South Loop posts no bills

Letter to the editor

06/27/2012 10:00 PM


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In the upcoming days before NATO, things changed. Garbage dumpsters behind buildings disappeared. Cell coverage happily for a short time improved on the block of East 18th Street from South Calumet Avenue to Cafe Society. So it wasn’t surprising seeing a flatbed truck smilingly take away the two post boxes at East 18th and South Prairie Avenue, and East 18th and South Indiana. But then NATO came and went, and still the two post boxes didn’t return.

Contacting the 60616 post office at S. State, we were told — “It’s being studied.”

Studied? So the USPS, reported to be having financial difficulties, is studying whether to have post boxes available for people to use the USPS? As Clark Howard might note, what kind of customer non-service is that.

Then an insider (a USPS employee) told me that she understood “the post office wants to force you to go to the Post Office to mail a letter.” Really? What sort of bozo idea is that? Make it more difficult to use, in an area that has exploded over the years. Why not change the address of the IRS, but not tell anyone?

Then like a magic trick, the two post boxes came back, shiny and new. I thought — terrific. Really, FedEx and UPS don’t try to make it difficult to use their services. Why would USPS?

Then with a magician’s, “Now you see it, now you don’t”, the two post boxes are gone once again. Reason No. 45 to stream via Netflix and not get the DVDs. Having just seen a rerun of Gaslight, I thought, “Huh?”

Calling we were told, the South Loop is on a diet. We had 50 post boxes ’til NATO, but no more. Now we will only be allowed a measly 18. Don’t be greedy South Loop. And by the way, the USPS seems to have decided not to tell anyone about their unilateral decision. It’s a financial one they say.

So when my grandchildren in England, with their twice-a-day post deliveries (who also rings the bell) can mail a letter two blocks away in suburban Surrey, ask but Grandma, don’t you have a post box? I’ll say, once upon a time we did, but now in the infrastructurally-challenged America of the Second World — no more. Once had a government post office, that is until it put itself out of business by making it impossible to use.

Reminds me of the bad-old days of mail service when I lived in good old Mexico City, where we got mail occasionally. Often way after the information in the mail was sent. And always in the days leading up to the Day of the Mailman, when the public was just dying to pay a “tip” for the service over the past year that included receiving invitations weeks after events, and all those non-delivered stolen letters.

Candace Drimmer
South Loop

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