With the holiday rush, so many packages are ready to be shipped via the post office, UPS or Goin’ Postal – a new shipping center in Royal Oak. It just opened last Monday but that name – Goin’ Postal – is already causing controversy.
“There’s no positive way that I’ve really ever heard that term used,” says Roscoe Woods. He’s the president of the local American Postal Workers Union. He remembers that terrible day in 1991 when disgruntled former employee Tom McIlvane killed four people and wounded four more at the Royal Oak Post Office.
In today’s New York Times columnist Gail Collins weighs in on the continuing saga of Lance Armstrong, asking what the point of the whole fiasco was in the first place:
Let’s consider the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team. Between 1996 and 2004, our American mail system invested an estimated $40 million in this venture, in return for which Armstrong and his teammates rode around with the Postal Service insignia on their shirts.
This would be the same Postal Service that lost $16 billion last year, and I believe I speak for every stamp-buyer in the nation when I say: What?
The Armstrong heyday was back in the era when the Postal Service, having been spun off into a quasi-private enterprise, was having delusions of corporate grandeur. The era when it lost $8.3 million in a failed attempt to start a retail operation in the Mall of America. Its leaders liked the idea that “they could rub shoulders with other C.E.O.’s who were sponsoring sports activities,” said Ruth Goldway, the chairwoman of the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Goldway was never a big fan of the postal service cycle team, although she felt it was a better marketing tool than some of the other ideas put into play, like “buying free tickets for postal employees to go to football games.” And, she said, she had some sympathy for Armstrong, “until I saw how he treated Sheryl Crow.”
The USPS has been running a TV commercial touting the safety and security of the US Mail, as compared to the dark and dangerous world of the Internet. Not surprisingly, Internet users don’t appear to be leaving the web in droves- a sampling of Twitter reactions follows the video. (Doesn’t anyone at the USPS see the irony in running ads like this one at the same time they’re telling Congress they don’t need all those post offices because people can buy stamps on the Internet using their credit card?)