This post seems to be older than 1 year— so keep that in mind while reading. It might be outdated.
Guest post by Older and Wiser.
Older and Wiser is a rural carrier.
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This is how I see it!
No Pain - No Hunger - No Vision
This article is a summary of management’s side concerning the rural carrier’s future. Most of what I wrote concerns the middle management that resides in the district and regional offices. Washington is too busy with the high level concerns of the business and the lower management levels represented by Postmasters and Supervisors are powerless to exact meaningful change. The district/regional offices have to be an advocate for both the Postal Service and the field crafts and that is where they come up short. I could have written a few more blogs, but as I put my thoughts together, it seems that all my previous and future writings would have fallen under the three ideas listed above.
My office has had 7 new subs come in this year and only 2 remain. That is an attrition rate of about 70%. I have seen many complaints in the General Discussion area of Ruralinfo’s carrier blog to know that the lack of subs is a wide ranging problem. What steps is the Postal Service taking to fix this problem? I don’t see any attempt to fix this problem or alot of the difficulties that plague a rural carrier. Why? To fix a problem requires an earnest effort and why do that when they can deny that there is any problem at all. This way they leave all the offices to fend for themselves when there is a sub shortage and feel none of the pain their apathy causes. It is easy to follow this route because in the district/regional offices there is …
To advance in the private business world, besides achieving the tasks in a position’s job description, you must go further to get promoted and receive the extra salary commensurate with the goals achieved. Many times this means searching out problems and facing them head-on. No one likes problems, but they are present in every company and it is those people who don’t run when times become difficult that stand out from the crowd. To advance in the Postal Service it seems that you only need to live long enough to get a higher position. Performance does not seem so important. You don’t see any effort to tackle problems because you don’t need to stand out; you only need to be alive and breathing when a position opens. It is that lack of hunger that is missing in the USPS and the number of unresolved problems sadly reflects that fact. The result of No Pain and No Hunger is …
Many of us could see three Christmas seasons ago (2012) that the current LLVs would be inadequate for delivering parcels in the upcoming years. Why couldn’t the Postal Service see it? Look at the two paragraphs above and that spells out No Vision. Taking action would have put some shelving in by 2013 and hopefully in all LLVs by this past Christmas season. How close are we to getting them? That is why one of my mantras has been the USPS needs more businessman in their ranks who are used to future strategic planning as part of their job description. They need “go-getters” who find the challenge in looking for and fixing problems not hiding from them.
The late Peter Drucker was a writer, professor and a management consultant. He is often called the father of modern management. I would like to present two statements of his and see how they relate to the USPS. The first is “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” The second statement is “Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.” Well Postal Service, which sentence best describes your management style? Is it the former or the latter? Take an honest look in the mirror!