We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You see neighbors - all waiting in a line. The location is ramshackle. It is pre-tech in every way but plenty of employees.
Going into the post office is like going back in time. Or back into Mr. Rogers.
I waited a while while a few people got their packages stamped by a little kiosk, then I got 100 stamps from the machine. Took too long for me to get the other 100, plus there were impatient people behind me.
We have a local supermarket chain that sells postage stamps and handles routine USPS matters at their customer service desk, seems to keep things moving well. I use my local post office only a few times a year. When mother was still living in her home, I had to go get her mail from the box pretty frequently, small town without home delivery.
You know, BD, you can use unmarked small bills for your anonymous drug deals, you don't have to use postage stamps!
Around here there are few (standalone) post offices, but lots of UPS Stores, FedEx Office locations, and plain old grocery stores that are happy to sell you a book of 20 stamps at the cash register. Many of all three are "official USPS substations" and offer packaging supplies and express-mail service, too.
But I haven't been to any of them in months. E-mail is easier. I don't see physical shipping increasing in volume, even with the rise of Amazon.
My neighborhood is blessed with a post office that is seldom crowded, so it's practical to stop by for an occasional stamp purchase. They're perpetually short of pens, so my wife takes them an annual "CARE package" of the surplus ballpoint pens that seem to accumulate from our travels.
I have thought that requiring a stamp on emails to be a good idea for some years now. I think the world is a better place when we have to consider both costs and benefits. How about a quarter?
How much would unsolicited spam reduce if it cost $250,000 to send a million emails? And maybe my business contacts would decide they don't need to remind me multiple times per week about how wonderful a customer I am or how wonderful their service.
And perhaps my friends would be more discerning in what they forwarded to me if it cost them $0.25 each time. I would spend a quarter to send a friend a worthwhile joke.
You can buy stamps on line at the USPS website-- they send them to you, naturally, by mail. This is a great place to go if you want a wide choice of colorful stamps, or holiday/theme stamps (like weddings), or odd postage rates (international, 3 oz., etc.), or envelopes/post cards with the postage pre-printed on them. All of them are "forever" these days, pretty much, so no harm in buying a pile.
You still need to go to the post office for things like return receipt mail, certified mail, etc. But mostly, no need to go there any more.