“You’ve got mail!” — AOL zombie
After my last article on United States Postal Service managerial ineptitude, I had some useful suggestions for management to curb costs, improve morale and accentuate public visibility, but some folks in the managerial field are bereft of a sense of humor while I’m busy pushing their envelope.
However, just to make things fair and thus prove that I am not in an unmedicated “slash and burn mode” myopia upon the overseers of the USPS plantation, I will address the stultifying culture of labor unions and the relative impotence of their outdated message. Quite frankly, labor and management have proven themselves to be such a parliament of asses that the subtleties of proactive business acumen appear to have escaped them both at the expense of all, themselves included.
According to a recent appearance before Congress by Postmaster General John Potter, the USPS is, like banks, mortgage companies and summer weekend lemonade stands, on the recessional skids resonant with the doom and gloom augury of depressed services, lay-offs, no ice cream on Thursdays, yada-yada.
So much for choosing “hope over fear.”
The National Association of Letter Carriers [NALC] has obscenely swooned over this allegedly pro-labor president. Is it an inconvenient truth that the e-president’s success at acquiring a majority of his campaign largesse was done, not through the postal system but, over the Internet? Trust me, O Mighty Mandarins of NALC, the e-president is not your beer drinking buddy. Remember, “[He] won” your vote. Your worth is now moot.
How much money was sent to the e-president’s campaign coffers over the Internet instead of the postal system by postal workers? How much moola was then subsequently lost to the postal industry which would have had a direct bottom line benefit to those same postal workers if they would have sent in their donations by a stamped envelope? Talk about putting both feet in the wood chipper!
Why hasn’t NALC petitioned the e-president to retire his techno-doodad to the charger, stick a stamp, without pre-conditions, on a letter to Iran in order to stimulate the rank and file postal worker economy here at home and thereby demonstrate by deed rather than blather to utilize the most reliable courier service in the world? When have you ever heard, “the server is down” from the USPS?
To paraphrase PMG emeritus Ben Franklin’s “In Praise of Older Women” that, like an older woman, the USPS might not be pretty but we’re cheap, easy, dependable and fun!
Postmaster General John Potter recently received a $79,000 pay raise and a juicy $135,000 performance bonus which is part of an $850,000 pay and compensation package. How does one get a raise and a bonus for propelling the USPS into the economic ravine? The question remains; what has NALC actually done about this shameless travesty of quasi-corporate prostitution? I don’t see NALC asking for a 70 percent increase of the Smurf Army’s pay yet they will still nobly enter into the collective bargaining circus and ask for a pittance that simply isn’t there.
The solution is simple.
How about faking a football bootleg around USPS management and then lobbing a “Hail Mary” pass to their good labor buddy, e-President Obamaberry, who possesses such a quiescently demonstrative legislative labor record as a U.S. senator? Maybe propose the Geithner/Daschle Act so that grunt workers can conveniently forget about paying income taxes entirely and claim the “honest mistake” exemption for the next four years?
Or, quite seriously, how about NALC and other labor unions lobbying the e-President to cut every American worker’s Federal employment taxes by half?
If President Obama wants to stimulate my economy, I’d gladly spend the extra $500 bucks per month in gross financial filet mignon I’d keep from that real time manifestation of tax relief rather than the net sum chicken nugget of $13 per week that I’ll receive from his newly minted Porkzilla Act of 2009. That is “change” that not only I could believe in but that I would readily spend to stimulate my Frederick’s of Hollywood addiction.
Where’s the union on this? They need to pull the thong out of their crack.
While the unions regularly win against management in EEO and grievance tussles, it is a hollow victory if the cash awards can’t be paid back from an empty USPS piggy bank. Maybe the union can ask PMG John Potter with whom he spoke in Congress to get postal workers some extra spare change. Potter obviously knows “somebody.”
An aphorism from Postmaster General emeritus Ben Franklin sums it best: “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately”. The question remains, “How much slack do you want in the rope?”
Steve Breen is still gunning for Postmaster General John Potter’s job and is still “the best looking mailman in the U.S. Post Office.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org