Dear Postmaster – Please Stop This

The United States Post Office is not having its greatest year.

The venerable organization is struggling in the face of alternative delivery mechanisms like email, instant messenger, and a general decline in letter-writing.

They need some innovation to bring in more sales. They’re trying harder. I get that. And I applaud it. But…

Lately I’ve been faced with an unpleasant scenario at my local post office. It goes like this: I approach the understaffed counter and say, “I’d like to send this book at the book rate, please.”. Then the employee behind the counter, with a glassy look in her eyes, begins to recite all the rate options, beginning with Express Mail and working her way down the price scale.

I listen, and when she’s done I say again, “Book rate, please.”

She runs my postage, and then takes my second book package. I say, “It’s the same.”

“I have to tell you all the options,” she says.

I protest that I already know what I want, but she insists. Meanwhile, the line behind me is building.

Then the Postal worker proceeds to try and sell me a bunch more stuff. Again, I applaud the effort. But the execution is very, very poor.

My apathetic Postal employee insisted it’s a policy and she has no choice.

Is this really a rule for all Postal workers? Does anyone realize it’s a Sales Prevention Mechanism – and not a sales making mechanism? What happens when your customers get tired of being insulted and decide they’d rather ship UPS?

I actually love the USPS and its services – but this policy of forcing me to listen to the litany of options, if it is indeed a policy, is asinine.

Dear Postmaster: I advise you to reconsider. Fast.

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Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at