Tuesday, November 08, 2011

EDITORIAL >> More clerks needed

It wasn’t supposed to happen.

Several women, one of them pregnant, stood in a long line during lunch hour at the Jacksonville post office with just one clerk on duty.

Patrick R. Donahoe, the postmaster general, had promised on radio last month that he’d make sure more clerks would be on duty in post office lobbies during lunch hour.

A caller had complained about long lines every time she went to the local post office on her lunch hour.

She said that’s the only time most people can go to the post office because they work all day. But there’s never more than one clerk working behind the counter, she insisted.

The postmaster promised that would change. Somebody pointed out that McDonald’s doesn’t cut back during lunch hour, so why should the post office?

“How will you fix the problem?” the skeptical radio host asked the postmaster general.

“They’ll stagger their lunch breaks,” he insisted.

The polite host almost gagged in disbelief.

The postmaster general makes $265,000 a year. When was the last time he visited a post office?

The postal service is hurting. More customers are paying bills online and using competitors for letters and packages.

Post offices are shutting down across the country. Closer to home, Austin and Garner have lost their post offices. If things don’t improve, there will be no lines in post offices because there will be none left.—Garrick Feldman