Sunday, June 16, 2013

You know nothing Erika Johnsen

*with apologies to Ygritte*

I noticed the other day at HotAir that contributor Erika Johnsen posted another screed about the Post Office.


This time in reaction to some comments by Darrel Issa about postal reform and the like. I won't bother to link to the article or quote what she says because it is the same boilerplate bullsh*t she and Ed Morrisey always spit out in their ignorance about the Post Office.

Like always, she manages to work the phrase "obsolete business model" into her posting. Like Al Gore and Ed Begley Jr. jerking each other off while screaming "The science is settled!" Ms. Johnsen assumes that if she keeps repeating the same phrase over and over it will become a fact.

What exactly is our obsolete business model anyway? She never says. Is it that we provide a service and charge for it? I'm no brain scientist, but I think that is how most for profit businesses work. Oh, I get it, it's because we deliver mail. You know, physical pieces of mail. How dinosaur of us. Btw, read your own website much, Erika? How's that whole e-mail and cell phone stuff working out for ya? Got much privacy there?

But it's new and spiffy, the young folks of Ms. Johnsen's age proclaim. Yep. But secure? Ehh . . . not so much. You know what is secure? Yep. The U.S. Mail.

She goes on to laud how the PMG and Issa are on the same page about some of the reforms to the P.O. As I've mentioned in various other posts -- going to postal management for ideas on how to save the Post Office is like going to the guy embezzling money from the bank for ideas on how to catch the embezzler. The Post Office is partly in trouble because of managers like Patrick Donahoe and others who have made one jaw-dropplingly stupid business decision after another over the last twenty years.

I will also mention once again, because Ms. Johnsen isn't an actual journalist, she's a cut-and-paste blogger, that there is no one in management in the U.S.P.S who was promoted from craft based on merit. No one. Every single manager is in management because he or she was unable or unwilling to do craft work. These are the people who matriculate to the upper levels of management and become district, regional, and higher managers and are the ones making the decisions that affect the livelihood of over 300,000 employees. If you're not promoting your best and brightest, why would you expect quality decision making and planning from those in charge?

She also trots out the bit about us losing however million per day we are losing without, once again, mentioning that that loss is due entirely to the forced pre-payment of retirement funds 75 years into the future. A requirement that no other business, public or private, in this country is faced with. I used to comment at HotAir about these things until as one against a legion of trolls, it got pretty futile. But the most frequent thing thrown at me was about unfunded liabilities threatening the security of our economy.

And the trolls are right, that is a serious threat. Here's an idea, why not force every business to do that? I mean, and I've mentioned that in my comments, if it is so vitally important, why not force, by law as the P.O. is, every business to pre-fund 75 years into the future. Oh that would destroy the economy they tell me. Yeah, no kidding there ace, that's my point. So why force us to? Well, that's different they tell me. Yeah, we're one of the hated government agencies these new-age, new-tech types want to get rid of. A dinosaur. Yeah, about that secure e-mail of yours . . .

Ms. Johnsen fails to note in her posting that the unions (ooh, those hated unions) have repeatedly offered plans to help secure the viability of the Post Office. Because of course, she hasn't bothered to look into that, because that would take some effort on her part. Where's the fun in that? And she laments that the P.O. isn't allowed to arbitrarily lay off workers because of those pesky contracts the workers have. You know, the ones settled by arbitrators every five years. It's an impartial judge that doesn't think the P.O. should just be able to dump employees at will, not just us hourly workers.

But Ms. Johnsen, who has probably never held an actual job in her life, doesn't see anything wrong with letting a bunch of barely qualified bosses dump a bunch of 30 year employees (and military veterans, btw) out into the street because she doesn't like that darn bbm mail in her mailbox every day.

I could fill pages with things that are wrong with how the Post Office operates, what could be done to improve efficiency and productivity, and so on, and nothing would have any connection to our arbitrated contracts or industry comparable wages and benefits. I could point out all the ways we are superior to our competitors in both service and pricing. I could go on about the dangers of dumping 300,000+ people onto the unemployment rolls as it relates to the housing market and local economies.

But that's because I'm familiar with the Post Office. And Erika Johnsen . . . she knows nothing.

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