Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Say Goodbye to the Post Office

ט״ו לחודש השלישי תשע״ה
YWN: Jerusalem: Many Residents Complain of Poor Postal Service
(Tuesday, May 19th, 2015)

Do'ar Yisra'el
Israel Post
The Israel Postal Authority is in the midst of implementing a fiscal rehabilitation program which results in the closure of many branches, including in Yerushalayim. While the service boasts improved service and increased efficiency, a growing number of capital residents’ are complaining of not receiving mail.

There are a growing number of complaints of mail not reaching its destination, packages that are never delivered and mail being dumped in piles on streets. Persons wishing to mail a letter are finding it increasingly difficult as a growing number of mailboxes have ‘inactive’ stickers on them, making near to impossible to find a mailbox in some areas other than visiting a post office.

Malcha

Residents of this neighborhood complain the local post office has shut down and there is not a mailbox in the entire community. During the past summer the post office in the Malcha Mall shut its doors and as a result, mailboxes in the area have been sealed to render them inactive. The residents add mail delivery is extremely poor in the neighborhood as well. They call on city officials’ to act to restore this basic service.

Katamon

Some neighborhoods in the capital are seeking nonconventional methods to solve the problem. One such neighborhood is Katamon, where mail is received in the “Erez’s Place” grocery store. The owner has been hired part-time as an area postal clerk. Prior to the post office some residents received their mail in a gas station. This bizarre situation exists elsewhere in Israel too. (cont.)
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Menta
When I first saw "Malcha," "Katamon," and "received their mail in a gas station," I rolled my eyes. What receiving mail at a gas station actually means is receiving it from the Menta convenience store found at Delek gas stations.

As a kid, my family's local post office was at a pharmacy, and even as an adult in Downtown San Diego, my local post office was also at a pharmacy. Smaller post office branches, spread out, mini-post offices brought them much closer to residents. So, I do not understand what the big deal is as to where ones post office is located, and what it looks like.

There have been closures of post office branches, such as Mordechai Ben-Hillel and the Bell Tower in Downtown Jerusalem. However, they have been absorbed by the enlarged and renovated Agrippas Street branch, with eight or nine service windows, instead of the usual four or five. It is also open until 6:00pm, as well as Friday mornings; whereas most branches close at 5:00pm, and are closed on Fridays. Every time I have been to this new, consolidated branch, it has never been crowded.

On the other hand, I am unable to verify nor deny the complaints, such as mail found dumped in the streets, which would be a very serious matter indeed.

What disturbs me, though, is that lack of reporting of the big picture.

Years ago, the U. S. Postal Service began mulling over the possibility of closing an addition day, such as Tuesday. Like Israel and other countries, the post office was becoming less in demand. So, the decreasing of operating hours has been one of the money-saving options on the table.

I imagine that the next stage in mail evolution will be the delivery of goods ordered by phone and online only. The dying art of writing a letter with ink and paper will finally meet its end (חו״ח).

Attractive and creative holiday cards, and even wedding invitations, can be sent online. And who can argue with the decreased use of paper as a result? Grandma's birthday gift money can now be sent through PayPal.

So, will we really be sacrificing anything, through the loss of "snail mail" postal services? Won't this be a win-win situation, with increased efficiency and speed and decreased felling of trees, among other things, by using the Internet?

Please allow me to state the obvious.

Just as governments have been moving us to an increasingly plastic economy, they have been moving us to entirely electronic systems of communications.

In Israel, direct deposit of salaries is the norm. Before this, checks were used. Then more and more
employees were issued checks which could only be deposited ones own personal account. In other words, one had no choice but to have a bank account. Choice has been taken out of our hands.

Israel is certainly not alone in this trend. Now checks even seem like a rarity, and cash is unheard of, unless it is used in under the table dealings. The use of physical currency is becoming demonized.

At the same time, we can see this trend in the shifting of communication from hard copy to almost entirely electronic.

Start at 00:16.


This is still the case. However, now it has become much easier for "them."
Joke: How many government officials does it take to sift through our mail?

Answer: None. A computer does it for them.

Eventually, it will be impossible not to have Internet, and trying to cancel it will be laughable.



When I recently signed up with a new cellular phone company, I was asked for my e-mail address. I responded to the Haredi* clerk with, "What if I told you that I was Haredi, and did not have an e-mail address?"

He gave me this look, and said, "C'mon. Even Haredim have e-mail."

So, I suggest that we stop complaining about picking our mail up at convenience stores, and be grateful that we still have mail service at all.

How long do you think it will last?

*********

*Haredi = Ultra-Orthodox

8 comments:

Geula Girl said...

If you only exist online, you can be totally erased by TPTB like Sandra Bullock in The Net.

Esser Agaroth said...

Geula Girl,

This is an important point that you make.

Thanks.

This also reminds me of one of the many advantages of being Torah observant.

See "Shabbos Unplugged."

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

The postal service in Canada is mulling over eliminating all door to door delivery, replacing it with deliveries to "supermailboxes" at the edge of neighbourhoods.
And to think that once upon a time a mail strike could bring a country to its knees.

Yitzi said...

I just wish I could somehow know when the Doar has sent my credit cards, Social Security notices, and packages back to the sender without ever leaving a delivery notice. I'm kind of sick of it, it's also very expensive to have something mailed twice, a friend of mine who lives near had a package sent from America twice at a cost of $100 per time only to have it sent back with no notice of delivery. She finally gave up and made a gift of it to a friend in the US.

Esser Agaroth said...

I'm sure it's very frustrating.

(sigh)

Yitzi said...

BTW: I forgot to say we are in Bet Shemesh the service is no better here.

Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod said...

Heads up! This post has been included in the weekly roundup of all things bloggy and Jewish, Haveil Havalim, hosted over at Adventures in AliyahLand. Come on by and take a look!

Esser Agaroth said...

Thanks, Tzivia!

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