Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house…there wasn’t an effin’ peep, because I was trying to be as quiet as possible so as to hear my postal carrier’s knock on the front door. Which never came, because I’m talking about Canada Post here, and they are wildly incompetent thieves, charlatans and goons.
To back up this cheery Christmas fable a beat or two, the union representing Canada Post, the taxpayer-funded Crown corporation that manages the Canadian postal system, launched a short-lived, pre-holiday strike that was about as successful as their usual approach to business – drowning in complaints, the federal government quickly legislated them back to work, with a promise to re-open the negotiations in the new year. And I vehemently hope that when that time comes, the government mails out the invitations via Canada Post, so they never, ever get to their recipients.
Our postal system is, and always has been, a colossal joke. But I thought it was just your garden variety unionized incompetence. But with this strike, timed to inflict as much damage as possible on customers (commercial and civilian, Canadian and global alike) they have shown their true colours – they are ignorant, crass opportunists willing to hijack an entire holiday for their own dubious gain. The Grinch comparisons are apt.
What has my fur up today is the fact that I rearranged my entire schedule so I could be home for a time-sensitive, need-it-by-this-weekend delivery. For days now I’ve tracked my package as it’s bounced back and forth between various distribution centres, many of them hopelessly backlogged because of the short-lived strike. Also, not too surprisingly, there are reports of continued intentional slow-downs and informal strikes by the most devoted of the union’s members.
Without getting into the politics of UNION GOOD/BAD (I have actually worked in both kinds of environments, and each system has its pluses and minuses) I believe the union’s demands to be wildly out of touch with Canada Post’s proven track record of near-complete ineptitude. You won’t find a person in this country who doesn’t have multiple stories of misplaced mail, destroyed packages, completely undelivered packages, disinterested, snarky customer service and trampled landscaping. On review site trustpilot.com, there are 917 reviews for Canada Post, and a full 93 percent of them fall under the bad/one-star category. The one thing they seem to do consistently well is piss off their customers.
Like yours truly, who sat here all morning – didn’t run down to the gym, didn’t push the vacuum around, didn’t even take a call that might have tied up the line – anticipating a delivery that I KNEW was not going to come. And it didn’t. After some hours, I went down to the mail room, and there in my mailbox, nestled in beside the bills that always seem to show up on time, was a delivery notification informing me that I could not be reached, and I could pick up my own damn package at a postal outlet tomorrow afternoon. You cannot access my mail room without accessing the entire building as a whole, which means the carrier was here, actually IN my building, and couldn’t be arsed to drag his lying butt up to my apartment or, alternately, call up and ask me to come down and meet him. The truly galling part of all of this is that a different delivery, this one through UPS, showed up on my doorstep about two minutes later – nice, friendly guy carrying out his professional duties like a professional. Take notes, Canada Post. Then drop them on the slushy ground, step on them and lose them under the seat of your van for the next three and a half months.
And please take note, Canadian government, of the taxpayers who are no longer willing to broker with a bunch of lying, duplicitous laze-abouts. Because the fallout is greater than just some people being horked off that their Christmas gifts didn’t arrive on time. Rather, we’re talking about the wholesale defrauding of the Canadian people and their postal partners. Canada Post’s service has NEVER warranted the nearly bulletproof protection afforded to it by its government and union affiliations, and the organization as a whole has done itself precisely zero favours with this pre-Christmas Grinch grift. ANY negotiating leverage they think they may have amassed is about as effectual as their actual service.
Last year, completely dissatisfied with my dealings with both Walmart and the entire Loblaws group of companies, I sought to cut both out of my retail experience. And for the most part, I was successful – I think I shopped at Walmart maybe five times in 2018, and even less than that at a Loblaws-owned entity. It was a pain, and in many cases the workarounds I found were more expensive than if I had just gone to the stores in question in the first place, but sometimes our convictions are more important than nabbing 72 rolls of three-ply at a low, low, low price.
2019 is the year I cut Canada Post out of my life. That this may harm businesses I like to shop from is without dispute, but I will no longer deal with any company that uses the postal system as their default carrier. I will find alternate carriers to transport my goods, and if I can’t manage that, I simply won’t buy from that retailer in the hopes that they, too, strike this toxic entity from their business rosters.
Shame on you, Canada Post, you petulant, foolish children, and thank your lucky stars Santa isn’t one of your employees, or this year you’d be getting jack shit. Merry Christmas, ho ho ho, and oh yeah – get fucked.