Thursday, 12 December 2013

Hey Canada Post - could you also feed me grapes?

Canada Post announced yesterday that it's going to phase out home mail delivery in urban areas within the next five years, and jack-up the cost of stamps.

From what I understand, this means that Princes and Princesses who receive mail delivered to their front doors on a daily basis are going to have to walk 30 seconds to a neighbourhood group mailbox.  I also understand that some people are feeling pretty upset about the whole thing.

Clearly, I am not one of those people - for about a dozen reasons.

First, the obvious:  It's cheaper.  I think we can all agree, for a business that's been losing money for years this seems a little late.  It makes perfect sense given the move toward electronic everything and the related decrease in snail mail.

There are other reasons I like the idea, though.

The environment, for one.  It's about time individuals and businesses set up online billing, which will save trees, trash, and cash.  Who isn't sick of getting nothing but bills and flyers in the mail - each filled with 23 useless coupons.

It's a hard job, for another.  Although I hope most postal workers won't lose their jobs (through attritian), this must be a very difficult and fairly thankless job.  Hiking through Canadian weather, facing crazy dogs, avoiding reckless drivers - all for a few bills and flyers and some greeting cards at Christmas. Can't be easy.

But the primary reason I support the change?  I don't care.  Sorry, I just don't.

I've been a self-retriever of my mail from a community mailbox since high school (in five separate homes).  Sure, it can be annoying, but I obviously don't have the life-long emotional attachment to home delivery that some seem to have.

In fact, I very much enjoy my little jaunt to the mailbox.  It is literally a 35-second walk (I counted).  Yesterday I plopped Baby Fraggle into her snowsuit and wandered us both to the mailbox and back.  It was exactly the two minutes of fresh air that we needed.

What about the magic of receiving mail at my front door, you ask. Honestly, there's more fun in going to check the happy little box.  What treasures await me in there? How big will the haul be today?  Did anyone send me any money?

As for big packages, sometimes there's a slip in my mailbox and I have to go pick up my parcel.  But other times, there's a special key in my mailbox that opens another larger mailbox to the left of mine.  It's basically a miniature scavenger hunt. And who doesn't like a scavenger hunt.

Look.  I appreciate the romanticism and nostalgia of home mail delivery.  Like e-book versus "real book" or internet vs newspaper.  But guys.  C'mon.  This is a natural progression.  We're already quite spoiled (anyone wanna take their own garbage and recycling to a local depot?) and I think our society can handle this momentous change.

More importantly, we can find fun and romance in something new.  We just have to look for it.


  1. I have had mail delivered to my house, and I have had to walk to a group mailbox. They seem the same to me.

  2. Personally, I am completely unaffected by this, as I already have a community box that is a two minute walk away.

    I do, however, have some concern for people with mobility issues, for whom even a two minute walk can be a huge issue. I'd like to see those folks have an option for home delivery, maybe in the form of a yearly fee.

    They could have also cut costs by cutting delivery back to three days a week instead of five.

    1. Yeah I thought that too, and wondered about a fee (and perhaps a subsidy). I also thought of elderly folks who may not only have mobility issues but may also not be technologically "savy" for e-bills.

      Three days a week would be good too. To a community box.

  3. I have huge issues with this due to the mobility issues. I personally don't have any and I feel blessed for that, but I have people in my life who do. I'm more than willing to have my mail reduced to 3 times a week to my community box (which I hate climbing snowbanks for in the winter. The worst is when you climb it and an empty box is staring back at ya lol.), if that means they will get a real list for those who are disabled and deliver the mail to their doors. Not everyone has friends and/or family near by or that they can trust with their personal mail so this would solve that. I too hope that they really delete jobs through attrition and not just lay people off. Otherwise, I go to a box myself so in that sense it doesn't bother me. (minus winter snowbank climbs lol)

    1. Snowbanks are a hazard in Canada in any case!

      The mobility issue is a tough one. But administering a list, eligibility, and spotty home delivery is a money sucker too. It may come down to having one's mail delivered to a neighbour or a friend.