Bert's Blog

Lessons From the Postal Service

With the Post Office having financial troubles, they’re closing many locations. What this means for Hoboken is that we’re losing 3 out of 4 of ours.

What’s interesting about the closing of these offices is the process. Roughly, the process involves surveying the public, having a public hearing, and then a decision is made, and then there’s a waiting period before the office closes.

Having gotten 3 of these surveys, with identical explanitory letters attached, I’ve had time to ponder the inefficiencies of it. Hoboken has 4 post offices for 1.3 square miles. It’s clearly unnecessary. Several people I’ve talked to didn’t even know there was more than one, and these are people who’ve lived less than a block from one of the closing ones.

Reading the letter and survey, it’s clearly not designed for this sort of situation. It’s asking things like how often I visit, what I buy there, and what I use the office for, all of which could be answered by tracking at the office. It also asks if I’m able to make it to my next nearest post office should they close this one. My next nearest being half a mile away (closer than most of the ones being closed). After all this, it explains the process, how long it would be until the decision, and then that there’d be another 2 months or more until the actual closing.

This is all so wasteful. I realize there are good reasons for it, and that the surveys serve a good purpose especially in more rural areas, but there must be some allowance for flexability and reason.

My apologies to those who are truly inconvienienced by the closings because we in Hoboken are so wasteful as to have 4.