Thursday, December 4, 2008

Adrift In A Sea of Mail

Around November 20, three people in three different locations mailed me items First Class. Two weeks later, none had arrived. I finally went to my local Post Office to see if my packages were stashed somewhere. “Not here,” I was told; but the next day, all items appeared in my mailbox. My in-person query probably unearthed the backroom back-up. It's not that easy for direct mailers. A close friend who owns a mail house tells me that three of his recent commercial mail jobs have been floating around the Post Office for a month. Nothing’s been delivered and none of the managers at the P.O. can (or will) say where the letters are. Let’s all hope the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) can find mail gone adrift. So far, reports from DM insiders says IMB is magic. Nothing is getting lost. Come May 2009, though -- when discounts push usage into the millions/billions -- will the system allow for retrieval of information, or will we still need a willing human being to do the ask?

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