Your mail: It’s in the bag |

Your mail: It’s in the bag


Tuesday was a good day to get your mail in a bag.

It was pouring, of course, and the lucky residents of Carson City who are getting their mail service in plastic pouches no doubt appreciated that their letters and fliers were safe from the elements.

On Monday, however, it might have been a different matter. The wind was blowing hard enough, as Mark Twain pointed out on a similar day, to take away pets and small children if they weren’t properly secured.

Had your mail not already been placed in a U.S. Postal Service-approved box, it would have been lifted in its giant plastic pouch, functioning as a perfectly good sail, by the Washoe Zephyr and delivered to some address many Zip codes away.

Don’t get us wrong. We rather enjoy being the Guinea pigs for Postal Service experiments. This is the third in recent years (Kmart’s Express Post Office, and morning delivery were the others), and we’re all for postal innovation. But the weather benefits of the new plastic pouches seem dubious, at best.

The efficiency factor – the reason touted by the Postal Service for testing the plastic pouches in Carson City – is yet to be determined.

Postal workers need to get more comfortable with the new routine before we’ll know if sorting the mail once, into a pouch, makes the whole process move faster.

Of course, one mail deliverer in an area not being served by plastic pouches already slips a rubber band around each home’s mail.

But a rubber band would defeat the purpose of the new pouches – the real purpose. And that’s to create an advertising space in your mailbox. The pouches now carry U.S. Postal Service advertising – what we in the business call “house ads” – but expect to see a paying customer on there if the experiment proves to be a success.

It’s a way to raise revenue for the Postal Service, sure. But no matter what the weather, we’re not looking forward to another advertisement in our mailbox.