I fancy myself a person that is full of ideas. Now, I am not going to claim that they are GOOD ideas, but I have lots of ‘em, and I’m pretty sure the law of averages would say that at least a few of them don’t SUCK. In high school, I came up with an ad campaign for The Gap using a Thompson Twins song (shut up—it was 1986!)
And I have a rockin’ idea about people being able to talk to each other while driving, specifically to tell each other how bad they are driving, called COMMUT-ICATE. Get it?
Anyhoo—here are five ideas for how the USPS could increase revenue, reinvent, rejuvenate and thrive today:
- Create a worldwide campaign whereby we revive penpals, the old fashioned way—with WRITING and MAILING LETTERS. When I was a kid I used to write to a kid from England and one from France, and the days that those letters came in the mail were thrilling to my 11-year-old self. Kids in France had a totally different style of penmanship. And the stamps? Different and beautiful. You can’t get that with an e-mail relationship. And today, we sponsor a child from Ecuador, and when I get letters from him, well, it sets my heart to racing.
- Design and release a series of stamps aimed at hipsters, with images of Pabst Blue Ribbon, ironic T shirts, porkpie hats and typewriters.
- Try like hell to get a letter delivered 50 miles in less than five days. OUCH. But in all seriousness, when ANY organization is trying to justify its existence to shareholders, taxpayers, or owners, the goal should always be an outstanding performance and an eye on quality customer service. I am not suggesting that this is not true for the Postal Service. I am just saying that there is always room for improvement.
- Try smiling. Have you been in a post office lately? Not the most cheery of establishments. As I said above, when your entire existence is being threatened, perhaps the best line of defense would be to kill it every day and act as if your job was the best thing that ever happened to you. My letter carrier smokes a big fat cigar every day and waves at me every time I see him, and that makes me happy. In fact, for Christmas we buy him cigars. Don’t make him the exception. Create a welcoming environment, treat your customers with care and grace, and love what you do. That goes for everyone. Even YOU!
- Hire Jack Bauer to create an elaborate plan to wipe out the Internet. Chloe can run comm. for him and the Russians surely will get involved. You can call it 24/Mail Another Day.
So there you go. Someone print out this blog, put it in an envelope, and mail it to the Postmaster General. It’ll sound better coming from you.