It’s in the Mail: I Had a Letter in the LA Times
by Jim Washburn
I've written I don't know how many letters to the editor of the LA Times over the years, and they have not printed just as many. I started thinking I was on a "disgruntled ex-Times writer; do not run" list.
But yesterday, they finally broke down and ran one. Maybe it's because the Times' new editor, Davan Maharaj, is such a splendific guy. Maybe it's because it was one of my few letters not specifically bitching about the Times itself. Maybe they just wanted to bug me by leaving out my best line in the letter.
A few days previous, they'd run an op-ed piece by some blowhard named James Brovard complaining about the US Postal Service, claiming that the USPS has been intentionally slowing down mail delivery for decades, and essentially that they suck.
I happen to love the USPS. They are one of the reasons why I have nearly 2200 positive feedbacks on eBay: because, more than other carriers, they deliver the goods, swiftly, securely and economically. I've known some great characters in postal uniform, who deal with the grind of their job with humor and aplomb, like real human beings.
So I wrote this to the Times:
Was James Bovard bit by a mailman as a child? His attack on the US Postal Service (U.S. Mail: Slower and Slower) has some great lines, notably, "The Postal Service has often acted as if mail delivery was a mere nuisance distracting from the gainful pursuit of pensions," but it in no way reflects the service I use and enjoy six days a week.
Are they overpaid? I wouldn't know, but I do know they are overworked and understaffed, and do a damn fine job of delivering the packages I make my living from, faster, safer and cheaper than other carriers. I have yet to encounter a postal employee who wasn't devoted to his or her job.
Along with other little snips, the Times ran it without the opening sentence. What's wrong with these people?