Public Values

What postal deregulation has done for me

Misdirected mail, bad service in suburb served by private contractor.

The ironically named Super Mailboxby A Canadian Public Servant

September 14, 2008 — During the nine years I resided in the established Saskatoon neighbourhoods of Haultain and Nutana, postal service was provided by qualified federal postal employees. How do I know they were qualified? Because I received my mail at my home at a consistent time daily Monday through Friday, except on stats, and to my knowledge, in nine years I received all mail that was sent to me. It is important to note that in nine years of home mail delivery service by federal, unionized employees, I received mail for another address twice. I didn't realize the depth of the quality of services provided me by federal, unionized employees, until I moved to a newer part of the city — a place to where I pay more taxes for the new address, and have to go and get my mail from a "super" mailbox — a term which has grown in idiocy since the first day I heard it.

I have now resided at this address for ten years. In that time, I have received mail for the incorrect address on at least two dozen occasions — in the hands of privatized "services"; and in my experiences unqualified, contracted-out people.

In the last few years, I have notified the federal postal authorities twice and lodged a phone complaint over the mishandling of the mail. I told them that I had received, for one example, a particular person's mail by mistake so many times that I knew where he banked, who he invested with, what he did for a living, and more, simply by the return addresses of his personal mail.

Does this seem right??

When I asked a couple of neighbours at the "super" mailbox if they receive others' mail in error they both replied "Oh yes."

Does that seem right?? In various neighbourhoods with "super" mailboxes, I have driven past on occasion as they are being stocked with the daily mail. I shake my head as I see mail being loaded from the backs of filthy vehicles and vehicles loaded with other things besides the mail. I've seen children assisting their adult counterparts with the distribution of the mail. People with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths while working. People with pets romping about the papers bound for mailboxes — hope no recipients have a strong allergy to animal dander.

Does any of this seem right??!

Any time my mail, or anyone's mail is misplaced in someone else's mailbox, our privacy and rights as citizens of Canada are being ignored.

I am not thrilled that strangers who may receive my mail in their mail boxes know my name and address, something we have to pay for to omit from the phone book. Even if we know some of our neighbours, it is impossible to befriend all the people with numbered boxes and to trust everyone with our mis-delivered mail. I don't need nor want the hassle of returning mis-deliveries to said mailboxes, which I faithfully do. I can't seem to get myself into the habit of going through my mail while standing at the "super" mailbox, for expedience in return of mis-delivered mail — again, but I try.

I'm tired of wondering: 'Do I complain some more, and to whom this time?'

I would like some of the cards to tell Harper to keep his hands off my mail. I'm currently having problems enough with God-knows-who's grubby little paws on mine right now, thanks.

The writer of this letter is a government employee and wishes to remain anonymous.

Privatization vs. Public Values Frame
  Someone in the private sector can do it cheaper / Public sector offers accountability, reliability

Posted: September 15, 2008

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