Back from the conference, back from the post office

I got back from the MLA conference and my little write-up is here. I gave a talk that went well, and I got to see a bunch of friends that I don’t see nearly enough.

Just recently, however, I got back from the post office. I had a few little packages, two postcards, some frequent flier flyers and some mail for Ola. I talked to the lady at the post office about the rate changes going into effect this month, Unlike past rate changes where the costs increment by a few cents, this rate change is complicated. The post office calls these “more choices” a feature. A few highlights

– The second ounce rate for heavy mail is actually going down instead of up
– The postcard rate goes up to 26 cents, thereby missing the 25 cent sweetspot that I was hoping for.
– There is this new weird hack called the “forever” stamp. In brief it’s a stamp that will allow you to mail a first class one ounce letter, forever. If rates go up, you can still use this stamp that you bought for less. It’s got a picture of a liberty bell on it. I wish it were more attractive because I’d like to buy a thousand off them. I love a good deal.
– Otherwise, a lot of rates are changing to include stuff like the size of your package or parcel which I think is just going to drive more people to Fedex and UPS. It may also encourage Amazon to use more appropriately sized boxes for some of the stuff they sent [I got a gift card in a box the size of a loaf of bread once]

I feel pretty unique in my generation as someone who is both a heavy post office user who is NOT running a business. I don’t think any of these changes will be a big deal. After living in Romania where you had to pretty much supply your own glue for the stamps and sew bags for your international parcels (this was in 1995, no I am not making this up) I am actually mostly happy with the post office and my post office in particular.