Monday, August 24, 2020

‘The bad that is bad now’ began a long time ago

     When Dorothy Parker heard that Calvin Coolidge had died, she quipped, “How can they tell?”
     Which about summarizes my reaction to news that Donald Trump is wrecking the U.S. Postal Service.
     Without question, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has hurt the USPS during his brief tenure, particularly by ending overtime.
     It’s also true that some changes he’s being blamed for, like pulling out high-speed letter sorting machines, were already in the works. 
Mack Julion

     “You cannot say horrible service in Chicago started this spring,” said Mack Julion, a Chicago postal worker for 23 years and president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 11. “Bad service in Chicago began at least a year ago and got worse during the pandemic.”
     An institution as enormous as the post office is like an ocean liner. It takes time to turn. DeJoy showed up in June.
     “The directives we hear are coming from his office have yet to hit the workroom floor in Chicago,” Julion said. “The bad that is bad now, that’s basically Chicago management. He can make it worse. You can’t cut overtime in Chicago because we don’t have enough carriers to deliver the mail. Here’s, that’s unthinkable.”
     And unworkable....

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  1. Your ocean liner doesn't hold water. Sure, it takes a long time to turn around, but you can sink in minutes if you try hard enough - just sideswipe the nearest iceberg.

    1. The Titanic sank in minutes. One hundred and sixty of them, to be exact. Sideswiped the iceberg at 11:40 PM, disappeared beneath the surface at 2:20 AM. Long enough for about a third of the 2,200+ SOBs (Souls On Board) to escape death in the half-filled lifeboats.

      The iceberg was spotted and the turn was made, but what takes a ship a long time and distance to do is to turn or to come to a complete stop. And no extremely heavy moving object can possibly stop on a dime. Ask anyone (who survives, that is) when their car is hit by a freight train. Takes about a mile, on average, depending on the train's speed and length.

      A big ship not only takes a long time to turn, but it also will travel for several miles before stopping, being much bigger and much heavier than any train. Which means that by the time the lookouts on the Titanic saw the iceberg, they were already screwed.

  2. With regard to Dorothy Parker's quip: when people mention that I look good for my age, I tell them that I'm striving for the "lifelike look."


  3. It’s been a frighteningly regular experience to send W-2s and paychecks to people in Chicago and when they come back in the mail we call or email them to request a current address and it turns out the address that we used is correct. Then we just try sending it to the same address again and that often works.
    Still, mail delivery is a good thing, if we’re going to have a civilization and all.

  4. n case Kenny Labbe didn’t mention it, he once was a pro cyclist and is well-known today as a very good race announcer at many Chicago-area bike races.

    Here’s a piece from that other newspaper featuring Kenny:,amp.html


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