Friday, October 12

In the Sorting Office


You are living through some very interesting times where technology is destroying old ways of living and doing business. 

This is an example of how giant monolithic businesses fall apart when they cannot handle structural change. 

When very large trees fall, they take many other trees with them and leave a swathe of destruction around them. So one has to be careful from three perspectives. One, how to manage this tree fall from society's perspective. Second is to ensure you don't get hurt by the tree fall. And third is to ensure that you learn to profit from this tree fall. 

People usually only see one perspective. But the trick is to see all three as they are all interrelated. 

So have a think about it, we will soon stop needing paper based mail but parcels and other bits still are required to come to our door due to home e-shopping. How do we ensure this happens? How can we manage otherwise? And where can you invest in alternatives so that you can profit from this collapse in the post office? 

Something to think about son. 

Ps: was happy to hear that you are settling down and liking college. If as you say, that its easy, then challenge yourself by spending time in the library or do other stuff :). See the lecturers in the online university. 



In the Sorting Office

In the Sorting Office

James Meek

Somewhere in the Netherlands a postwoman is in trouble. Bad health, snow and ice and a degree of chaos in her personal life have left her months behind on her deliveries. She rents a privatised ex-council flat with her partner and so many crates of mail have built up in the hallway that it’s getting hard to move around. Twice a week one of the private mail companies she works for, Selektmail, drops off three or four crates of letters, magazines and catalogues. She sorts and delivers the fresh crates but the winter backlog is tough to clear. She thinks her employers are getting suspicious. I counted 62 full mail crates stacked up in the hall when I visited recently. There was a narrow passageway between the wall of crates and her personal pile of stuff: banana boxes, a disused bead curtain, a mop bucket. One of the crates has crept into the study, where the postwoman’s computer rears up out of her own archival heaps of newspapers and magazines. Should these two streams of paper merge they would not be easily separated. The postwoman hasn’t given up. She had a similar problem with the other private mail company she works for, Sandd, a few years back. ‘When I began at Sandd in 2006 I delivered about 14 boxes of mail every time,’ she said. ‘I couldn’t cope and at Christmas 2006 I had about 90 of these boxes in the house. By New Year’s Day we had 97. There were even boxes in the toilet.’ The postwoman is paid a pittance to deliver corporate mail. She hasn’t done her job well, yet so few people have complained about missed deliveries that she hasn’t been found out.

Across the world, postal services are being altered like this: optimised to deliver the maximum amount of unwanted mail at the minimum cost to businesses. In the internet age private citizens are sending less mail than they used to, but that’s only part of the story of postal decline. The price of driving down the cost of bulk mailing for a handful of big organisations is being paid for by the replacement of decently paid postmen with casual labour and the erosion of daily deliveries.

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