Everyone hates going into the post office, and yet everyone has to do it sooner or later. The lines are almost always long, and you’re guaranteed to be waiting and waiting and waiting. But never fear, the United States Postal Service is doing something about it. They’re removing their wall clocks.
No big loss, since they were always set fast anyway, right?
It turns out that USPS is on a drive to standardize the look and feel of all 37,000 of its retail locations. And part of that makeover involves removing all the clocks from customer-accessible areas.
You heard right. Instead of making their customer-facing operations more efficient, so you move through the line faster, they remove the clocks, hoping you won’t notice how long you’re having to wait. As if you didn’t have a watch.
The idea is to have you look at the pretty displays of envelopes, stamps and mailing supplies instead, and perhaps buy more postal supplies you don’t need — and perhaps, by the time you get to the counter, forget why you went to the post office in the first place.
“Well, they’ve been removed,” confirmed Stephen Seewoester, a Dallas spokesman for the Postal Service, which is an independent agency of the federal government’s executive branch. “We want people to focus on postal service and not the clock.”
“It’s always long here,” groused Al Cunningham, 49, of Fort Worth, who became an insurance adjuster after working 10 years for the post office.
When told that the clock was removed to coax customers to focus more attention on signs and service, Cunningham said: “That’s bull. Look, do you see any sense of urgency?”
Also gone is a vinyl sticker promising service in five minutes or less. Seewoester said that was part of a discontinued service program. — Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The USPS Strategic Transformation Plan 2006-2010 acknowledges that “The Postal Service recognizes that customers form expectations on critical attributes such as waiting time in line based on their experience with other similar services, and compare Postal Service performance to best-in-class providers,” and points to the introduction of expanded hours and automated postal centers, which can weigh packages and issue postage without human intervention, as addressing the problems. I’ve never seen anyone use the automated postal center.
In other words, they haven’t done anything which will actually improve customer wait times, and they have no idea how.
I hear they want to raise the price of stamps again, too. Just where is all that money going? Clearly it isn’t going into providing a top-quality service at a reasonable price, like it would if government didn’t enforce its own monopoly on mail service.