real letters

hand-written-letterPeople don’t write real letters anymore.

I’ve mentioned before that I work at the Post Office.  Every day except Sunday, I carry the mail in our area…so I have a pretty good idea of what’s coming and going.

We get some letters still…handwritten notes and cards…but the level seems to be decreasing. The level of all the mail seems to be decreasing.  The magazines are getting thinner, a little less junk second class mail…the packages seem to be stable because they’re pushing parcels as a revenue stream…it feels like change is in the air.

I feel like a dusty cowboy astride his horse…looking out over the prairie…his mail bag slung over his saddle….wondering , “why don’t they send me out as often anymore?”

That’s the thing about this world…everything changes…always.  Even if you’re dead, you’re changing.  It’s inevitable.

The Post Office is so big…and has been a monopoly for so long that I wonder if they ever saw any need in being able to change? The attitude of “this is the way we do it…this is the way we’ve always done it…why should we have to change with the times?” is something that I see all the time at work.

It’s like they’ve lived in a house on fire for a couple of years and just noticed that it’s getting kind of hot.

So we try to compete with everybody who doesn’t really do what we do at the Post Office…like all we have to do is make more money delivering packages than UPS or FedEx and all our problems will be solved.  If we can only beat our competitors at their game, we’ll be the winners.

Why not hit it from the tradition angle…teach kids how meaningful it can be to write and receive a letter…how different it feels for the writer and the recipient to get something more solid than an emoticon filled text message?

The letter writers all seem to be the older folks, too…the young people have a different thing going on. What’s going to happen when the older folks are gone?  Who’s going to take their place as letter writers?  Not the young people…I don’t know that most of them even know how to address a letter, much less write one.

I’m a backseat driver.  I don’t have solutions to any of the Post Office’s woes…and it’s easy to pick at things and say, “Why don’t they do it like this?  It’d fix things…”.  I do think that they’re missing an opportunity in not educating a little on the tradition of getting and giving a real letter.

Sometimes I feel like a cooper…or a VCR repairman…it’s going away and I’m a witness to the changes.  Like I said before…what doesn’t change?  You go and do the job…and come home in the evening to your family and push through the other parts of your life.

It’s odd to see the changes in something that by design has been static for so long, though.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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