March 3 2011 11:32 AM

    This week, I tried a little unscientific experiment around the office. It was a simple thing, I asked folks to say the first thing that popped into their heads when I said the word "change". The remarkable thing was that every single response was negative. More than one person immediately responded "No!" There were several "Why?" responses. One person cheated a little with a two word response - "too busy". I even had a few responses of simply "Bad! Change = bad!"

    Definitions of change in the dictionary included "to make something different from what it was", "make something different than it would be if left alone", and my favorite - "to transform". The United States Postal Service is undergoing a transformation. Change, for the USPS, is not an option - it is necessary for the organization's survival. Change, transform - or die.

    I've been struck recently by misleading headlines screaming "USPS to Close 2,000 Post Offices!" This is only part of the story, and sensationalizes the subject matter, causing people to react negatively when they really should not. The USPS plans include making mail services MORE accessible, not less accessible! Left out of the Post Office closing articles are the repeated statements by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe that the USPS needs to " find the right balance between our physical locations, alternate access channels placed where the public shops, and a full suite of online options." In other words, mailing customers would have more options, not less options.

    Change can be for the better. Simple, common sense recent innovations like pre-paid greeting card envelopes makes sending a card an easy no-brainer. Putting postal services into outlets that are open early, open late, maybe even 24 hours - talk about convenient! Putting postal services in place we already frequent - grocery stores, retail establishments - would make the Postal Service more accessible to more people, even if their local Post Office has closed.

    My advice - don't let the word "change" cloud your thinking. Substitute it with "transform". Don't be scared off, get all of the facts, and go in with an open mind. The changes coming may be good ones, changes that benefit both the mailing community and ensure the continuation of the Postal Service. The USPS is worth the effort.
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