Monday, February 09, 2015


No, it's not the roses I'm worried about. It's the postbox in front of our house.

You're wondering, am I worried about vandals? Not yet. Thieves have never seemed much interested in individual delivery boxes. All that walking, door-to-door is likely too much work for anyone looking for a fast buck -- or, as is more likely the case, an identity to steal.

It's the new 'community' group boxes that get all the action, witnessed in this news report from the weekend. [Warning: You have to put up with an ad before you get coverage about the extreme measures thieves are taking in breaking into the new boxes.]

Deepak Chopra (no, not that Deepak Chopra), the somewhat-ironically-named CEO of Canada Post, has determined -- almost single-handedly -- that the future of home delivery is doomed.

Supposedly a cost-saving measure, letter carriers will no longer walk their routes, but will drive from group box to group box, tucking whatever fits into the tiny cubicles. As someone who subscribes to a number of magazines, art ones included, this in itself presents a problem.

But that's the least of the problems. I certainly doubt Mr. Chopra's prediction that people will walk to their letterboxes. They'll drive, even if it's only a block, especially if the weather isn't perfect. What a way to encourage us to get out of our cars.

I can hardly wait for the parking mess that's just about sure to ensue in our neighbourhood.

Foolishness. Lack of foresight. Extreme lack of vision.

What else can I accuse him of?

Failing to see that his supposed 'cost-saving' measures will end up costing everyone a whole lot more.


theresa said...

I've never had door to door delivery because I live in a rural area. (Or wait, I did as a child when I lived in a city and it was so sweet to hear the rattle of the mailbox as the letters were placed inside, and then the sound of my mum shuffling them in her hands as she brought them inside...) But you know, there are still pleasures associated with walking over for the mail. I see the neighbours there. If they're unable to go for their own mail, I'm willing to help them out. And I get loads of literary magazines and other packages and the cubicle fits most of them. If they're too big, there's a bigger cubby for those and I find a key in my box which I use to open the bigger cubby and then slip the key into the letter slot afterwards. Life still goes on. I hate change and if I'd known something else, maybe I wouldn't like this, but I have to say it's not the end of the world to collect your mail at a community mail box.

hg said...

Thank you, Theresa, for this thoughtful and thought-provoking comment. Rural delivery has certainly crossed my mind. I've even had some experience with it. In rural areas where homes are often very far apart, truck-and-box delivery makes sense. Here in the Lower Mainland of BC we're pretty much butted up, shoulder to shoulder, so car delivery makes much less sense.
In many areas it's going to be tricky finding a place to install the boxes, as they are such afterthoughts in any town planning. And yes, they will require parking spots in front of them.
While it sounds pleasantly idyllic to walk to the box for a chat with neighbours, I suspect far too many users will be driving not walking. I only have to look at some of the nearby subdivision boxes for support in this idea. They're often nearly as bad as a school driveway at the bell.
I appreciate learning about the key-transfer procedure for mags and packets. I do hope my delivery person will employ that for us.
And really, it's this security issue -- and the ongoing expense of repair and replacement (and guarding?) which it will incur -- that has me questioning this change yet again and only now writing about it.
I'll bet, rather than the costs of putting the boxes in place, buying the fleet of new cars for the carriers, and then maintaining and replacing all of those, if delivery were cut to say, every other day, actual savings may have been realized.
Yes, change is complicated. But we learned to go without Saturday delivery. Learning to get used to every other day would be less painful than that likely was, would keep letter carriers walking (and healthier) and keep a few more cars off the road.