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15 June 2011

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While at university I worked three consecutive Christmas holiday jobs at a Royal Mail sorting office in London, England. One year we spent two weeks hand sorting US mail posted in the States and bound for addresses in the States. I asked one of the Postmen what was going on. He told me that at Christmas the US post contract out the sorting of letters to Britain, Holland and Germany since we do it much more efficiently even taking into account shipping back and forth across the Atlantic. I was surprised since it was only temps like me as a student sorting it all by hand.

But our Royal Mail is having a few problems of it own now...

And I have to pay to receive junk mail, too. My state has a mandatory recycling program now. Every disposal company must offer curbside recycling services by state law. I have to pay $10 per month for this service. What I actually have to pay the $10 for is to remove unwanted junk mail from my mailbox and throw it into the recycling bin (provided). Necessary services indeed!

This post reminded me of an interesting, not entirely positive, look at portions of the European mail system:

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n09/james-meek/in-the-sorting-office

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