No More Mail on Saturdays? Say It Isn't So, US Postal Service!

4 years ago

I guess it's one less day to sift through the junk mail. The U.S. Postal Service announced this morning that it will end Saturday delivery of first-class mail, beginning in August 2013. It's not surprising, considering the federal agency has been in the red for at least six years, due to increased costs for employee benefits and decreased demand for snail mail.

Image Credit: beameir, via Flickr

Like most people, I rarely drop things in the mailbox anymore. Bills are paid online and personal correspondence is through email. I buy stamps once a year -- to send my Christmas cards -- and even then, I receive fewer and fewer of them in return each December. My cabinet is filled with half-used packets of stamps from Christmases past, and now even those aren't going to do the job, with this week's increase in the cost of sending a letter, which will now set you back 46 cents.

Just this morning, I was helping my second grader address thank you notes from his birthday party. As I silently crunched in my head that I could have saved five dollars by delivering these by hand, my son asked, "Does the stamp always go in a certain corner?" What seemed like an obvious thing to me, isn't so obvious to the younger generation. Maybe it's just our school, but letter composition and envelope addressing is not as big of a deal as it was when I was growing up, when we were assigned pen pals to practice our skills.

The mailman has become more of a package delivery guy in our neighborhood. I go to the post office mainly to send gifts to relatives or to ship things I've sold on eBay. And I'm not alone. Shipping packages is one area in which the USPS is actually seeing brisk business, and they'll continue to deliver parcels on Saturdays, even after letter service is discontinued.

But it seems most people are ready to send a Dear John letter to the Postal Service. A 2012 NY Times/CBS News study shows 7 out of ten Americans agree that Saturday mail delivery should end. It's probably the financially prudent thing to do, but that doesn't mean we can't be a little sad about it.

What do you think of the end of Saturday mail delivery?

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs at HapaMama and A Year (Almost) Without Shopping.

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