Real World Spam

Last Wednesday, I went to my mailbox and pulled out some mail. After quickly flipping through it, I took the whole pile and dumped it all in my trash can, even before I got to my front door.
How ridiculous is this. I take 15 minutes of my valuable time to check my mailbox, only to find that it’s filled with stuff I don’t need or want, and has no importance to me whatsoever. Isn’t mail about sending important stuff to me and not junk someone else thinks I need?
I travel a lot, so I put my mail on hold quite a bit at the post office. When I come back from a long trip, I go to the window where we get our vacation hold mail. The lady there recognizes me because I hold my mail often. I give her my driver’s license and she goes into the back room to get my mail. After a few minutes, I (always) hear her puffing and struggling back to the window and then she puts this crate full of mail, sometimes two crates, onto the window ledge where I pick it up. Sometimes it’s so heavy that she drags it along the floor to me. I just merely take those crates to the other counter and take another 15 minutes of my valuable time to go through it and throw all the junk mail into the trash at the US Post Office before I get home. I generally throw away about 80% of the stuff in there. What a waste!
So finally one day, after seeing her struggles for the Nth time, I ask her why doesn’t the US Postal Service do something about junk mail? If they would do something, then she wouldn’t be breaking her back every time with this huge crate of mail. Of course she responds back that it’s a business thing and that their revenue depends on more mail being sent. I relate to her the similarity between junk mail and email spam, and that huge battles are being fought to remove email spam. I say to her, shouldn’t the US Postal Service treat its customers the same way and help improve their experience with snail mail? No wonder people are doing whatever they can to remove dependence on snail mail.
As more services move online, I try to take advantage of paperless billing as much as possible. These bill statements just clutter up my house and I end up shredding them anyways. If the world goes the way it’s going, soon I will get NOTHING BUT JUNK MAIL in my physical mailbox. In fact, I should build a radio controlled door under my mailbox which just drops the mail into my trash can, so that I don’t even have to walk out there any more.
If someone really wants to send me a wedding invitation, they’d better do it via email. Or else I’ll just dump that fancy envelope in the trash.
And then “Vacation Hold” really means “US Post Office dumps my trash instead of me”.
Wake up US Postal Service. You’re a monopoly but you’re also missing the way the world is going. You’ll be a dead monopoly in a decade if you don’t do what every other business should be doing, which is listening to and taking care of your customers.