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Merry {Expletive} Christmas!

Posted by Dirck on 11 December, 2013

Let me quote myself from yesterday’s tiny appearance:

I am all in favour of anything that that puts money in the pockets of Canada Post….

Now let me qualify that– “…apart from massive reductions of service and staff, and rate increases should be kept to a dull roar.”  When I speak of Canada Post, I speak of the people that comprise it rather than the corporate entity.  That entity is apparently a bit of an Anti-Claus, as we have in the news today Canada Post’s announcement of how they mean to address what is described as a perilous collision of cost rises and reduction of traffic.  The announcement itself is here, but let me show the the plan:


Very jolly. I especially enjoy the increase in postage, which is about a 25% rise over the current price; I hear on the radio that single stamps may be going to a full dollar.  This, in my untutored opinion, is not the sort of thing that is going to encourage people to return to traditional mail as a means of communication, the dropping away of which has been cited as one of the causes of Canada Post’s current difficulties.  I would, from my place of gross ignorance, view a massive increase in the price of stamps as effective a treatment for declining amounts of letter-mail as suggesting a daily dozen cigars for miner’s lung.  I am, as I say, not schooled in business, so I’m probably missing something.

Similarly, “Please write often so I have more reason to stagger out in a raging blizzard to check the communal mail box” doesn’t sound like an effective strategy.  I’m one of the strangely pampered one-third that gets home delivery, so I’ll admit there is a tone of personal laziness in any complaints I make about this innovation, but I’ve always thought it was a terrible idea since the “Superbox” was introduced for newly-developed neighbourhoods a couple of decades ago.  Apart from the inconvenience, there is also this– that much centralized other-people’s-stuff is bound to be attractive to both vandals and enterprising thieves.  As someone who regularly has the property of others coming to me in the mail, sometimes quite valuable (commercially and moreso sentimentally), I find that’s rather a concern.  We may also consider the position of Muriel Dodderington, retired lace tatter and part-time allegorical figure, who maintains contact with what remains of her friends and family non-electronically, and who finds walking a block or two on wind-polished ice something of a challenge; mail delivery is a social good.

I’m also quick to look sideways at any cost-cutting measure that looks at the staff as something of an accumulation of barnacles.  “Canada Post has a much higher cost structure than its competitors” seems to me to mean that unlike the private haulage companies (U Pay Sucker and FedExtortion are how I refrequently refer to them) they charge somewhat less for the act of moving your stuff while paying the workers enough to keep them from taking out their frustrations on said stuff.  If we heard that there were going to be some substantial voluntary cuts to the ranks of the management, this might sit a little better.  “Attrition” sounds well enough, of course, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s really so many Posties on the cusp of retirement that it won’t simply develop into yet another enhancement to the numbers of unemployed people.

I shall write a letter to my MP on the matter, which by law is to be carried without charge by Canada Post, to complain about this once I’ve had a little more time to formulate my arguments.  I don’t expect it will bear much fruit, my MP being something of a throw-pillow upon which the Prime Minister props his feet occasionally (and under whose regime “A Mare Usque Ad Mare” is being replaced by “Anything For A Buck” as national motto), but it’s about all I can do other than read Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal again and wish for a von Lipwig to take over here.

Today’s pen: Waterman Phileas
Today’s ink: Diamine Steel Blue


10 Responses to “Merry {Expletive} Christmas!”

  1. AndrewMB said

    Oh you are so correct in your assessment! You know my personal peeve of Canada Post moving the delivery of parcels to some wretched mall on the eastern reaches of my burg,
    but let me map out the situation more clearly. The main/central post in my city is located centrally (well, fancy that). More so, it is located adjacent to two senior centres. In the past those seniors only had to walk a few steps to collect their parcels. Now they have to propel themselves somehow kilometers away over non-pedestrian friendly streets to the above mentioned mall (their licenses, in many cases having been removed from their possession because of age related matters). [It is probably a $5 pop or more in a taxi.]

    Ah, Management! Their blinders are in place, and their hearts as cold as rutabagas forgotten in the ground at harvest. We shall raise a glass to them, and their close relatives at the RBC who are rolling in their 80 billion dollar profit. We also graciously offer them the bird this holiday season…no, not that bird.

    Thank you for hitting the nail on the head.

    • I know it’s not quite the bird you were thinking of, but it might do for the boardroom self-congratulatory Christmas get-together:
      an abomination
      This little fella, running about and distributing big wet kisses should give a sense of the Canadian public’s joy at their stewardship of our postal resource.

  2. golongcarrierpigeon said

    Ravensmarch, your arguments are delicious (oh no, Muriel Doddington just fell down headlong on the wind polished ice on her way to the Post! — you paint a very vivid picture of things — pray forgive me for connecting the dots). Please do send them along to your Member Barnacle.

    Is that a real thing or Red Lobster’s version of Turducken (it looks like a crustacean with eels growing out of its head, eating an octupus)? Don’t tell me that’s all octopus! Yuckeee.

    • If I didn’t want the dots connected, I wouldn’t have strewn them about so liberally.

      I’m pretty sure I can identify at least four biological classes worth of meats in that picture– its an abomination even Red Lobster would (probably) balk at producing.

  3. Yikes. And I thought the US Postal Service was bad. That’s insane. I know that national postal services in a lot of countries are suffering because of the competition from carriers like UPS, etc, but maybe they should have done more to become more viable, more efficient organizations.

  4. Hey, someone tracked down the originator of the horror. I can cite at last! http://gothamist.com/2013/12/16/cthuken.php

  5. […] trick its way through the postal system, I suspect that the response of the front-line workers to the care and consideration Canada Post is getting from the current government is, when not simply curled up in a corner and weeping, a certain amount of shouting, “Good […]

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