I had an incredibly troubling conversation with a postal worker at the NY Peter Stuyvesant office (10009) earlier this week. While waiting in line for about 45 minutes to mail some packages I asked the guy who was helping people fill out forms in line why the hell there were only three of nine windows open the week before Christmas. His answer: George W. Bush's war in Iraq.
I'll explain below the fold.
That's right, according to this postal service worker my post office was operating at 50% of their normal staff levels because fifteen USPS workers were serving overseas as members of the Reserves and National Guard. What made the issue worse was the USPS budgeting policies under the Bush administration prevented the post office from hiring more people to fill in for workers serving in the military.
The result? Just days before Christmas, with a transit strike making life a little crazy for most New Yorkers, lines are reaching out the building of post offices. You end up spending hours in line before mailing a package. Or worse, and perhaps more likely, you try to go to the Post Office a few days in a row but can't sacrifice the hours it takes to mail your holiday gifts. So they get mailed late, or not at all. All because Bush's war is keeping important civil servants from doing their jobs at home.
And that's just on the intake of packages. My kind, yet frustrated, postal working friend said they're just as understaffed behind the plexiglass walls where packages are received. Things are taking longer and packages are more likely to get lost.
So if your kids ask you why their presents from Grandma Fran and Uncle Lou haven't arrived in time for Christmas, tell them that the preznit started a war in Iraq and lots of hard working patriots were called away from their jobs to make the preznit happy. And the preznit doesn't want to fight the war with our first-string military, but regular people like your mailman who would have brought you the presents from Grandma Fran and Uncle Lou, but is currently dodging roadside bombs in his unarmored Humvee.
I'm basing this diary solely on the word of a postal worker. I don't know what the USPS budget policy specifically is that governs hiring workers to replace or augment losses for employees serving in the military. But according to a trusted source, the post office isn't hiring people and it's because of George Bush. If anyone knows specific laws, policies, or legal rulings covering USPS budget and hiring practices, please post them below.
Crossposted at The Baltimore Group