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Fri Nov 14 2014 21:20:06

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

By: Ina Steiner

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The head of the US Postal Service is retiring early next year, and his replacement has been named. Patrick R. Donahoe is retiring February 1, 2015, after 39 years with the Postal Service. In the announcement, Donahoe was praised as a visionary leader who worked tirelessly to move the organization forward during one of its most difficult periods.

However, the announcement comes after an embarrassing and costly cyber attack that exposed highly sensitive information about postal employees, including employee names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and addresses. There's nothing in today's announcement to suggest the two events are related.

The executive chosen to replace Donahoe is also a career postie, having been at the organization for the past 28 years. She's also a Sloan Fellow and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Megan J. Brennan is the current Chief Operating Officer of the Postal Service where she led initiatives to provide Sunday delivery services, improved tracking, and greater predictability and reliability. "She has also been highly successful in rationalizing our mail processing, delivery and retail operations," according to the Chairman of the Board of Governors in today's announcement.

From Jack Potter to Patrick Donahoe and soon to be Megan Brennan - online sellers who rely on the USPS to deliver their packages have seen a lot of changes over the years under the leadership of the Postmasters General.

Will Brennan lead the USPS in the right direction? If you could give Donahoe's replacement some advice, what would it be?




Comments (24) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Nov 14 21:45:05 2014

One Donahoe down, and one to go.

Remember this was the guy who proposed turning Post Office lobbies into second hand stores.

As opposed our Donahoe who wanted to turn a successful second hand store into a Chinese storage and shipping lobby.

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 15 10:09:31 2014

Personally, I hope the new USPS head changes very little. I think the USPS functions at a very high level and charges very reasonable fees.

I mail roughly 50 packages a week via the USPS and have had remarkably few problems. I have only had two domestic packages lost over the last four years, and only know of one that was delivered damaged.

At least from my point of view, the USPS has been the one aspect of conducting e-commerce that has never been a problem. I have had a ton of problems due to internet reliability and performance stability of selling venues.  Ebay and AT&T have created most of my problems, the USPS has always been a steady and reliable partner.

The USPS is the only aspect of the e-commerce system set up to perform as a public service, not as a for-profit entity. That last point is not lost on me.

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 15 17:50:32 2014

Get out of bed with China - and stop letting them ship their cheap, fake garbage through the USPS for FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  CHINA is breaking the back of the USPS, literally and figuratively!  It costs me more to ship a paperback book to Canada, then for China to ship an entire bedroom suite to New York City.

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 15 17:51:19 2014

ABOLISH the China e-packet!

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Sun Nov 16 04:37:13 2014

Let's hope the first female Postmaster doesn't destroy USPS by going POSTAL!

Demand China E-post use the ACTUAL sold price on their customs forms, so ebay buyers can pay the tarrifs, and not be responsible for Chinese Customs Fraud goods value. Isn't Customs Fraud a Felony? $1 USD stated customs value on anything over $1 sold price is customs fraud? Ebay loves the Chinese (for now).

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 16 23:48:09 2014

This makes me sick!  The post office will tell you how many billions they lost BUT will never mention how many of those lost billions they were forced to put into pension funds for employees they haven't even hired yet.  People better wake up before we lose our postal services to private organizations!  When are we going to open our eyes?  When its too late?  Without the utterly stupid burden placed on USPS by congress in 2006 they would be in the black!

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: koonkat This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 16 23:49:29 2014

USPS delivering alcohol would be a significant profit center with all the boutique wineries and microbreweries around.  Canada Post does it.  I also agree in abolishing the China E-Packet until US shippers get a $5 E-packet from China Post to ship there.

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: Redlion This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 00:38:56 2014

Hopefully the postmaster will work on the employee OT, time off, benefits package etc.  

All of the clerks at my local post office work 6 days and between 8 & 10 hours per day being paid overtime for over 8 hours per day/40 hours per week.  It seems to me they could hire another employee or two for that price... UNLESS you look at the benefits package that each of those employees receive.  If you calculate the number of paid days off between vacation time, sick time and federal holidays, the average 15 year employee is entitled to the equivalent of 19 out of 52 weeks off.

Staples was willing to put postal hubs in all of their stores until the teacher's union joined the APU in a threat of boycotting all Staples stores if they did.  Staples backed out.

As on-line sellers/buyers most appreciate 6 day a week service, but how many items can't wait an additional day?

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: nemso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 06:16:40 2014

Let's hope she does better and doesn't want the USPS to pay for infrastructure repair or make up for shortfalls in veterans budget (we hire a lot of veterans!).

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: GypsyWitch This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 07:49:39 2014

8th Consecutive annual loss - poor babies!!!!! Boo hoo!!!!

I can't BEGIN to count how many "annual losses" we've had as a family, with the price of everything going up - postage included - except the paycheck!!!!

The last time I bought 5 stamps, they lasted me a month!!! That shows you how often I use the USPS!!! I'll continue to pay my bills over the phone. I refuse to help someone who won't help themselves!!!!

Maybe if the USPS would stick to one or 2 stamp designs, instead of "honoring" Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, cars, flowers and everyone & everything else that is useless and/or dead, they just might be able to save some money in that department. It does take money to produce these numerous unnecessary designs.

They should concentrate more on random employee drug testing and background checks for not only the employee, but their family members as well.

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: Joanbet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 09:34:13 2014

I, too, love the USPS!  I have been running my Ecommerce business sine 1998, 16 years, I send 60 to 70 packages per week (300 per week during the holidays) all containing delicate china and glass and have had only three reports of lost packages (and I suspect that these may have been attempts to get free merchandise) and my breakage rate is less than .02%!  I don't know how they could do much better than that!

The post office would be highly profitable if it were not due to the fact that congress has been borrowing (spending) the forced pre-payments of pension funds for employees the USPS hasn't even hired.  Congress requires the USPS to pre-pay way more than they will ever use and has been raiding those funds for years.  Every year the USPS begs congress to change the law requiring these pre-payments but our "do nothing but cast futile votes to repeal health care" congress refuses to even discuss it.

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 13:59:37 2014

The USPS does nothing to accommodate the online sellers and to me that is ludicrous considering how much online sellers have helped the USPS. Just yesterday I filed a complaint online about our local postmaster who has continuously for 5 years made it difficult to drop off packages. I am required to stand in line every day to drop off my armful of pre-labeled prepaid packages, and then go back out to the car and get another armload of packages, only to go back into the post office and wait in line again to drop those off.  When I have 10+ packages to drop off every day, especially for the holiday season, it can take a 1/2 hour just to drop them off.  Our local postmaster's excuse is that they received packages with stamps on them or packages that were for UPS or Fed Ex.  She (our local postmaster) also said that they need to ask each customer what is in the packages for the safety of others, just in case someone is trying to ship toxic chemicals or something hazardous. The likelihood that they are going to stop hazardous materials from being shipped by using those procedures is very low in comparison to the inconvenience that it causes to online sellers dropping off packages.  I have never heard of such ridiculous logic and this was from a postmaster. What is wrong with having a conveyor belt or hatch door where the many online sellers can drop off their already labeled packages, just like the mailboxes for dropping off letters? Or why don't they have a designated aisle that is just for online sellers to drop off their packages? When I am standing in line at the USPS half of the people in line are there only to simply drop off a pre-labeled package, yet they are forced to stand in line behind people who are buying stamps or postage.  It is no wonder why the USPS is failing.  They are not very smart or accommodating to the people who pay their salaries.

Also the Union is what is bringing down the USPS.  Unions are so harmful.  Unions protect bad employees who in the real world would be reasonably fired. Unions force pension payouts that are just like taxpayer funded welfare because the employees don't even have to contribute their own money to pay in for their retirement like the rest of the "public sector" does, and unions are an unneeded, unnecessary, and costly "middle man" that simply shuffles paperwork and shuffles around the bad employees rather than getting rid of them.

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: bm707576 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 16:49:08 2014

Are the Hoes related?  Problems with USPS are 1. Congress requiring pre paid pensions, keeping unprofitable stations open. Requiring unprofitable and antiquated services, bulk mail for one and not charging its real cost.  2. UNIONS that inflate cost, stifle automation, limit total employment levels.  

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: MadamH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 16:49:56 2014

IIRC, the federal government is requiring 'prepayment' of retiree pensions.  We all know that the government in incapable of maintaining any sort of 'trust fund', and cannot be trusted to not spend these funds.  I believe the federal government is using this money as yet another source of 'general' revenue.  So when postal workers retire in 10, 20, 30 years years, those pension funds will be loooong gone.

If the USPS is going to be run without losses, then Congress needs to stop allowing contracts with foreign countries, such as China, to ship mail and parcels at below-market rates.  The e-packet subsidized shipping program should be the FIRST thing to go.

Start charging more for bulk/junk mail nobody wants, and make those users pay their fare share.  It's time to stop exploiting first-class customers (you know, those of us who send Christmas cards!) by forcing us to subsidize the junk mail we don't want or need.  

Deliver mail/packages to residential addresses five days per week, Tuesday - Saturday.  Deliver to businesses Monday - Friday.

I would guess that these four small suggestions could right the USPS ship in just a couple years.

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: AC_in_Mich This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 17:05:27 2014

one thing that nobody has mentioned is (I believe) that the postal service cannot lay off any carriers!

That. along with the pension BS and the fact that they are prohibited from expanding their services, are what is causing so many problems.

Fedex and UPS are just licking their chops, hoping USPS fails

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 18:26:08 2014

Madam, do you even know the real reason why the government is requiring prepayment of retiree's pensions?  Maybe you need to do some learning before speaking.  The government is now requiring prepayment of pensions because the pensions are not being funded and the pension payments to retirees sometimes cannot be made, but the reason is not what you think.  The States are allowed to "put off" the funding of the pensions because the law has always allowed that in the past. It's like putting off a bill to pay later and they are falling behind.  The states have been passing on the pension bill for future generations to pay for and that is not fair at all.  Heck, PENSIONS are not fair and they should be abolished.  Those people should have to pitch in for their retirement just like everyone else does.  That's a UNION thing, not the federal government.  The federal government is simply trying to fix the problems that the union has created.  Pensions are paid for by taxpayers and not the employees.  The USPS runs at a loss NOT because of the federal government and to say so is ludicrous.  You are way off base and doing a disservice to everyone with your bad ideas and false advice.  You obviously do not understand how these things really work.  All of your ideas are backwards.

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Nov 17 23:04:13 2014

Script-reading fools; why address real problems like the China ePacket subsidy when you can rant about evil unions?

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: AC_in_Mich This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 09:17:42 2014

@tornad0

Umm,  I sincerely doubt that any of the states are passing on the Federal Postal pensions!

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 18:13:00 2014

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/five-things/the-u-s-postal-servic
e/11433/

"USPS
spokespersons have been adamant in emphasizing that they are not requesting taxpayer funds from the federal government to make this year’s payment. Rather, they say, the USPS is asking Congress to authorize access to an estimated $7 billion that they overpaid into the future retiree pension fund in previous years."

The USPS is the only business forced to pre-pay its retirees up to 75 years in advance!  Thanks to the 2006 Congressional decision.  This year they are expected to make a payment of 5.5 billion!  There is no doubt USPS is hurting.  Many are paying bills online instead of mailing them but the burden they are being forced to carry is ridiculous.  One can only conclude that Congress is forcing privatization of postal service....then, you'll really have something to complain about!

Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?   Will New Postmaster Lead USPS in the Right Direction?

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 18:13:03 2014

>> Tornad0sRul

At my local PO, they have a dutch door where you can put your packages on a wheeled cart, and the letter drops will take a package as large as a Regional A box (The next town over, I've even fit a regional B long box in the slot). That can be handy dropping off packages at 3:30pm on a Saturday or even 7:55 pm on any day but Sunday to have them shipped out that day.


The line usually isn't bad, I'd rather have them scan them and get a receipt. Usually I have to wait less than 5 minutes and it takes them about 2 min to scan in my 8-15 packages in a day. They don't ask me the BS questions and might just chat about business or the weather or event that going on.

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