Promises or hollow rhetoric?

Letter to the Editor

 


Editor,

I appreciate District Manager Epperson setting the tone for this meeting by informing all of us via an email letter to the Saratoga Sun and Daily Times that the Postmaster has the full support of the USPS and that he won’t make personnel decisions based on politics or popularity. It appears that, without hearing one person here talk about our problems, he has drawn some interesting conclusions. It does not appear that he comes to this meeting with an open mind—ready to listen.

When we met last week I did not hear anyone mention politics or popularity. What I did hear was many passionate people talking about the lack of customer service. We heard about numerous packages from FedEx and UPS being sent back even though the packages were addressed according to their requirements. We heard of medications critical the health of the patrons here being sent back with no attempt to deliver because they did not have a post office box number.  We heard of people’s credit being damaged because they did not receive bills and about numerous pieces of mail that was properly addressed ending up in the wrong boxes. We heard of business owners who do $20,000 worth of business a year with the Postal Service ready to ship by UPS because of the difficulties of dealing with the Postmaster. We heard of disparaging remarks made by the Postmaster about how we are a bunch of high school dropouts trying to tell him how to do his job. We heard how he told a former employee when she was diagnosed with cancer that it was her own fault and questioning her faith when he told her she did not know how to pray. The stories of rudeness, incompetence and arrogance go on and on. But never did I hear anyone mention politics or popularity.


We have been told that operational deficiencies have been identified and are being addressed. We have heard that the Postmaster will receive training and we wonder why he was not trained before he was given the position. The fact remains that because of his past actions Mr. O’Connell has lost the trust of the Encampment people. In most of the jobs the people in this room have held they would have been dismissed or sanctioned in someway if they had performed in the same manner as Mr. O’Connell and yet we hear District Manager Epperson say that this Postmaster has the full support of the USPS even before listening to what we have to say.

We see the Postal Service ads on TV and read in Vision 2013 that they will focus on what matters most to customers. They say, “The Postal Service is more than just a delivery system—we exist to help customers accomplish tasks that are essential to them.” It tells us that; “Customers should expect timely, reliable delivery at reasonable prices.” It also says, “we will continue to earn our customers trust by our performance and by open dialogue on what we can do to grow the business.” These promises sound like hollow rhetoric to the postal patrons of Encampment.

Our quality of life has been compromised. To us it appears that our post office has gone from a friendly, efficient operation to a bureaucratic mess. If what we are seeing here is the new face of the Postal Service I think it would be safe to say that we have traded Cinderella for the Ugly Step-Sister.

Jerry Paxton

 

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