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The Incredible Shrinking Postal Service
American Spectator ^ | March 15, 2012 | Peter Hannaford

Posted on 03/18/2012 10:21:29 AM PDT by QT3.14

Let's say you own a store with a good clientele, but sales have been slipping in recent years. A new store with new products has faster service at lower prices and is open 24/7. You're losing money. What do you do?

(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: fedex; postoffice; ups; uspo; usps

1 posted on 03/18/2012 10:21:38 AM PDT by QT3.14
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To: QT3.14

Raise prices and cut service, of course.


2 posted on 03/18/2012 10:24:49 AM PDT by ExGeeEye (Islam: a transnational fascist government that demands worship.)
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To: QT3.14
Punk-ass Liberals tell us that drilling for oil won't help lower gas prices-- but then they want to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help lower gas pricess.

Either they are morons or they think that we are.

3 posted on 03/18/2012 10:28:25 AM PDT by Lysandru
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To: ExGeeEye
Better than that, we will get executive unionized $40.00 per hours postal associates one at each post office who will only wok 32 hours per week,the four days we get mail.

The hell with snail mail. Use the computer instead. Its far more reliable and a hell of a lot quicker.

4 posted on 03/18/2012 10:29:31 AM PDT by rodguy911 (FreeRepublic:Land of the Free because of the Brave--Sarah Palin 2012)
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To: QT3.14
A new store with new products has faster service at lower prices and is open 24/7. You're losing money. What do you do?

Arrange a riot and burn down the new store...........

5 posted on 03/18/2012 10:32:27 AM PDT by varon (Congress is a sanctuary for political criminals)
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To: QT3.14

Internet allows you to communicate at lower cost and pay bills with more certainty. Private sector FedEx stores and UPS stores opening multiple locations (even acrooss street from each other)where you can pack, ship, print, and even purchase office supplies. Got to love free enterprise system.


6 posted on 03/18/2012 10:32:59 AM PDT by Brandonmark (2012: Our Hope IS Change!)
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To: QT3.14

I think i am going to support them by buying a couple hundred dollars worth of the Ronal Reagan Forever stamps, gonna use them to send my liberal family members X-mas cards this year....


7 posted on 03/18/2012 10:36:11 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: QT3.14; Larry Lucido; Gamecock
Newman knows the truth ... of course nobody *needs* mail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpUqLjjKk4Y
8 posted on 03/18/2012 10:37:29 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks QT3.14.

Junk mail. which is close to the most annoying thing on Earth, turns out to have found a much cheaper way to live and more rewarding life aboard the world wide web, and robotic calls out of Bermuda.


9 posted on 03/18/2012 10:37:32 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: rodguy911
I ordered flower bulbs on line but when they tried to deliver them all they did was goop up my printer.

When the PO delivered the next batch they came in fine.

10 posted on 03/18/2012 10:40:05 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: QT3.14
The model doesn't work. It was never reasonable, just popular.

It costs more to deliver to remote rural areas than it does to metropolitan centers. The costs per delivery are higher due to the low volume and remote location.

If free enterprise takes over, it would cost a lot more to deliver an envelope to Kodiak, Alaska that it does to New York City (which is the way it should be).

11 posted on 03/18/2012 10:40:18 AM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: ExGeeEye
LOL, the postal service.

My local post office has started a new "service," I guess to decrease wait times in line. They never seem to man all of the counter spaces, even during peak business hours (around lunchtime), which can result in fairly long wait times. So, they've now begun taking one of the counter people out from behind the counter, slapping a red vest on him, and having him mingle with the people in line. He carrries a notepad where he checks off the various services each customer requires, and then hands it to the customer, who then takes it with him to the counter. At this point, the counter worker reads the note and peforms the desired services. It's so stupid and inefficient that it makes me feel like I'm in a Kafka novel.

Do they do this everywhere?

12 posted on 03/18/2012 10:40:36 AM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: ExGeeEye

I work for postal service—we can’t really raise prices all that much without permission from Postal Rate Commission. Admittedly a large part of the debt is having to pre-fund
75 years of retirement in the next 10 years...45 cents is
a good rate for postage (1 oz.) but if we made it 50 or
60 we could get rid of that debt. But wait. We can’t. By law. Has to follow rate of inflation...up by just a few
cents each time.

—Many are being offered early retirement
—Facilities being consolidated (big sorting centers). I myself may wind up in downtown Boston after spending 25 yrs
in the suburbs. Some of the suburban facilities are being
closed. Vermonters may have their mail sorted 75 miles
away instead of only 25 miles...and it gets there a day later. Smaller post offices being closed.

—Salary freeze (actually all fed. employees exc for
military is affected)
—We do have universal service. Want to privatize? Fine,
but if you live in the boonies you may have to drive
40 miles or so to get your mail.

—Price of gas. It ain’t cheap. It adds up in jeeps,
planes, trucks, etc.

Sure we could raise the price. They won’t let us.

We’re cutting but we can’t raise the price all that much.
We’re quasi-governmental; if we were privatized the price would go up and you’d still get the cuts in service.

Sat. service? Who needs it.


13 posted on 03/18/2012 10:44:44 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: QT3.14

Do you remember that several years ago new architecturally designed post offices were springing up all over the country?
The management didn’t seem to care about the costs. They just raised that rates to cover whatever silly concept came up, even creating new stamps almost every week it seemed.

They dug their own hole.


14 posted on 03/18/2012 10:45:03 AM PDT by wizr (Christ's blood is on your hands, or in your heart. Your choice.)
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To: Brandonmark

Even though I’m a postal worker I pay a lot of bills online. But I use USPS for other things like sending flash drives or cassettes to friends with radio stuff, music etc


15 posted on 03/18/2012 10:46:44 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

Also acc to a supervisor what’s the biggest part of post
office? Parcel sorting, not letter sorting.


16 posted on 03/18/2012 10:47:37 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio
This is where the U.S. Postal Service gets screwed by the U.S. government. If USPS rates can only increase with inflation, then the U.S. government policy of deliberately under-reporting the inflation rate isn't doing the USPS any favors.

It's not as if a 2% "reported" inflation rate is enough to offset the 20%+ increase in fuel costs and whatever pay raises are built into the USPS labor agreements.

17 posted on 03/18/2012 10:49:44 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: QT3.14

I’ve posted several times on this issue. The problem started when the PO discontinued cheaper classes of mail to make “more” profit.

This has affected my company’s international business in terms that it now costs an international customer three times as much to ship items to them via their only option, air mail vs what they used to pay just a few years ago for the “boat or land” mail option, which has been discontinued. We’ve lost fully a third of our company’s international orders because of it.


18 posted on 03/18/2012 10:52:08 AM PDT by Southern Magnolia
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To: Doe Eyes

Also the subway ride would be $27.49 each way and the rural areas would have less taxes. Same holds true for buses.


19 posted on 03/18/2012 10:58:52 AM PDT by captnorb
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To: raccoonradio
I work for postal service—we can’t really raise prices all that much without permission from Postal Rate Commission.

The overabundance of USPS supervisors is a union sacred cow, never addressed:

APWU, USPS reach tentative agreement on new contract

Snip: The new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will expire on May 20, 2015, retains protection against layoffs for all career employees who were on the rolls as of Nov. 20, 2010, when the current contract was scheduled to expire.

The salary of a post office supervisor

Snips:

. Expert only reports average salaries for 10 cities, but five of those featured average earnings between $50,388 and $54,531.

. With bonuses and other incentives, those yearly earnings may increase by $1,458 to $4,929.

. Union contracts let postal supervisors access health benefits at a rate cheaper than the rest of the federal employee labor pool.

. Upon reaching qualifying retirement age (55 to 57), workers receive a monthly pension check for life.

20 posted on 03/18/2012 11:02:22 AM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: QT3.14

any postal delivery model that depends on tons of junk mail that goes directly from the box to the garbage will never last. It’s a make work postal system


21 posted on 03/18/2012 11:04:23 AM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: Lysandru
Either they are morons or they think that we are.

Is there any reason it can’t be both?

I am pretty sure it is both.

22 posted on 03/18/2012 11:05:18 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: QT3.14

Let’s hope the same happens with our healthcare, yeah!


23 posted on 03/18/2012 11:05:36 AM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: Brandonmark

“Internet allows you to communicate at lower cost and pay bills with more certainty. Private sector FedEx stores and UPS stores opening multiple locations (even acrooss street from each other)where you can pack, ship, print, and even purchase office supplies. Got to love free enterprise system.”

Like California ( and probably more than a few other states) going bankrupt, the USPS is on track to fold. I say to all of it, the sooner the better for us all.


24 posted on 03/18/2012 11:06:48 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: QT3.14

dunmp ‘em


25 posted on 03/18/2012 11:09:43 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: QT3.14

When government unions grow, government service shrinks...


26 posted on 03/18/2012 11:11:51 AM PDT by FrankR
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To: raccoonradio
Sat. service? Who needs it.

Postal unions.

27 posted on 03/18/2012 11:47:42 AM PDT by 386wt (Oh what a tangled web...)
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To: QT3.14

“The USPS says it will “consolidate” this center with one in Medford, Oregon, about 150 miles to the northeast over slow mountain roads.”

“Slow” doesn’t say the half of it. 299 and 101 are the only ways to get to Medford and in a semi, they’re flat-out dangerous.


28 posted on 03/18/2012 11:53:15 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Burning the Quran is a waste of perfectly good fire.)
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To: Brandonmark

UPS is union and their prices are outrageous. screw em


29 posted on 03/18/2012 11:54:09 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: raccoonradio

Cassettes?


30 posted on 03/18/2012 11:55:06 AM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: QT3.14

The USPS is making tons of horrible decisions, but the Saturday service cancellation is particularly boneheaded. Unless they have done the research to show that Saturday is an underutilized service day, it seems to me that a Wednesday closing would be more appropriate (if we buy into the argument that reducing the window in which customers can purchase your product improves performance).

The M-F working stiffs like me can’t get to the PO during the week; Saturday hours are the only ones many like me can access. Additionally, weekend closing would by definition create a two day gap in service every week. Better to have two one-day gaps, in my opinion.


31 posted on 03/18/2012 12:27:33 PM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: QT3.14
The price increases will only help the USPS lose more business. I can now send a stack of documents in a FedEx envelope (standard overnight, next business afternoon) for less than what USPS would charge me for the same service.

Plus, the FedEx folks I encounter are always friendly and accommodating...and the packages are delivered on time.

32 posted on 03/18/2012 12:32:58 PM PDT by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: raccoonradio; Alberta's Child; MamaDearest
We’re quasi-governmental; if we were privatized the price would go up and you’d still get the cuts in service.

If the USPS was private I wouldn’t be required by law to pay for the mailbox at the end of my drive way that by law is the property of the USPS that must comply with USPS regulations.

If the USPS was private the mail box would be personal property and unauthorized use of it would not warrant a fine such as when a political candidate tubes political literature.

If the USPS was private I would not be required by law to receive their service whatever my personal choice might be.

Nothing against you personally but I have had enough issues with the USPS over the years as to have no sympathy at all to its continued existence.

33 posted on 03/18/2012 12:39:12 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Mr. Bird
The M-F working stiffs like me can’t get to the PO during the week; Saturday hours are the only ones many like me can access. Additionally, weekend closing would by definition create a two day gap in service every week. Better to have two one-day gaps, in my opinion.

You make a good point regarding Saturdays. A few years ago I got a post card telling me I had a certified letter (from the IRS no less) and if not for the PO being open on Saturday I would had to take off work early to go to the PO to pick it up. Other than that however, the only mail I get is 99.9% junk mail.

All my bills are delivered electronically and I pay all my bills electronically. And if I need to receive or send anything of value or importance I use FedEx. The USPS could close every other day or shut down completely and I’d barely notice the difference

34 posted on 03/18/2012 12:44:13 PM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: Pontiac
Nothing against you personally but I have had enough issues with the USPS over the years as to have no sympathy at all to its continued existence.

Where in my post did you see a pro-postal slant? If anything, I was illustrating how "management" cuts are not being made prior to making cuts and raising costs elsewhere (for those served by the USPS). Friends/associates of mine who've worked for the USPS described to me a top-heavy post office system with pushed to the limit postal workers beneath them, while multiple highly-paid supervisors "supervise.*"

*USPS Supervisor - as in how many "USPS supervisors" does it take to screw in a lightbulb...... It's time for the post office to show accountability by management cuts before raising costs and cutting services.

35 posted on 03/18/2012 12:58:08 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: QT3.14
For what it's worth I have been using the USPS for about 6 years selling on Ebay. I have shipped a 1000 packages all over the US,Alaska,Hawaii,Puerto Rico,and APO & FPO.
The USPO never lost one package and all arrived in timely manner. Only one item was broke which I had insured and the PO payed. I guess I'm the exception. I need the PO to make my money and there are others out there like me.
36 posted on 03/18/2012 1:05:54 PM PDT by 4yearlurker (Sorry,no tag line today.)
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To: QT3.14

The internet with mail order sales like on Amazon and e-Bay were supposed to save the USPS. Now, with Kindle and i-Tunes....half of the need is erased from shipping needs. Now people don’t really have the expendable income to buy stuff on e-Bay any longer.

Read between the lines....


37 posted on 03/18/2012 1:15:01 PM PDT by My Favorite Headache (In a world where I feel so small, I can't stop thinking big. Vote Newt!)
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To: My Favorite Headache
The internet with mail order sales like on Amazon and e-Bay were supposed to save the USPS. Now, with Kindle and i-Tunes....half of the need is erased from shipping needs. Now people don’t really have the expendable income to buy stuff on e-Bay any longer.

I don’t know about that. A lot of people are going to sites like Amazon and eBay in order to save money and avoid sales taxes. Amazon Prime offers free shipping and is often a good deal. Personally in most cases when I’ve purchased anything on Amazon or on purchased or sold items on eBay I go for the UPS delivery vs. the USPS – FedEx if it’s really important or valuable.

38 posted on 03/18/2012 1:20:22 PM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: MD Expat in PA

I’m with you on the general irrelevance of the USPS in my daily life, but as you mention, there are some things that require interaction with them.

My funniest USPS moment: I was getting my passport (I had lived 30+ years without one) and the line wasn’t too bad, but I had waited about 25 minutes on a lunch hour to get to the front. With the transaction only requiring one more step, the fire alarm went off. The clerk could have easily stamped/done whatever she needed to do to complete the file and I could have gone on my merry way. By the second tone of the alarm, she had dropped everything and said “everyone out”.

I spent the next 45 minutes waiting outside with a bunch of giddy postal employees, thrilled for the unscheduled break. I couldn’t return to my office because my documents (including birth certificate) were sitting literally in plain view on a postal counter. When the all clear was given, I spent a grand total of approximately 45 seconds wrapping the transaction up.

I’m sure there are good people who work for the USPS. But organizationally, they suck.


39 posted on 03/18/2012 1:26:27 PM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Mr. Bird
I’m sure there are good people who work for the USPS. But organizationally, they suck.

For the most part the USPS is not bad for what they do and I’ve had some good experiences but when I had to pick up my last certified letter it took a ½ hour of standing on line only to deal with a rather surly and rude USPS worker for whom it was quite obvious, didn’t want to be there.

OTOH, when I accepted my current job my HR manager sent my pre-employment paperwork via FedEx and mistakenly checked the option for “signature” required.

So I came home and found a sticker on my door from FedEx saying they had tried to deliver a package to me and since it required a signature, gave me options for doing so – redelivery or picking up from my local FedEx site and provided a toll free number and a web link for doing so. It was great. At 9:00 PM I logged into the FedEx site with the tracking number and indicated that I would pickup. I was then linked to directions to the closest FedEx site and within minutes received a phone call from a FedEx rep to confirm and ask me if I had any questions or concerns. When I went to the FedEx site, which was open until 8:00PM, I was greeted by a friendly and helpful rep and got in and out with my package in less than 5 minutes.

FedEx organizationally wise is very good in my experiences with them.

40 posted on 03/18/2012 1:53:32 PM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: Lysandru

I don’t think that’s an either or proposition...


41 posted on 03/18/2012 1:57:30 PM PDT by rlmorel (A knife in the chest from a unapologetic liberal is preferable to a knife in the back from a RINO.)
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To: QT3.14

I mean this is so weird because the USPS already depends a lot on fedex and ups to deliver a lot of long-haul mail (via air) already.

USPS is never happy with customer volume. When people mailed a ton of stuff they bitched they couldn’t keep up. Now that letters are tapering off because of email, they bitch they are losing money because people aren’t mailing enough letters. Just charge more for junk mail, that volume will go down and everyone will be grateful they are receiving less crap they have to throw out.


42 posted on 03/18/2012 2:47:04 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: 386wt

Yup my union (APWU) is fighting to keep Sat. service. Most customers asked said they wouldn’t miss it.


43 posted on 03/19/2012 6:34:01 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: HIDEK6

yes...sometimes someone will do a “talk tape” for me (chatting about whatever) and throw in stuff like some
radio he recorded on a trip to the UK. We also will send
stuff on flash drives, CD-Rs, etc


44 posted on 03/19/2012 6:35:18 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: Mr. Bird

Maybe the Wed. idea would make more sense...especially since what happens with a 3 day weekend? Mail gets even more
delayed.
Some post offices do have automated postal centers though
(can weigh mail, print postage etc)


45 posted on 03/19/2012 6:37:04 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: LostInBayport

True but I’m talking more like your basic one ounce letter, bill, etc. The diff. between 45 cents and say 60 cents shouldn’t matter to most people. I’m not saying that to be greedy—only to balance our budget deficit.

Admittedly machinery, gas costs—and yes, people costs—
are the reason for this. USPS is the only agency required to prefund retirement for the next 75 years (employees not even hired yet) over 10 years. In some ways, we’re providing for the future, but it puts USPS in huge debt.


46 posted on 03/19/2012 6:40:50 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

The post office should have provided “free email” and made that the equivalent of first class mail in terms of the law.

As it stands now, all federal courts require attorneys to have AN email account but nothing specific for legal notice in a case.

Even wedding invitations now provide an rsvp via email option.

This leaves packages as the only need for the post office.


47 posted on 03/19/2012 8:34:27 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: longtermmemmory

true but don’t forget taxes (not everybody does ‘em
online), postcards, Val. Day cards, Christmas cards. Wedding invitations may have reply by email but they are often
sent by mail.
Magazines and catalogs (though those have obviously declined)... etc.
but I know what you mean

Admittedly the days are gone when I’d be at work around midnight at Apr 15 and I’d see a line of cars with people dropping off their tax forms...


48 posted on 03/19/2012 10:14:40 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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