Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another UK postal strike, this one national

My fellow fountain-pen fanatics at The Fountain Pen Network do keep me informed. I've learned that there is to be yet another UK postal strike tomorrow and Friday - but this one is to be national. I've seen statistics that 120,000 of 140,000 UK postal workers will be striking those days, and the FPN folks seem to think that will grind postal service to a halt.

Here's the info from the Royal Mail website.

I don't know the postal workers' reasons for striking, but I imagine they're pretty good. I sympathize with all my UK correspondents and readers for the disruption of their mail - please share your experiences in comments, is it bad? worse than you thought? not a problem? - but I also sympathize with postal workers, who tend to be under-appreciated in this country. Maybe that's not the case in the UK, I don't know - UK readers, I'd love to hear from you about this.

You may wonder why I give so much attention to the UK: quite honestly, I have a lot of correspondents and blog readers in that fine country, and I am generally just blown away by the excellent mail service. Maybe the grass is greener on the other side, but I regularly receive letters and postcards 2-3 days faster from the UK than from the midwestern US, and 1-2 days faster from the US west coast. (I keep track of the postmarks and arrival dates in my little letter log - yeah, I'm that OCD about it!)

Oh well... it's snail mail, and one always hopes it will arrive eventually. I guess the waiting is part of the charm... oui?

8 comments:

  1. well it is a good thing that I only have one penpal in the uk and she does not write often or alot so it is okay for me and wish them the best of luck and hope it is over with shortly .

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  2. Aw, I giggled a little when I read that you note postmarks and arrival dates in a letter log :) I try to keep a log of sent and received dates, but I'm awfully forgetful.

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  3. I was writing to a woman from Brazil several years ago for ten years and remember them having one postal strike after another there. As a result I would not hear from my friend there for months at a time.I hope the UK strike does not last long and all issues are resolved.

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  4. See I find this fascinating.

    Not the strike, I find that dreadful, but the dates.

    Things from the UK tend to arrive in 10-14 days for me end of story. Stuff in the continental US it really depends on where it comes from, and that is just freakish for me. Even stuff in my own state it can depend on where I sent it as to whether people will get it the next day or three days later.

    Now I am curious if you get things from the UK faster because of your coastal connection, and I do not because of my square state status.

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  5. Girlzoot - I would vote with your last guess. I think the coastal connection has much to do with it.

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  6. I would be so upset if the postal service had to strike -- I mean, I'm upset that the postal service is going through such hard times. It sucks because I never know what we can do about it. Well I hope the strike quickly achieves what it's aimed for.

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  7. My mail to and from UK seems to travel quite fast, especially considering mail to Pittsburgh seems to take twice as long as it should (my PostCrossing stats are horrid!).

    I'm sadden by the postal strike in the UK. I don't know if it is something that will result in a positive, but it seems postal workers everywhere feel they are overworked and underpaid and/or under-appreciated. My mail carriers are wonderful. Truly wonderful. The staff at the post offices, not so wonderful. Perhaps all countries of the world should separate delivery from retail and semi-privatize the retail because then maybe they could make money and support the wonderful carriers.

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  8. PostMuse, I love your last idea. What a wonderful suggestion!

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