A Scandal That Won't Go Away

EDITOR, The Tribune.

WE have read many letters and commentaries on the postal service, or, more correctly the lack of it. Here is a letter which was written, unbelievably, back on November 23, 2010... seven years ago! If you check your archives you will be able to verify this fact. The title was “A Scandal that requires explanation”.

“Is there a reasonable postal service in The Bahamas? What should we expect for the delivery of mail delivered to the GPO and delivered to a mail box at the GPO?

Throughout the summer we heard the gripes of the postal workers with the lack of air-conditioning in the GPO building but the weather is very much cooler so surely Joe Public should be receiving their mail at a reasonable time, but no.

Letters mailed:

October 29th, received today November 23 - over 25 days to be delivered!

November 1st, received today November 23 - over 23 days to be delivered!

November 5th, received November 23 - over 19 days to be delivered!

November 8th, received November 23 - over 15 days to be delivered!

November 10th, received November 23rd - over 12 days to be delivered!

November 18th, received November 23rd - o ver five days to be delivered!

Editor: The Post Office does not deliver to our residences or offices, God only knows if we would ever receive the mail but surely this is a total disgrace and requires some explanation from Minister X?

We are a financial centre – documents have to be sent by mail – bills from the utility corporations are mass mailed and we receive them weeks after the due date to be cut off if you don’t bother to check with BTC-BEC, etc.

This is a scandal and unacceptable”.

I merely repeat this letter to indicate how problems were already evident at the main post office in 2010. We then read on July 20, 2017 that the Union was still waiting on the deal to relocate the post office. The then National Congress Trade Union Bahamas President, John Pinder, made this amazing statement:

“Right now the staff is only working three hours a day, and that isn’t too good because we have to meet and keep up with some international standards as relates to how long it takes for mail to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. Right now, we’re not looking too good, so we are trying our best to get the post office up and running efficiently once again with eight hours of operation’. Wow, what an understatement!

Has the international standards commission been made aware of this complete break-down in the delivery of mail?

Some while back we saw photos of loads of mail and boxes thrown in a heap which were damaged by water. I asked a lady at a branch office what would actually become of that “damaged” mail. She replied that it would have to be thrown away! Is this true? Surely the law requires that all attempts should be made to see that any damaged mail is still delivered to the recipient!

I once received a damaged letter in England and it was accompanied by an explanatory note saying that the envelope had been received in that state. I think we the public are entitled to an explanation of what becomes of such damaged goods. What is also particularly worrying is the rather nonchalant attitude that postal workers seem to regard OUR mail. In most countries (first world, anyway) it was always considered sacrosanct to ensure mail reached its intended destination.

At the rate we are going and considering how many issues date back to 2010, perhaps it would be essential to re-train all postal workers in their duties and obligations to the paying public as soon as a new location is established.

Also, who is the Postmaster General, does such an office still exist? I did read that the previous Phil’s Food Services building on Gladstone Road had been selected for the new post office. I seem to recall also that the main building on East Hill street would be imploded. From the sounds of it, the sooner the better.

What a great tragedy that it has all come to this state. I can recall when the GPO first opened there were so many interesting historical exhibits held on the ground floor, a great benefit to residents and students alike. Gone with the wind.




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