How do you spell ‘service’? |

How do you spell ‘service’?

The logo, complete with a graphic depicting the head of an eagle, reads: “United States Postal Service.” A misnomer if ever there was one.

Undeniably, the majority of post office employees with whom we conduct person-to-person business are friendly, patient, knowledgeable and courteous. But these people don’t make policy decisions, and that list of “service-oriented” questions they’re supposed to ask are by no means an offer of greater service. In the world of retail sales and services, it’s more commonly referred to as add-on sales.

Service, by my definition, is something quite different – and the U.S. Postal Service provides very little of it. For example, I recently mailed two items.

One was addressed to (fictitious) 12345 U-Name-it Drive, Nevada City. The other to 12345 Anyname Court, Grass Valley. Addressee names and ZIP codes on the envelopes were correct. I have since learned that, while there is a 12345 U-Name-it Way in Nevada City, there is no U-Name-it Drive. No one in the postal “service” made the connection? The item was returned “no such street.” I wonder why they didn’t stamp it “no such drive,” and if they also have a stamp that reads “no such way.” The item addressed to the Grass Valley address was also returned. It was marked “undeliverable as addressed – unable to forward.”

I have since learned that the person for whom the item was intended actually resides at “12343” Anyname Court; there is no “12345” on Anyname Court. Once again, the postal “service” couldn’t make the connection. Clearly, in both instances, the customer made an error. Nevertheless, delivery “service” might have included recognition of the error and making a reasonable adjustment.

Perhaps “service,” like so many of our recently coined politically correct terms, is intended to soften the impact of reality. After all, doesn’t the IRS use the word “service” to describe its function?

George Hicks

Grass Valley

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