Hey kids, once upon a time there was such a person as a postman who came to the door every day

snow postie

I was a bit confounded by the postal service when I spent my year-long sojourn in England many years ago. I mean I assumed I would continue to be abused in the way I’d gotten used to with Canada Post which, when they weren’t on strike were upping the postage rates and cutting back on days of delivery.

So, here was this lovely man (rosy-cheeked and puffing in the morning chill like a character out of Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales) who arrived on his bicycle not once, but twice every morning, and once on Saturday. We’d lost Saturday post years earlier. And then in the Christmas season for the last few days before the 25th he’d keep delivering and delivering throughout the day until the mail ran out.

Of course, that was then and this is now and recently the UK privatized its postal service. In light of contemporary realities I make the modest proposal that we should do likewise in Canada. We should do likewise for a number of reasons.

First and foremost in that regard is that Canada Post seems to follow the same business model as the BC Ferries Corporation which holds that if you charge more and more you’ll make more money, seemingly unable to grasp the logic that if you charge more and more you are only rendering what you offer less and less viable for the consumer.

So, in the spring CP is going to raise the cost of a single letter to a buck! Yeah, that’ll stop folks using email or courier services. So, $1 next spring, how much the following spring after usage has declined even more?

Oh, and they’re going to cut out door-to-door delivery. Well, in that regard, I don’t really care. We’ve had a community box since we moved into this house in 1998.

Of course the real problem for CP is that the electronic revolution has killed the need and they seem to have not grasped that as in, “who needs ya?” Well, for a few things we do. For example, I get the odd cheque in the mail (though not as frequently as I’d like, I might add to whoever sends me cheques these day) and just this very morning I sent off 3, count ’em, 3 overseas Christmas cards) and I have about 3 domestic ones I’m going to send. My mother used to have ribbons hanging from the ceiling to accommodate the masses of cards they used to get once they’d run out of mantel and window ledge space. That’s all gone. People send e-cards now. Maybe a regular one to Aunt Hattie who “don’t got one of them computer gee-gaws and ain’t about to get one.”

Canada Post, Aunt Hattie is your client base. Hardly enough to sustain. Sell the thing.

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12 responses to “Hey kids, once upon a time there was such a person as a postman who came to the door every day

  1. Lifted from Wikipedia: “from a quote from Herodotus’ Histories, referring to the courier service of the ancient Persian Empire:

    It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.

    —Herodotus, Histories (8.98) (trans. A.D. Godley, 1924)

  2. And so falleth an ancient tradition of service… 😦

  3. I remember post men when I was young (in California). We also had home delivered milk and bread. *sigh* Things have changed a lot. I do still prefer to mail cards and only email to those people who travel and live in their motorhomes.

  4. Mail here is still a daily thing, all but Sunday and costs *only* $0.46 for a regular letter. We can still have local milk and other things delivered too, if one is willing to pay the price. I don’t send a lot of mail these days, but when the mail finally disappears I will miss the occasional card and even better, small packages which sometimes come through the mail.

    • Small packages and cards, miss them both. And you still have milk delivery. I’m amazed. Oh, and in our case, the coal man doesn’t come around much either or the iceman.

  5. I send a whack of mail every week for Postcrossing. And every time I’m at the postoffice (the outlet in Shopper’s, since we don’t have a proper postal station) there is always a line. Always. It is open 12 hours a day, plus another 16 hours on the weekend. So maybe, I won’t have to wait any longer when I buy my stamps.
    I agree that this is the stupidest business move for a flailing company to make if they want to keep/attract customers.
    I’m also wondering where all those community boxes will go in large urban areas like Vancouver and Toronto?

    • Yes, the question of community boxes in large urban centres has come up from a few people. And I do all my postal business at a Rexall store with an outlet. Our PO, by the way, is closed from 12-1. Go figure.

  6. I was wondering the same thing about community boxes. Where the hell will they put them in Montreal. That’s a hella lot of boxes

  7. yep, Vancouver and TO will be the same. Maybe Rob can do something about it in TO.,

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