My View: Matilda's big day ruined

By John McLoone
Posted 2/7/24

I made a comment a few weeks back that may have been taken the wrong way.

I wrote that we do the “lion’s share of the work” in getting your newspaper delivered by the United …

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My View: Matilda's big day ruined


I made a comment a few weeks back that may have been taken the wrong way.

I wrote that we do the “lion’s share of the work” in getting your newspaper delivered by the United States Post Office.

Mark took me to task.

“Was this an attempt at humor or a put down of the postal service? I got five hernias carrying a mailbag with up to 30 pounds of post over my 10-mile route every workday for 30 years.”

I apologize to Mark and every single United States Postal Service worker that’s on the local end of delivery. They are diligent in their efforts to get mail delivered.

I would never mean to slight them.

On the flip side of the equation from Mark is Terri. Terri lives in Cumberland, Wis. and gets the paper delivered there. She read my same postal service comments three weeks later than the rest of you did. Of my article, she wrote, “This one particularly resonated with me in regard to your comments on the USPS, especially since the article I am reading and referring to is in the Jan, 17 edition, which I received on Feb. 2, a day AFTER I received the Jan. 24 paper.”

Our local post offices certainly aren’t the problem, in any way shape or form. Every day, they’re hitting the rounds and making sure mail – that actually gets to their office – is delivered.

It’s the next level, above the local offices, and perhaps the level above that, that’s causing serious disruptions in service.

And, it’s going to get worse. There is automatically going to be another one-day delay in mail delivery in the near future, as the USPS is working to eliminate its afternoon trucks. It’s happened already in eastern Wisconsin. With no warning, one day there was an afternoon truck, the next day there wasn’t. Instead of picking up the afternoon mail, the early morning delivery truck driver will pick up the mail from the day before.

As of a few years back, if you mailed a local letter, say a birthday card to your friend across the street, you popped it in the mail, and they picked it out of their mailbox the next day. Now, you better plan in advance for Matilda’s big day, so as to not offend her. Remember how mad she was when you didn’t ask her about her husband’s gout? Imagine if you forget her birthday?

So, as it is now, you have to plan for Matilda’s birthday a couple days out. Matilda turns 75 on Friday. You think you’re safe dropping that in the mail Wednesday. Here’s the problem, under the new USPS plan, Matilda’s card is going to sit in a mail tub in the back of the post office until the next morning. Then, it will start its two (maybe) three day journey to and from the USPS sorting facility in Eagan, Minn.

Matilda’s big day was officially ruined. Two days after her birthday, she gets the mail, turns to Earl and says, “A late birthday card, and they didn’t even have the respect to say “Happy Belated Birthday. That oaf forgot my big day.”

Earl leans back in his rocker. “Just like he forgot to ask about my gout.”

And then on the flipside of the equation, if it’s 3 p.m. the day before Matilda’s birthday, you could log on to Amazon and pick out that lavender stuff she sprays all over her house to make it smell like a funeral home and have it delivered to her the next day.

We’re working hard to fight delivery delays of our newspaper, and we’ll continue to. It’s hard to fight, when the USPS is prioritizing delivering Amazon packages seven days a week rather than delivering mail.

Matilda’s mad about it too.

mail, post office, My View, John McLoone, column