In Praise of the US Postal Service

I hear many USians complain about going to the post office and about the US postal system generally. I’m here to say you’re wrong. You lot have one of the best postal services in the world. It’s way cheaper, faster and better than the postal service of any other country I’ve been in.

I enjoy going to the post office on Fourth Avenue and Eleventh St. Most of the people who work there are lovely, have a sense of humour, and go out of their way to tell you the cheapest and/or fastest way to send things. And the woman who delivers our mail? A goddess. I’ve never ever seen her in a bad mood. She calls everybody “boopy” or “booboo” and is always smiling and cracking jokes. Whenever I run into her I know I’m going to have a really good day.

So stop your whingeing people. The rest of the world doesn’t have it so good as you lot. All hail the USPS!


  1. Chris McLaren on #

    I am intensely jealous of the USPS media rate.
    I wish we had such a thing in Canada–or rather, that such a thing was available to the noncommercial public in Canada.

    It is cheaper for an American to mail me a book than it is for me to send one across town.

  2. Justine on #

    That media rate makes me so happy!

  3. Greg van Eekhout on #

    You are SO right. I put a 37-cent sticker on an envelope (I don’t even have to lick anything) and someone will cross thousands of miles and deliver it by hand to an address in Homer, Alaska. If someone gives me an envelope and 37 cents, I won’t even take it across the street for them.

  4. Cheryl on #

    Hear, hear! USPS is an absolute miracle compared to the GPO.

    Just as a comparison, USPS has an express international rate that can get mail to me in the UK in 2-3 days. The GPO, in comparison, promises delivery in 7 days but actually takes a lot longer. And USPS is cheaper too.

  5. cherie priest on #

    Oh, I absolutely agree. I have nothing but trouble with FedEx and UPS, but the USPS almost never lets me down.

  6. Jenny D on #

    You know, it’s funny, I beg to differ! The reason the US gets things faster to the UK than vice versa is because delivery is so much better at the UK end! I don’t dispute the price thing; postage is far cheaper in the US than anywhere else I know of. And that’s cool. (So is media mail. Great deal.) But I have only lived near the most nightmarish post offices (the one on 112th between Broadway and Amsterdam is so bad that I basically won’t even go there–a twenty-five minute wait is standard, and the people working at the counters are usually unbelievably hostile and obstructive–I buy stamps from the news kiosk and send all packages by FedEx). With a corporate account i.e. corporate discount (which is substantial–look into getting one if you send a lot of packages), FedEx is often literally cheaper than even the cheapest option at the USPS. My mail in NY is rarely delivered before 5pm, not to mention it comes in clumps 3-4 days a week which I don’t believe is right, and my mom in Philadelphia had such problems with missing mail that she basically had to stop using USPS for anything important (i.e. if someone was sending her a check for something). Just a dissenting view, anyway…. I fear that governments are going to get out of the postal business altogether, anyway, it is simply not economical for them. We are going to see cancellation of Saturday delivery in the next five years, that’s my bet, plus basically a switch to a system where only an underclass uses the USPS for anything other than getting junk mail, as we all come to pay bills online and use FedEx for everything else significant…

    (Sorry, don’t get me started on this…)

  7. Cecil on #

    Oh I agree with you one hundred percent. Canadian mail sucks! Here, I adore my post office. I adore my postal carrier ( a lovely woman). I adore the speed of my mail.

    I just wish I got more of it. Or that people went back to writing letters.

    I have a fountain pen and I’m going to use it.

  8. niki on #

    sorry jenny but uk post sux – they steel shit out of your letters – they had a story about it when i was there and tested the system and 4 time out of 10 they found their mail had been tampered with !!

  9. Mely on #

    USPS lost my huge Wiscon box of goodies. I will never feel the same about them.

  10. Vernieda on #

    I love USPS. They have been nothing but good to me.

    FedEx, on the other hand…

  11. Cheryl on #

    “The reason the US gets things faster to the UK than vice versa is because delivery is so much better at the UK end!”

    This is complete nonsense. The GPO has a tracking service for its expensive international mail, so I know exactly where the hold-up is, and it is not in the USA.

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