Friday, November 11, 2005

Junking Junk Mail

"Who is the post office working for - the customers or the advertising industry?"
-- Ed Vaughan, a St. Petersburg Beach condo resident

After Hurricane Ivan swept away most Pensacola Beach mail boxes, and most housing units with them, the U.S. Postal Service rented a large room in nearby Gulf Breeze and set up a bank of individual mail boxes. Too soon, we were being inundated with second class bulk leaflets and unsolicited offers to buy our property, make a loan, or issue credit cards to our dogs and cats -- what most of us refer to as "junk mail."

Originally, the Postal Service sensibly had installed a large wastebasket near the door. But it disappeared after only a few days. The reason?

"Someone in management noticed beach residents were tossing out all the bulk mail as they left the building," postal workers explained, "so they took the wastebasket away."

It turns out this may reflect a national Postal Service policy. In St. Petersburg, seven veteran mail carriers were abruptly fired last September, we learn today, "for failing to deliver bulk mail advertising to a handful of customers on their routes who had specifically asked them not to."

Reporter Tom Zucco has the full story here.

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