An Innovative Solution From The U.S. Postal Service

(Warning: sarcastic blog post title!)

I’ve written previously about the problems that the U.S. Postal Service is facing.  Yesterday, the NY Times brought us the story of one more piece of incredible innovation from the Postal Service: allowing living people (not just dead people) to be on stamps.

“The service announced Monday that it was tossing out its rule that its stamps honor only dead individuals and will be opening up this postage-stamp-size billboard space to the living, as well.”

So far so good – it seems perfectly sensible that you shouldn’t have to be dead to get your picture plastered on a piece of snail mail.  The next quip shows the cognitive dissonance though:

“Postal officials said they hoped the move would create some excitement and even prompt some young people to engage with snail mail, at least for special occasions. “

Umm, yeah… Excitement?  “Engage” with snail mail?  Wake up, USPS… as the end of the article notes:

“One Twitter user asked, “What’s a stamp?”

Of course, it wouldn’t be an article about the USPS if we didn’t have an example of bureaucratic insanity:

“Mr. Kearney said that the usual three-year process to move a stamp from suggestion to implementation would be condensed so that at least one stamp with a living person would be available later next year, along with 34 other new stamps already scheduled for release.”

Three friggin years to get a new stamp implemented.  Jeezus.  Oh, and in case you were wondering which living people were popular in the NY Times’ own survey?

“When the news broke Monday on the Web sites of various news organizations, including The New York Times, readers began promoting their favorite candidates. Popular nominees included Lady Gaga, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Bob Dylan.”


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