Thanks to another Letter Writers Alliance virtual letter social and a long Labor Day weekend of letter writing, I am all caught up on my mail. These four letters were just the start of a deluge of mail that left my apartment over the past couple of weeks. I’m still doing my best to keep the USPS in business.
Speaking of the post office…I’ve never mentioned it here, but I have the best letter carrier. His name is John and he knew my name within a couple of weeks of living here. He goes out of his way to wave HELLO from down the street when he is delivering in the neighborhood. He patiently and enthusiastically handled thousands of pieces of mail for me during my Honor Flight Mail Call days. He is incredibly detailed and efficient, yet takes time to answer a question or chat with you for a moment when you run down to his truck to hand off some letters. If he’s not training the next generation of letter carriers, he should be. He is a model postman.
I feel very lucky, and spoiled by John. This winter, during the polar vortex, John didn’t miss a beat delivering our mail at normal times in sub, sub-zero temperatures. But the polar vortex highlighted all sorts of problems my community was having with mail delivery. I read a lot of articles like this one where people in Forest Park, Oak Park and River Forest had a laundry list of complaints about missing mail, no mail, late mail, wrong mail…all sorts of problems.
So, the USPS created a Postal Consumer Advisory Council made up of local citizens and “mail officials” to help solve the problems of the post office on a local level. Of course, I applied. I love the post office and in general, I have a lot of positive things to say about the USPS. I feel like it’s still a great value to send a letter or a card across the country or across the ocean. I feel like those letters get there pretty quickly, too. But I also know from some pretty dreadful experiences at the post office counters in Forest Park, River Forest and Oak Park (I frequent all three out of desperation to find good service) and some bad experiences with delayed and missing mail when John is on vacation that there are some serious customer service issues.
Last month I got a letter saying I was accepted to the committee! Our first meeting is next week and I couldn’t be more excited. According to the letter, the council will “increase opportunities for postal consumers to interact with postal representatives.” We will be able to voice concerns, share ideas and suggestions and resolve issues. It all feels sort of rose-colored glasses idealistic, but I’m hoping the committee and the post office can come up with some good ideas for improvements. And that those improvements are implemented and positive changes are made.
I promise to report back.
Oh, and if you, too, love your letter carrier, One Canoe Two created this fun printable for you to pass along.