“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
This inscription, found on the General Post Office in New York City, was actually penned by Herodotus around 500 B.C., according to the U.S. Postal Service Web site, www.usps.com.
However, difficult economic times might force the post office to hold off mail delivery one more day a week.
Postmaster General John E. Potter addressed congress about the possibility of switching from delivering mail six days a week to five days a week in the wake of record revenue losses.
Weldon Baker, acting postmaster in Glen Rose, agrees that even the local post office has handled fewer pieces of mail.
“It has been down lately, in the last year or so,” Baker said.
Nationally, the postal system saw 9 million fewer pieces of mail in 2008 than in 2007, prompting Potter to seek the flexibility to switch to a five-day delivery system if needed. While nothing has been made official yet, one possibility is dropping delivery on Tuesdays, usually a lighter mail volume day.
“The only thing I’ve seen is what’s been on the news,” Baker said.
“Saturdays usually are pretty heavy,” Baker said. “Tuesdays are probably the lightest in mail volume. But closing on Saturdays would make more sense to me.”
A letter released by Potter on Monday said the economy was the biggest problem the post office was facing.
The service lost $2.8 million in 2008 and he expects to see losses in the $5 million range for 2009, adding that post offices will probably handle 12 to 15 billion fewer pieces of mail this year.
Baker added that closing an extra day a week is not the first choice, but only one option. The postal service is also considering a rate increase this summer to help make up revenue losses.