Since I do read a couple of stamp forums, I get to see some crazy stuff. In Australia, the post office is shutting down public mailboxes that receive less than 25 letters in them per day because it just makes no financial sense to send someone around to pick up a couple of things a day. All of a sudden, Australian stamp collectors (and probably others) are up in arms because they want the mailboxes to stay, out of tradition more than anything else.
Some of these people just don’t get how businesses operate.
See, the Australian Post Office has to pay people to go around and pick these things up and when it becomes inefficient to do so, they have no choice but to stop doing it. Many mailboxes, according to the survey, received less than 8 items per day. The postage on those 8 items doesn’t justify the time and the cost necessary to send someone to the location. That postage has to pay for the time spent. It doesn’t.
I’m going to try not making this too political, that mostly belongs on my other blog, but just because it’s stamp collectors who are up in arms, I’ll leave it here. This is hardly the first time I’ve seen something similar, where stamp collectors have had the unreasonable expectation that the post office do things that are not in their financial best interest, just because the collectors want it. This can be the desire to have special philatelic counters open, even though they acknowledge that the clerks at these counters often have nothing whatsoever to do due to low usage. It can be the demand to have special ceremonies for every single new stamp issued, complete with special FDC and franking. But they certainly don’t want to pay any more for these things, oh no. It’s supposed to be a gift!
Like it or not, the Post Office, even if it is a part of the government, is a business. It has to make rational business decisions. It has to live within its financial means. Yeah, I know most people don’t see the government like that but it’s true. That means that they’re not going to do things just because it’s “convenient”, if that thing is losing them money. We all ought to be up in arms over things like that, but apparently these collectors, whatever their political nomenclature, think having boxes that hardly get used is worthwhile because they want to see boxes around and feel like the Post Office isn’t on the fast track to irrelevancy. Sorry, that’s not the reality, no matter how it makes you feel.
That’s one thing that really grinds my gears, people expecting others to do what makes them happy, even if it’s a financially bad decision for the company. Me! Me! Me! It’s all about their happiness, not about understanding how business actually works. Maybe it’s time that the Australians, and other countries as well, rent a clue.