Monday, October 19, 2009

Your Tax Dollars at Work...Sorta...

Imagine my surprise last week when I'd discovered that the U.S. Postal Service designated my house as a "Managed Service Point", as denoted by the nice white, bar-coded label they so thoughtfully pasted on the mail slot on my front door without asking first. I mean, I'm so difficult for the Post Office to find, so I can see why they didn't ask. Not like they come to my house every day or something...

So, I finally got around to calling the Post Office this morning, and was assured that the sticker is no harbinger of doom, a signal to all Fed'ral Stormtroopers bent on depriving me of my life and liberty to begin the counter-revolution here. What it is, is part of a 'program' the U.S Postal Service has implemented to to keep track of it's mail carriers, and to ensure they are actually living up to that 'swift completion of their appointed rounds' stuff. The mailman is expected to run some sort of bar code reader over these stickers, which then will report his position and the time of day, which somehow will be used by his superiors to take note of how efficient he is in completing his rounds.

Except that ever since they put the damned thing on the mailbox, the mail arrives later and later every day, but maybe I just don't understand the whole concept of government efficiency.

Anyways, I asked the nice gentleman on the phone just why it was that the Post Office was allowed to post a label on my front door without my permission? He responded that such a placement was probably just convenient, but that if it really bothered me, he would see that it was removed. Actually, it doesn't bother me all that much, except that there's a principle or two at stake here.

Firstly, why does the Postal Service believe they have the right to plaster labels on people's front doors? In another circumstance, wouldn't this be called vandalism and be punishable by prosecution?

Secondly, considering the Obama Administration has already set themselves up with an Enemies List, a network of Internet snitches, censors, agent-provocateurs and what-not, why should I actually want an agent of the Federal Government coming to my door every day, doing God-knows-what, besides delivering my mail? I mean, where does it stop? If the Post Office finds my location to be convenient for it's internal business, why shouldn't the EPA, IRS, Census Bureau, ATF, Department of the Interior, and the Pentagon? Just imagine what that would do to the lawn!

Thirdly, since the government has seen fit to use my front door for it's own purposes, no matter how noble, why shouldn't it pay me some sort of user fee for the privilege? Some sort of rent, perhaps? The person on the phone couldn't answer this question, but as soon as he heard it, he sounded determined to get that label off my mailbox...like yesterday.

Just an aside from this conversation: you'll be stunned to know that the U.S. Postal Service is not a department of the Federal Government. It is a separate entity which receives no Federal funding whatsoever. So sayeth the gentlemen on the phone when I made my "I don't want Obama's stooges on my front porch" argument. Is this true? I find it difficult to believe, considering there is a Postmaster General of the United States who is appointed by the President. If I'm wrong about this, someone please tell me, but that would seem to be a stunning revelation from the mouth of someone who, presumably, had to take a Federal Civil Service Exam, and who receives a paycheck from the Federal Treasury.

1 comment:

Greasywrench said...

Matthew - It sounds like you've been the victim, er, I meant recipient of a Government "upgrade". More wonderful examples of "hope n change". Or is it "hope in chains"?