walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Mailing Paper

I was foolishly reading this:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/28/opinion/greene-cluster-post-office/index.html

And the comments associated with it. It's foolish, because the change isn't likely to happen, any more than Saturday delivery is at real risk. It's foolish, because most addresses and most people in the United States lost door-to-door delivery a fucking long time ago anyway. This paragraph is particularly offensive:

"It's hardly wild speculation to predict that people will not relish having to go out into the weather every time they want to retrieve their mail. Some won't trust the security of the group mailboxes, no matter how many assurances they receive. They'll be especially vexed on rainy or snowy days when they make the trip to the cluster boxes, only to find that the carrier hasn't arrived yet. For those accustomed to door-to-door mail service, the act of picking up and sorting through the mail in front of other people may feel less private."

OMG! It would be like _living_ in an _apartment_ or a _city_!!! People! Yuck!

The security of group mailboxes is sort of an interesting issue and will probably require some additional solutions. Lumping it in with weather -- most people with curbside have to go out in the weather, altho a few drive out to their box -- and being seen getting the mail seems like a failure to prioritize.

The comments thread included the usual: Important Stuff Comes in the Mail! Like social security checks!

Wait. Really?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/should-grandma-still-get-her-checks-in-the-mail-the-paper-lobby-thinks-so/

In addition to the people who filed waivers to continue paper service, some people (millions?!? http://www.lowcards.com/social-security-paper-checks-mailed-for-10363) missed the deadline for switching or filing a waiver request. They are, indeed, still getting social security checks in the mail. The WaPo article is Elizabeth Warren (who I love) objecting to a threatening letter the SSA was proposing to send. I think her idea of including information about how to file a waiver is a good one. On the other hand, when I got married the first time and changed my name, I sort of did not file a name change with SSA, and I got a whole series of escalating letters from them about the failure of my name to match on SSA paperwork and IRS paperwork. I did eventually do something about it, possibly even in advance of the second (and last) name change when I got divorced. Those letters are often quite scary, unless you read them really carefully, at which point you realize that they can't actually do much to you if you just ignore them. (It's entirely possible they have more recourse these days than they did back in the '90s.)

When we were gone for a couple weeks end of June/beginning of July, we put our mail on hold, which I always do when we are out of town, because it's easier than having someone pick it up for us and we don't have pets or particularly sensitive houseplants. Nice service! Over the years, we've ended magazine subscriptions, moved bills, statements and so forth online, used various services to put a stop to catalogs and so forth. The result was that two weeks of mail -- including the junk mail and advertising that is resistant to stoppage -- fit _easily_ into our relatively ordinary mailbox. Our probably unattainable goal is to have a normal day involve no mail at all, however, we almost never have such days.

I'm a little bummed that while many non-profits/charitable operations have _added_ email and other online solicitation, they have lagged in the process of making it possible to completely quit receiving paper from them. Altho CSPI is close.

ETA: With more benefits online, thieves are going after the online stream of money. Thus far, the amount of money they are getting this way is tiny, both in comparison to previous fraud with paper checks or versus the cost of delivering benefits the old way vs. the new way -- never mind both. Still, it's nice that there is recourse (you get your check, and the wait isn't too bad; you can block your account from online changes so it can only be changed if you show up in person at an SSA office).

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/28/social-security-benefits-scam/2594675/
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