Signed, Sealed, Scammed

It’s probably now old news that the United States Postal Service (USPS) may soon be reducing delivery days to five instead of the current six in order to address its financial deficits.  This may or may not be too big a deal, but, in addition to increasing the price of stamps, it may be what’s needed to turn things around for this American institution.

So, how, in spite of this, can the USPS explain their Postmaster General, John Potter, receiving a nearly $80,000 salary increase last year plus a $165,000 “performance” bonus?  The USPS lost of over $2B in revenues last year.  Shouldn’t that, in fact, constitute ‘poor performance’ on the part of the Postmaster General?  In any other industry, this would probably result in a ‘poor performance’ rating.  Why, then, is he being rewarded for it?

But, is the revenue loss a result of the sign of the times?  Did emails, texting, and other constituents prolific in this Electronic Age do the USPS in?  “Pen Pals,” for instance, email each other rather than sending notes via mail; Regards.com is but one of many outfits from which electronic greeting cards can be sent; and instant downloads of music and books are making it possible for us to enjoy traditional physical media (which would’ve otherwise been mailed/shipped out) in a more portable electronic format.

Are our technological advancements actually to blame for the downfall of the USPS?  Was this a self-fulfilled prophecy?

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6 Responses to “Signed, Sealed, Scammed”


  1. 1 DAVE ID February 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    The company may have had poor performance, but HIS performance may have been outstanding. Considering the impending death of snail mail (other than courier service) and slumping economy, he may have achieved the goals that were set upon his fiscal year. If that’s what his contract promises for rendered performance, then rock on.

    What REALLY sets me off is CEOs voting themselves 3 million dollar raises and then fires 2000 low wage employees to compensate. Or a CEO gets a bailout and wastes 1.5 million to redecorate his office. Or Tyson Chicken plant CEOs importing immigrants and having them work off their immigration costs as slave labor. THAT’S SICK

  2. 2 Bryan February 28, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I’m rarely one to defend a federal entity, but I think the losses are largely a perfect storm of a very poor economy and the fact that this is a dying industry.

    And we really don’t know what the performance bonus was tied to. It may have been some specific goals that were not financially related.

  3. 3 jonsquared March 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    You both have great points. But, even if the bonus and raise were indeed tied to metrics other than fiscal performance (which I highly doubt), it just seems wrong that he would still reap such benefits while cutbacks in service– and, consequently, personnel– are in the works.

  4. 4 DAVE ID March 1, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Sometimes the metrics include cutting personnel. And service… WTF is that anymore?

  5. 5 smysore March 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Sometimes I don’t know what to make of all this. Did you read about their relocation package fiasco?
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/05/postal.service.relocation/index.html


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