Once upon a time, when I was growing up, the U.S. Post Office delivered my mail to my box on my front porch. But I learned as an adult who moved around a lot that front porch mailboxes were the norm only in certain neighborhoods and in certain parts of the country. Sometimes I had a front porch mailbox; sometimes it was a fixture out by the curb. Now, however, in a 10-year-old subdivision north of Denver, my mailbox is one of 50 or so in a cluster of mailboxes (like one might find in an apartment complex) a block away. And I’m one of the luckier residents, because some people have to go two blocks to their box.
It’s annoying. It’s inconvenient. But of course it’s cheaper and easier for the Post Office. Goodie for them. And if they cut back on their “service” even more, I’ll hardly notice, because as it is I only get up to my box every week or so. Why go more often, especially when most of what I get is junk mail?
My “haul” today (about one week’s worth of mail) was as follows:
- 8 pieces of campaign literature (5 from Mitt Romney)
- 5 mailers/cards/menus from local restaurants and businesses
- 2 of those fat, sloppy bunches of several dozen newsprint ads like you’d find stuffed in a Sunday newspaper
- 12 catalogs and magazines (none of them paid for or even requested)
- 2 items specifically for prior owners of this house (even though I’ve lived here for more than 5 years)
- 14 letter-sized envelopes or similar sized items of junk, scams, etc.
- 3 envelopes containing legitimate business
and, almost overlooked in the middle of all the junk
- 1 flimsy little postcard, the only notice I’ll receive, billing me for my car tag renewal
The four items of “real” business could have been sent to me electronically. And would have been less likely to get overlooked. It’s scary, actually, how close I came to chucking the car tag notice with all the newsprint.
Looking at that list, it’s hard not to conclude that we — or, at least, I — don’t really need the Post Office anymore. It delivers junk, lots of junk, and clearly the people who send that junk are its primary supporters. It’s a symbiotic relationship that holds no benefit for the general public.
I can’t think of anything I get via the Post Office that couldn’t be delivered another way, and most of what I get, I don’t want. Never thought I’d be saying it, but I don’t need or want what the Post Office has to offer these days.