Monday, May 30, 2011

Postal strike would still be a loss

“Electronic media, writ large, is slowly but surely and steadily killing off the post office.”

This statement comes from Ian Lee, a Carleton professor who did his PhD thesis on the origin and evolution of Canada’s post office. Not surprisingly, he said the service has been in slow decline for decades.

Today Canadian postal workers moved into strike position; they are prepared to walk off the job at midnight on Thursday.

The Montreal Gazette asks: “What if they called a postal strike and nobody noticed?”

The argument made by the Gazette and by others such as Lee is that the postal system is being usurped by the Internet. Most people, especially those with broadband access, conduct much of their communication and business activities on-line, from paying bills to keeping in touch with friends and relatives. The ease and the cost make electronic communication a preferred option for many.

But while I use email daily for work and social networking, bank on-line and even shop on-line, I am still a big fan of snail mail. Sure, a friendly email is nice to receive, but how many people actually think it’s nicer than getting a card or hand-written letter in the mail?

I’m not just a fan of getting personal mail (which sadly makes up a small portion of the letters that are delivered to our home), but I like sending it too. I am a sucker for nice stationary and have a drawer full of different cards, letter-paper, and envelopes.

I think I can also speak for my daughter who would likely take a stand of support for Canada Post, if she understood the concept of strikes and all. What she does understand is getting cards and packages in the mail (thank-you Grandma!) and making cards and packages to send.

Though we were late in sending it off, Miya and I had a lot of fun filling an envelope to send to my mum for Mother’s Day filled with a card and works of art – and I know it’s fun for mum to receive.

So if postal workers do strike this week, let me just say for the record, it will be noticed and lamented here.

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