The US Postal Service has requested (and will probably get) another rate hike. The rising cost of fuel, materials and labor are the main reasons...or so they say. Recently, a memo came down from the lofty towers and one item they are cutting from the budget in an effort to control expenses is rubber bands. No biggie unless you're a carrier like I am. While it may seem like a trivial matter, the wizard that arrived at the decision to eliminate rubber bands didn't offer an alternative method or solution to the problem of controlling several hundred pounds of mail per route per day. In my office, there are 30 routes.
Imagine a fireman without a hose; a cop without handcuffs or a soldier without bullets. String is time consuming. Tape, either Scotch or duct, is destructive and costs more. Baling wire is not an option; neither is plastic strapping. All of the aforementioned binding materials would require some sort of sharp implement with which to cut it. Yes, we are allowed to use scissors but they must be used with utmost care as they can be a safety hazard.
It seems that the USPS wants its personnel to provide their own supplies. Tax deductible perhaps, but considering the current ruling that one must spend more than 7% of adjusted gross income before it is allowed, that is not cost-effective for carriers.
Being the brash individual that I am, I went to Management and suggested the USPS cut the positions of a Budget Specialist, the computer programmer who developed the current useless program, and my personal favorite, the Time Management Specialist who has never sorted or delivered a single letter in his/her entire career. It took all my will power not to suggest they eliminate useless managers.
Write your Congressman/woman and demand rubber bands for your mail carriers. It's the right thing to do!