What are people — and the Post Office — for?

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BY MARK JAMISON It’s likely that I will be the last postmaster to serve the town of Webster, North Carolina.  The first postmaster, Allen Fisher, began his term in 1857, shortly after Jackson County was founded and Webster became the county seat.  The names of the postmasters that follow read like a county census.  In a rural mountain county that … Read More

Why Postal Reform Will Fail

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BY MARK  JAMISON By any meaningful measure, whatever postal reform bill emerges from the current legislative process, it will be insufficient to staunch the flow of blood draining from the Postal Service.  More likely than not, the bill will facilitate the destruction of a national treasure by strangling the principles that support its existence.  Postal reform is going to fail … Read More

Satisfaction Guaranteed (not!): Redefining “service” — the Postal Way

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A POSTMASTER'S STORY by Mark Jamison I want to tell you a story about the state of customer service in today’s Postal Service.  It’s about a solitary incident, a small incident really, but it holds a larger truth. PS Form 1509, “Recall of Mail,” has been around for years.  It’s a form a customer can fill out to try and retrieve … Read More

“Because we said so”: The unassailable logic of postal managers and their salaries

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BY MARK JAMISON Last week Kathy Hochul, Representative of New York’s 24th district, where Buffalo stands to lose a mail processing plant employing 700 workers, made a modest proposal — legislation to limit the salaries of the Postmaster General and his executive officers to the level of Cabinet Secretaries.  Her goal was to make a statement: “The Postal Service cannot … Read More

The Clock Nears Twelve: The Approach of Postal Doomsday

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BY MARK JAMISON "These men combine to bring about as much financial stress as possible, in order to discredit the policy of government and thereby secure a reversal of that policy, so they may enjoy unmolested the fruits of their own evil doings.  I regard this contest as one that will determine who shall rule this free country — the … Read More

A post office worth preserving

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BY MARK JAMISON [Mr. Jamison serves the town of Webster in the mountains of North Carolina as its postmaster.  He has written extensively on postal issues.  In keeping with the USPS Administrative Support Manual, Mr. Jamison does not "speak for or act on behalf of the Postal Service."  These are his thoughts on where things stand and where we ought to … Read More

Unbinding the Nation: America and the Post Office

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[Yesterday the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued its Advisory Opinion on the Retail Access Optimization Initiative (RAOI), the Postal Service’s plan to close 3,652 post offices.  On this Christmas Eve, Mark Jamison shares his thoughts on reading the Opinion.] THE RAOI OPINION points to a very unsettling possibility.  Small post office closures are not about “rationalizing” the network — they offer minimal cost … Read More

A Conflict of Visions: The Pension Dispute, Periodicals Mail, and the Great Postal Debate

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GUEST POST BY POSTMASTER MARK JAMISON Two competing visions are defining the great postal debate of 2011. The management of the Postal Service, along with the mainstream media and many stakeholders in the mail industry, are advancing a narrative that blames the Internet and postal workers for the “crisis” in the postal system.  The Internet is making the post office … Read More