Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thriftiness, Efficiency, and the United States Postal Service

Thriftiness according to the USPS is all about packaging. We've all seen the commercials about flat rate boxes -- "as long as you can fit it in and its less than 70 lbs, it ships all over the US for a low flat rate". But did you know that the same efficiency in shoving as much stuff as you can while remaining under the weight limit does NOT also apply to letters?

When mailing letters, folding efficiency translates to thriftiness and the reason for this is simple. When you mail a letter, it must not only be under the weight limit, but it must also fit through a specifically sized slot to be able to be mailed using just a postage stamp. So you must efficiently fold it so that it is as flat as possible to be able to mail a letter that is under the 1 ounce weight limit for 1 postage stamp.

Otherwise, your letter will be returned to you and you will have to bundle your kids into the car, trek to the post office, spending time and using gas, to pay a 20 cent surcharge so that a person will be kind enough to stick your letter in the appropriate place. Who knew people are so inefficient when compared to machines to warrant a 20 cent surcharge for a person to do the same thing a machine does? Go figure. Good luck and happy mailing to you until we meet again ;).

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