Bureaucrat Beat: Postal Priorities, Don’t Look While Driving?, and Newsroom Surgeons

Engraved on the outside of the postal building in New York City: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Locals tell us Ginger Barnes, the postal delivery woman in Crowley, Sunny Slopes and other areas, embodies that oath. So what’s her reward? Loss of her job. She tried to renew her contract to provide service and got aced out by a lower bid. Customers along the delivery route are up in arms about the loss of this long-time servant who, they say, should have received a raise not the boot.

Customers tell us it was one of those bottom-line deals in which the postal service asked for bids to provide the delivery service. They gave the job to the low dollar, pure and simple. Hey, no offense to the low bidder but how about the post office considers track record, quality of service and loyalty in addition to low bucks?

Delivery woman Ginger Barnes said today would be her last day on the job, after 7 years of deliveries. She had written a letter to customers and gave us permission to share it.

To All my friends in Crowley Lake,

As many of you have already heard, I will no longer be your mail carrier as of September 26th. I lost in my bid to renew my contract. I just wanted to take a little time to explain because I’m sure it’s going to cause some disruption in your mail delivery.

When I told my Dad what happened he said, “Ginger, it’s just a job.” I’m sorry Dad, but you couldn’t be more wrong. This has never been “just a job” to me. In the last seven years, I’ve formed so many great relationships with the good people of Crowley Lake. I’m going to miss all of you.

Thank you for your trust, smiles and hugs through the years. It has been an honor, privilege and pleasure to be your carrier. It’s no accident that God has put so many good people together in such a small space on this earth. What a great community!

God Bless you and I love each and every one of you,

Sincerely, Ginger Barnes

A case of customer service forgotten? Some residents think so, and they have begun to circulate a petition. It goes like this:

Concerning the departure of Ginger Barnes, our mail lday

As a longtime resident of Crowley Lake I am most distressed to find that our exceptional mail deliverer is no longer with us.

I am appalled to find such an efficient worker has been let go after years of continuous find standing. I would have thought she would have been rewarded by a raise at the very least. She has battled our Crowley high winds, storms, etc. to always make sure we get our mail on time and has been a gracious friend to those who know her along her route. There are many in this complex area who feel the same as I do.
Signatures follow.

Mammoth Postmaster Gary Shutlz called Barnes’ loss of the job “a shame.” While he has to stand by the postal service decision, Fultz said that in his 30 plus years with the post office he has never had a carrier so conscientious and caring as Ginger Barnes. We plan to call the postal official in San Francisco who made the decision.

Apparently quality of service and customer care don’t really count much with the post office higher ups.

Speaking of muckety mucks, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a new bill that says drivers will be banned from text messaging while driving a car. Yeah. Just like you can’t text message while driving metrolink trains. Jeeeeeesh! This should be obvious. Do we need laws that say no cooking while driving or no folding of origami birds while behind the wheel?

We just can’t resist one more Sarah Palin question. If Sarah Palin can get foreign policy experience by sitting next to heads of state and talking for a few minutes, can the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom staff perform surgery after a few chats with local doctors?

On the federal economic debacle underway, why did they wait until now to try to fix things?

Wrapping it up with a laugh, check out I Can Has Cheezburger on the internet. It’s a goofy but incredibly popular website with pictures of cats and silly captions that use bad English. Ben Huh created this and other websites with downright ludicrous pictures and words. Sometimes this sort of thing puts the rest of life into perspective. Check out the cat with his right paw raised, who says, “as god as my witness, I no eated da cookie!

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.


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