By David Simmonds
I make a point of paying my bills on time, because if you don’t all kinds of bad things happen. If you are late on your credit card payment that zero percent interest for the next 8 months means nada. A day late on your payment and you’re paying 30%, searching for another sucker card company where you can transfer your balance. And try missing the due date on your home mortgage and watch your credit rating score sink like Couric’s ratings, as you shamefully wear the scarlet letter F (use your imagination) for the remainder of your life.
So, as I dropped my stack of bills into the mail slot at the post office recently, just as I made the drop, I realized I hadn’t placed a stamp on any of the envelopes. I immediately, after shouting an expletive, stuck my arm down the slot to make a retrieval but I needed another three feet on my reach and people were looking at me funny, so I go to the teller window and tell the lady that I need my letters back. The clerk, obviously having a bad postal-worker day, goes to the slot where I dropped the mail, returns, and mumbles that I must be mistaken, all of the letters in the landing area were stamped. No, I told her, mine weren’t and I need them back. “Next in line”.
A few days later the unstamped mail started to trickle back to me, my bills unpaid, my payment history hosed.
I tell this true tale as a warning to the Mexican Postal Service who has just signed a deal with the U.S. Postal Service, where they will visit U.S. facilities in order to learn how to be more efficient. Given the state of Mexico’s mail service, where a letter stands about a 50/50 chance of ever reaching its destination, this should be helpful. Let’s just hope that they study the mechanics of efficiency and not the personalities of the work force.