Inchoate Post: Pony To The Sky

via Daily Prompt: Inchoate

“…citizens paraded the streets with bands of music, fireworks were set off….the best feeling was manifested by everybody.” – New York times, April 14, 1860 on the success of the first Pony Express delivery. [1]

Not every endeavor ever made is successful. I’m not sure we could use that term to describe the present state of the ever evolving US Postal Service. Granted, each of us should be ecstatic that any written communication sent out reaches it’s destination at all, not to mention all the packages! That humble inchoative event April 3, 1860, from St. Joseph, Missouri spans 158 years of ever increasing ineptitude and inefficiency!

Oops! Did I really mean to say that? You bet I did. Ok, lets face it, all of us have fond reserve for the postal business. I remember my folks always left a Christmas card with a monetary gift inside for the mail carrier who drove through sleet and snow, rain or shine to bring us the bills! I must confess, my wife and I even treat our mail carrier lady to ice cold drinks during our very hot Texas summers, and of course, the annual Christmas event we include a gift card of some kind. For some illusive reason many of us do this.

Never in my working life have I received a ‘bonus’ as some folks do. We give the mail person a ‘bonus’ [X times how many others along the route?] for doing the job they hired on for. I really doubt anybody slapped those pony riders on the back and said, “Great job, son. Here, have a few more pieces of silver for your troubles!”

Although the USPS Pony Express relay delivery start excited the people, it was not without consequence.

“With only two months to make the Pony Express a reality, the team of William H. Russell, Alexander Majors and William B. Waddell had their hands full in January 1860. Over 100 stations, 400-500 horses and enough riders were needed – at an estimated cost of $70,000.” [2]

The ‘Service’ cost a bunch in the beginning, and annual revenue losses have been the grumbling point of discussion ever since! There are a couple salient facts that most folks overlook. In like manner as the US Government, the US Postal Service has the power to create ‘funny-money’ whenever they choose to do so. When you purchase a postage stamp, you are actually purhasing a promissary note: for the sum of whatever, the USPS pledges to render a service, a service concomitant with the value of the note, and of such character as to dispatch any entrusted item with proper affixed postage to an address supplied by the submitter. Further, once you slap that postage stamp on your letter and submit it to the ‘Service,’ a fiduciary relationship is created, wherein the Service now has the sole responsibility of appropriately handling your piece of mail as instructed.

They are inept because they can garner ‘funny-money’ whenever they like and hope they never have to make good on the fiduciary aspect!

You seee, the USP Service has become inept is in its handling of the monies received in the above scenario. When new issue postage stamps become available, many are purchased by collectors. These ‘notes’ then go into an album, a drawer, or a safe! During the last Century, the USPS has spent countless amounts on advertising of their issues, because they know the ‘funny-money’ generated by philiactic sales produces ‘funny-notes’ which will never see the light of day on a piece of mail!

I say inefficient because the Service has all this time operated with OPM [funny-notes], and still can’t provide the services they are in business to provide. The whole Service operation has been getting one big slap on the back, and still maintains it’s not enough! Today we have ‘Priority’ mail services. People pay a premium to get expedient and noteworthy handling, and yet, shouldn’t this kind of mail service have been the norm of the past? Why all of a sudden do we have to pay a premium to get what every other business strives for in day-to-day operation?

Consider this, and I close. If every uncancelled stamp still out there was placed on a piece of mail and delivered to the Service, what do you think would happen? It remains a daunting possibility.

[1, 2] https://www.nps.gov/poex/learn/historyculture/history1.htm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s