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Archive for May 31st, 2011

Intransigence

Posted by Dirck on 31 May, 2011

There is a postal strike looming here in Canada.  I mention it here rather than in the more political blog I (now infrequently) maintain because of the very direct effect upon me and my pens– pens aside, I count it as an early manifestation of the troubles to come with the new majority rightist government.  Without the mails, I am thrown upon the rapacious courier services to move client’s pens to and fro, which can cause a serious disruption, when a couple of these piratical enterprises routinely charge a “customs brokerage fee” higher than the cost of repairs (or in one case higher than the pristine value of the pen itself) for moving the pen across what we’re told is a border between two partners in free trade, and the others seem to make a point of stacking parcels with the heaviest at the top.  Without the mails, I am cut off from my correspondents, international and domestic, and the encouraging news that their letters bring (I hear that spring is actually fully engaged in Europe!).

I’ve listened to both sides of the argument, and I think they’re both being unnecessarily contrarian.  The union is bent out of shape over a request that it no longer be possible for the workers to bank sick days without any limitation.  Management is making poormouth over the drop in letter-mail (17% over the past 5 years!) and the reduction of income that represents.  I suspect the latter on two fronts:  first, there’s always a line at the post office, so people are using the service; second, if reductions in usage rates are causing trouble, why court a strike which will drive people into the arms of alternatives?  This second head can as easily be thrown in the face of the union.  Guys, you’ve both got some valid points, but you’re also both acting like only one side can win in a situation where both can easily end up losing.

Not that there’s any actual alternative to a hand-written letter.  A treat for all the senses!  Even famous song-writers agree!

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Stylist 404C (not the same one I had previously complained about)
Today’s ink: Pelikan 4001 violet

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