In an attempt to save myself a little time and hassle, I decided to order stamps from the US Postal Service through their website. I remember having done this before and it was quite convenient. Since we now use our bank's web billpay service, also very convenient, I have very little use for stamps. This only throws into sharp relief the hassle that it is to buckle and unbuckle three kids to stand in line, only to buckle and unbuckle them again, only to have gained a few measly stickers that I will probably misplace three times in the six months it will take me to use them all.
So before I even realized what was happening, it was too late. I had paid $1.00 shipping and handling for one book of 20 stamps and they projected it would take 3-5 business days to arrive. An utter outrage. I am sure they are making this more difficult than is has to be. Why can't they just send my letter carrier a message saying she should grab an extra book of stamps, toss it her truck, and when she drives over to my house, opens my mailbox, and puts my catalogues, bills and assorted junk mail in it - - - - PUT the stamps IN the BOX too! Hell, I wouldn't even mind if they took one of the 39 cent stamps out of the book and affixed it to an envelope and mailed it to me. An entire US dollar and 5 days!
I am sitting here trying to determine if one dollar is worth the irritation I am feeling, and if it is worth one dollar of my time and patience to go to the post office myself. I don't believe it is worth one dollar of their time to 'handle' these stamps. It costs only 39 cents to mail less than one ounce, so they are trying to tell me that 61 cents is for the envelope and some minimum wage goverment worker's saliva to seal it? Don't forget to add on the waiting period, 3-5 days!
So I don't feel one dollar is representative of the work and costs involved on their part. While it may be representative for my part, to avoid the hassle of dragging three little ones into the post office, I will never again order stamps online from the USPS.
While I am at it, has anyone else seen (and been disgusted, as I have been) with the fact that the USPS is mailing full color glossy advertisements for their own services? Excuse me, but if a government agency has to advertise and promote itself to retain business, then it's possible they are approaching irrelevance. And what of the cost involved in advertising? What is the effect on the cost of actually doing the work of delivering mail and packages on time?