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‘What the Hell Is Going on Out There?’—Part 2
By Chuck Mulidore
NAPS Executive Vice President
In November 2020, I wrote a column about legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi yelling to his team during a not particularly good afternoon of traditional Packer football, “What the hell is going on out there?” This was a message to his team that not only was the coach dissatisfied with their play, he also was angry at the level of performance, seeing it as below their capability and talent.
My assessment of the current Postal Service senior leadership at that time was that the Postmaster General had taken this essential agency from its traditional roots of service and performance to an organization that required the intervention of four federal judges in order to correct his policies, take control over some operational decision-making and monitor his actions so as not to undermine the essential nature and purpose of the United States Postal Service. So, let’s fast forward to today. We can ask the same question Lombardi asked of his team long ago, especially as the issues remain the same—service and performance. As a result of the Postal Reform Act of 2022, Congress required a service dashboard to be established by the Postal Service to provide the public with the level of service in their area. The Postal Service maintains this data on a district basis and, while it’s not easy to find, it does provide great information.
Because it’s so hard to locate, I will tell you how to find it. Via Google, type “USPS Service Performance Dashboard,” click on the subsequent link and you can look up the service in your ZIP code area. You very likely will be shocked to see how much service performance has declined just in the past year since launching the dashboard. However, understand that service already had been suffering for several years.
What is the reason for this significant decline in service? Is it the fact that mail now moves largely on trucks vs. planes? Is it because of the massive overhauling of the mail processing network and its resultant poor implementation? Is it because of the continual price increases the USPS has been pushing on mailers that have resulted in massive financial losses?
At this point, we really don’t know the actual reasons as the Postal Service has not been transparent with the Board of Governors, the Postal Regulatory Commission or even Congress. All that is changing, though, as postal stakeholders are asking questions, undertaking investigations and setting congressional inquiries as part of their oversight role. So, I must ask senior Postal Service leaders one more time, echoing the words of Coach Lombardi, “What the hell is going on out there?”
It is time for all of us to hold the PMG and others at L’Enfant Plaza accountable for their actions. We need answers—especially the American people—to the question Coach Lombardi asked his team. We all are the U.S. Postal Service; we deserve better.