Sunday, September 18, 2011
No ME in USPS
This week the USPS made major headlines across the country. A study is currently being implemented in 400 of the 500 total processing plants nationwide for complete closure. I so happen to work in one of the "targeted" plants. The Roanoke P&DC is just one of the 250 possible closures that will be taking affect in the future. So, of the 400 being studied,roughly around 150 will be spared (for now;Plus or minus a plant or two). Keep your fingers crossed that we employees in Roanoke will be off the chopping block.
Personally speaking this news doesn't really cause me that much stress. I am in a unique position where my employer does not have the power to lay me off (yet). We are protected by unions and are guaranteed a job with a no lay off clause in our contracts. Thus, If the Roanoke P&DC were to in fact close its doors, my job will simply be moved to a processing plant that will be appointed to absorb our mail volume. This will either be Richmond,VA or most likely Greensboro,NC. The USPS will basically say. "We're moving your job to Greensboro and if you want it, I suggest you report there on this given date."
Again, although is this a huge inconvenience to me (seeing how I JUST moved to a new apartment a month ago), I will simply accept my new assignment and move to where my job takes me. Simple.
I guess the problem lies insomuch that this is not all about me. Many of my coworkers way of life will be completely uprooted. One might suggest destroyed. I work with 300+ other people. And its simply not that simple for everyone to just drop their way of life here and relocate some 80 miles away. My personal postal family circle will be broken many times over. Some will retire,quit,or (attempt) to commute to new location. All this is much easier said than done. I have known my postal family for almost 15 years now. I work with some outstanding people. To think they will no longer be a coworker due to attrition is sad and troubling to me. It's no exaggeration to suggest that my postal family has had the good fortune to watch me grow up. ( I started in Roanoke as a young 21 year old).
So even though I feel very little stress over an uncertain future for my job, I do feel my coworker's stress and sadness. Not to mention grief. I hope we all stay optimistic and hold our breath as we hope (and as some will do....pray) that our plant will be spared. We work for a company that loses billions of dollars annually,and I understand from a business perspective that major changes must take place in order for the USPS to survive. I think the USPS is finally coming to a realization that it operates in a stone age way of doing business. They are trying to sell 8 track players to customers that listen to digital music. We had a meeting in our plant this week and in the room in which the meeting took place I was scanning around the room and observed that of the 70-80 coworkers present.....I was the youngest guy in the room. I'm 36. And the USPS is finally starting to acknowledge that there is a generation that's coming up behind mine that will NEVER set foot inside a post office. They wont have to. Our services are no longer needed unless you're shipping packages. And with billions of letters lost.... It stands to reason that the jobs will be lost as well. Its business. And its understandable. But by closing plant after plant and office after office....Wouldn't that drain the motivation for current and potential future customers? It's quite a conundrum. It's the USPS!
Stay tuned.... <fingers crossed for Roanoke VA,24022 :)>