By 2020, the United States post office will be obsolete.
The government agency is simply not keeping up with the times.
Some of the reasons for its demise are obvious.
E-mail is a mainstream communication vehicle. Social media has provided an environment — with its tiers of privacy and openness — that makes it easy to stay in touch with the click of a keyboard or swipe of a tablet.
Thousands of smaller, rural post offices are already under review to shut down.
But I don't need to read the news to see the future.
I just need to try to use my own post office.
I get a little yellow card that tells me I have a package.
Problem is, window hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
That's not going to work for me and is unlikely going to work for most people who are employed with a commute of more than 20 minutes.
Sure, I can pick up my package and go into work late. That's convenient.
Or I can leave work around 4 to pick up my package. Again, it's not reality.
So my package sits all week.
And my post office has another issue. During the week, the window is closed for an hour between 11-noon for lunch.
What kind of business is this?
This time of year, with packages piling up from holiday shopping, post offices need to be more flexible. During December, keep the windows open until 7 p.m. Or open them earlier.
If the post office were in the private sector, it would be out of business.
Look for more companies like FedEx to crop up over the next few years, offering flexibility for simple mailing. You'll likely pay a monthly service fee, but mailing and receiving packages won't be a hassle. Hours will be flexible, catering to the schedule of someone who works for a living.
And when this happens, the U.S. post office will be like the milkman delivering milk to your doorstep.
Instead of writing something new, I thought I'd repost my entry from more than a year ago, before I knew my friend was sick.
(Originally posted April 14, 2010.)
Sue was my first best friend.
We were 5.
We had no clue what the world was about.
We learned to read. To spell. To understand that clouds produced rain. That sunshine was hot, especially during the summer.
Turning 6 was cool. Mark Morse, Greg Tobias, Victor Albright. We picked on Viola Williams.
Sue had Miss Matthews for kindergarten. I had Mrs. Brophy.
Not sure who Sue had beyond that, but I had Mrs. Ausanio for first grade, Mrs. Clark for second, Mrs. Basharan for third and Mrs. Wallace for fourth. I had Miss Muccio (it was Miss in those days, not Ms.) and when she got married during the summer I had her again for sixth grade, this time as Mrs. Malconi.
We played Hot Wheels. We hiked in the woods and played hide and seek.
When we got a little older, Sue and I read The Bobbsey Twins and The Hardy Boys paperbacks in the back seat of my dad's 1970 Kingswood two-tone Chevy wagon. All very innocent.
We even had a special call when we wanted to communicated out of visual range.
We explored the well. We bought candy at Solty's. We walked to the Lake Katrine Market. We poked fun of Clayton Van Kleeck (although he didn't deserve it). We teased Greg Peck.
We played baseball. Basketball. We tussled with Teddy, the friendly dog. We rode in the Cushman.
We chewed Big Buddies and drank Dr. Pepper, taking turns lying in the hammock in my back yard on Leggs Mills Road after school was out for the summer.
Sue and I were best friends.
And life was good.
(Photo taken in January, 1972. Apologies for the yellow marker.)