You may have seen in the news this month that part of the Star Wars 30th Anniversary celebrations will include dressing up United States Postal Service (USPS) mailboxes as R2D2. I'd be curious to know if 20th Century Fox or Lucasfilm paid USPS for the advertising, or if USPS paid Fox or Lucasfilm for the licensing. I reckon they balance each other out, but nevertheless you can bet someone paid someone a lot of money for the stunt.
While reading up about this, I came across a story that reminded me of a post I wrote last October about the UK Royal Mail's poor "Special Delivery" service. Royal Mail continuously failed to hit their guaranteed delivery time target of 1200hrs, so instead of fixing the service, they shifted the target time to 1300hrs. Genius. Not.
Well, this inspired thinking seems to have travelled across the Atlantic to the aforementioned USPS. The Houston Chronicle earlier this month reported that all over America clocks have been removed from the walls of Post Offices in order that customers won't notice how long they've been standing in the queue.
"We want people to focus on postal service and not the clock" said Stephen Seewoester, Dallas spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.
Call me a dreamer, but surely the answer to this problem is to reduce the waiting time?
Oh yes, and have the UPSP not heard of watches?
ps The USPS is a semi-independent federal agency, mandated to be revenue-neutral. That is, it is supposed to break even, not make a profit. However, it has made around a $1 billion dollars profit each year for the last 5 years. I guess they won't be needing to spend any of that profit on clock batteries now...