Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Letter to a friend in Wien

Hi again,
Shit man! I had a nasty experience today at the US post office. People looking at me funny. As if I had said god does not exist.

Imagine! All I said was: "You want to sell me tape? That's not helping me."

Imagine! I went to the office with a book to mail and an envelope to put it in.
I didn't tape it because I thought they might want to see me put it in the envelope--security and all that.

But no, that wasn't necessary. So when I asked them if they had tape, they said they
had tape only if I paid sixty dollars to mail the package express. (the normal mail price
was only ten dollars) Otherwise I'd have to buy a roll of tape for three and a half dollars--or maybe it was only three dollars, either way. And to that I said: "You want to sell me tape? That's not helping me at all. I'll just have to come back." And the response was silence and stares.

After all, I know perfectly well there's lots of tape at home.

Then I got to thinking about it. They are competing with two private companies:
Fed Ex and United Parcel Service. And they probably think something like they shouldn't give free tape because it would cut into profits. What a crazy person: wanting something for free!

But on the other hand, when I go to UPS they do tape up packages for me.

And you know another thing: how come a public service like the post office has
to make a profit when the Defense Department (really the Department of War) is always
going over budget and wasting money??

I don't believe they should compete at all. I think there should be a government monopoly
on basic services like the mail and the internet--to make sure it is cheap enough for

But the people in line who stared at me for what I said probably just swallow all
this capitalist bullshit about competition. Yeah the US Post Office is about to cut jobs
and service. That's how much competition helps! Why don't these people wake up?

Anyway, it reminded me of the small mindedness you get in Slovakia.

One of many reasons I don't wish to stay here.

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