had to pass it to see what it did!

UPS is profitable, and it would not be if it did not perform. USPS is never profitable. Try and complain. I can track any UPS package, try that with the USPS web site. Packages go from Nashville, to Kearney, to Rochester, to Palm Beach and then to some alien spacecraft!

So perhaps my perception is based upon a comparison between a for profit and a Government entity, and over decades of observation. Amazon has switched to the USPS here in the Greater New York City area. Since then two day delivery has moved to a week, one of ten packages are kidnapped by those aliens, those that do make it are placed in jeopardy since the package sits there in rain or snow, and their computer tracking system is based on "Where's Waldo?". 

So perhaps the USPS is better than that in Turkey. So is street food in Thailand!