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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Please privatise Royal Mail already

I woke up today, and on my way out checked the physical mailbox - and I wasn't even that surprised any more that it contained a "Sorry, you were out" note from the Royal Mail. It's probably the fifth or so time when the Royal Mail cannot find me when I'm at home. Now think which of these is more plausible:
  • Aliens keep abducting me for anal probe experimentation every time Royal Mail is supposed to deliver a package for me.
  • Those lazy unionized asshats don't even bother ringing and just add the note to the pile of letters.
And no - it's really impossible to miss the doorbell, it's ridiculously loud and annoying, so that's not it. Now let's think for a moment - what would a reasonable package delivery policy be for cases where the recipient is missing - not to mention cases when your staff is too lazy to even bother checking that?
  1. Try delivering the second time
  2. Have the package available for pickup from the nearest Post Office
  3. Have the package available for pickup from some Delivery Office in the middle of nowhere, opened at highly inconvenient hours
You can probably guess when I'm going. And nobody else - none of the private package delivery companies, or fast food delivery guys, or Tesco grocery delivery service, not to mention normal guest - ever had such problems - it is only the Royal Mail and they keep failing over and over again!

So what should be done about it? Privatize their lazy asses, that's what! Maybe it would help, maybe it wouldn't - but right now these fuckers not only cannot deliver mail, they suffer from a severe case of Royal Mail Entitlement Syndrome - and privatizations are a really good cure for that.

Hopefully that will be one good thing that will come out of Tories taking over the country. Labour became so much like Tories already anyway that the only difference between them is Labour's testicular deficiency when it comes to dealing with unions.


Anonymous said...

Hey, same problems over here in the US! They keep complaining about how the USPS is losing massive amounts of money. Now they suggest they may stop delivering mail on Saturdays!

The answer to a large part of the world's economic problems is privatization. Greedy leach unions who in reality offer very little, yet demand a ton, are the source of many problems.

They are the source of many current city and state budget problems here in the US. The union pay scales and pension plans are outrageous compared to the private sector. Not to mention a private sector who's income has been either stagnant or DECLINING in real terms for quite some time now.

All you hear about now are greedy unions here and there who have guaranteed %4+ annual raises written into their contracts through as far out as 2012. For example, transit bus drivers and train/subway gate operators making $80,000+ per year! Are you kidding me?! Oh yeah, you can toss teachers, school administrators, fire and police officials into the mix as well.

And the pensions? Let's not even get started. Almost all of the pension plans are publicly funded on the backs of the tax payers! To say that the private sector working (middle) class here in the US is becoming increasingly angry, is an understatement.

I'm guessing the unions will get theirs, sooner rather than later at this point.

taw said...

Anonymous: I wouldn't care how much they earn, as long as manage to they deliver the fucking packages. They've been failing that hard so far.

Quickshot said...

I'm kind of surprised how so many people from the USA are always willing to blame so many economic or service problems on Unions...

Not admittedly their Unions are a bit out of control at times, but that seems more an outflow from their rather marginal protection of workers in general.

Peter Cooper said...

The quality you get with the Royal Mail depends a lot on the area and the specific postman. Our postman is surly but good at his job and we don't have any issues. Privitization could, if done properly, help transform Royal Mail into more of a consistently-OK McDonald's experience.. but I doubt they'd do it right.

I think the increasing reports of postmen leaving "You were out" cards over the years come due to existing postmen having to cover larger rounds in less time. The economics of leaving a card makes sense from their POV.

Many people will take anywhere between 30 seconds-1 minute to open their door, in which time another house (or even 2) could have been covered. With the major increase in small packages being sent (thanks to the Internet), knocking at 100 doors on a 500 door round could add 100 minutes to the round.. the incentive to do the cards as he goes along and get right on to the next house is high.

Does a unionized, non-privatized Royal Mail have the balls to provide economic incentives to postmen to do their jobs properly? I doubt it and this is exactly why labor unions are a scourge on our country.

taw said...

Peter Cooper: If the postman doesn't want to do his job properly, how about finding another job? McDonalds is always hiring.

There's no guarantee that privatisation and some good old union busting will solve the problem, but it's bad enough now that I doubt it would get worse if we tried it.

Anonymous said...

Sadly you seem to be missing a point that my postman keeps telling me, if I'm not in he has to carry the parcels with him for the rest of his round.

Furthermore they have to stand on the doorstep and fill in the delivery note forms, taking off gloves etc if it's cold.

So really it creates the same, if not more work for them over the round as their load doesn't get lighter.

Leading me to think this is exaggerated bullshit.

Quickshot said...

Who knows what it is, still, unions are scourges you create yourself when you don't protect workers enough. Talking about busting them is just treating a symptom, instead of the actual problem.

chi said...

US postal doesn't even make an attempt at delivering packages to my apartment building. instead, they make us pick our packages up at the freaking federal building! and the queues at the federal building make a regular post office look like the model of efficiency.

but at least its better then UPS. UPS just dumps the packages next to our building's door, where they inevitably get used as doorstops.

David said...

I found your Blogs because of my interest in Medieval 2 and have been reading through them since. I very much like your blogs and this one made me want to say something the most so far.

I am having issues with royal mailfor exactly the same reason recently. Me nad my girlfriend are in the house no knocking or anything heard, a note discovered an hour or 2 later. I would say as somone else has already said this would be highly dependant on the specific post person, I happen to know mine and shes been my post person for nearly 20 years, shes a ncie lady and I also happen to have worked my job in an area where i also see her doing her job. I dont know whether it was her recently with the note or somone else (over the 20 years or so i have seen the occasional "other" probably for holidays or sickness) but to me it doesnt matter. I know this lady, shes good at her job and Ive spoken to her over an extremely long period of time.

I personaly think that the best way to deal with an issue such as yours would be to speak to royal mail and explain the issue, the message with some luck might be relayed in such a fashion as to not alienate your postie and have the desired result. Of course the potential exists that you get another arsehole who will willfully misinterpret your communication, at best not making the situation any worse.

But I guess what made me reply is you saying privatise them asap. I gotta say im very anti privatisation and I was surpried at your sentiment as to me, it doesnt fit with some of your others.

taw said...

David: It works both ways. If government can run something well, they should keep running it. If it's a huge failure like Royal Mail, why not privatize for a change?

And likewise if something private works well, more freedom to the market. If it's broken, govenment involvement is a good thing to try.