Something Free from the Post Office?

March 17th, 2008 by Ken

(Aired on March 24, 2008)

You better hurry, you don’t have much time left.  The United States Postal Service says you only have about a week left to mail a free card to a friend.

That’s right – – you can get a free postcard – but you have to hurry.  You have until the end of this month to get the card, but  to get it you have to go on line at

It’s all part of HBO’s efforts to get you to watch its television series on John Adams which is composed mainly of letters he and his wife Abigail sent back and forth.

But the idea of getting something for free from the post office even if someone else is paying for it has some merit.  How often do you deal with the post office?   I do, almost on a regular basis.  I have a newsletter which goes out monthly by first class mail so I have to deal with the post office more often than I want to.  And, I’m telling you, service at your local post office hasn’t improved one bit despite that fact that fewer people are mailing first class letters.

People don’t write letters anymore.  Not to any great extent anyway.  Now we communicate through our phone, by texting or by sending e mails.  We can even e mail greeting cards.  Letter writing has fallen off. significantly. And those of us who use the post office can understand why.  It’s not easy to use the post office.  Lines are long, really long.  Waiting times are  even longer, and more often than not there aren’t enough postal clerks to handle the large volume of customers.

My last trip to the post office, to the Lacey Post Office, found a line 10 to 12 deep and only one poor clerk trying to service them all.  I wanted to buy stamps but the clerk selling stamps was helping an elderly lady who wanted to get a passport and didn’t understand the requirements.  He was nice to her but it took several minutes while the line trying to buy stamps continued to get longer.

After about 15 minutes I finally made it to the front of the line and asked for two rolls of “Forever” stamps.  He told me they didn’t come that way.  I asked for them in whatever way they came and he gave me two rolls of 41 cents stamps.

That was not the “Forever” stamps and that’s what I wanted.  I knew postal rates were going up in May and I wanted a stamp I could use then as well as now.  But, not wishing to hold up the line any longer I took my stamps and left.   I noticed the full service line was now more than 20 deep and still only one poor clerk trying to help them all.

Back home, I checked my mailbox for my mail and remembered that my mail doesn’t come until after 5 p.m. now.  I don’t know why, it just takes that long.  Maybe they’ve consolidated some routes or maybe they don’t have enough carriers.

And then I read in my local paper that I can get a free postcard.  Boy am I excited; something free from the postal service.  And all I have to do is go on line to

If I have to get on line, I might as well e mail my friend.  It’s easier and it gets there quicker. So much for something free from the post office.

Ken Balsley

Posted in Business

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