Of all the lame brain ideas to come down the pike, the removal of coin operated stamp machines from post office lobbies is bound to be one of this year's top contenders.
With a lack of common sense already reflected in decisions not to increase the number of counter clerks available during peak demand times such as Mondays and noon hours, the removal of self service stamp machines runs counter to even the most basic business sense. Now, a single stamp will require standing in even longer lines of people needing to mail packages, getting a stamp, mail registered letters, getting a stamp, renting post office boxes, getting a stamp, requesting forms, getting a stamp, picking up held mail and getting stamps.
Signs replacing the machines now direct you to an alternate retail location where you may purchase stamps. There you will wait in line behind people paying their utility bills, returning items, mailing UPS packages, buying lottery tickets and most probably getting a stamp.
In Huron, this alternate location is about three miles round trip from the post office. At city driving of 18 miles per gallon, at $3.55 per gallon, it will now cost 59 cents more to buy a 41 cent stamp or an even one dollar. The cost goes even higher for those of the "man made global warming" persuasion who will have to purchase additional offset credits or face sleepless nights for their transgression.
The problem with the post office is that it has no competition in the letter business. That's the reason it can be run by people with neither business nor common sense. The postmaster general and his staff should now relax for the rest of the year since they couldn't outdo this blunder of the year.