Stamped, Metered, or Netflix?

I was at my local post office today returning my latest Netflix pick when–to my great surprise–I noticed a new mail slot. The post office is, for the most part, rather old school. For all my life, there have been two options at the mail slots: stamped and metered. Now they’re shaking things up, and I for one am pleased, but cautiously so.

The whole thing raises lots of questions in my head: how many movies do they process through my post office? who decides when there’s a new mail slot? (I’ve never been to the post office on tax day, but I don’t imagine the IRS has their own slot even on that day). Has anyone seen this at their post office? I’m curious if it’s a Sacramento thing or if it’s being done across the country (nothing on the USPS website). Is this a de facto endorsement of a private company? I know FedEx paid a lot to have their kiosks put in post offices.

I was also surprised to see only one pick-up time on the sign (it’s cut off, but it was 5:00 M-F). The regular mail slot has four pick-ups a day. Maybe they only send Netflix out once a day anyway, but it sure felt better dropping them off at the crack of dawn so they’d send the next thing in my queue that much faster.


5 Comments so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on December 6th, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

    Nice. Sometimes I’d wonder which slot was correct for Netflix anyway.

    Oh – and it isn’t the post office that slows your queue movement – you know Netflix will slow you down if you start getting too efficient with the movie watching, right? I used to feel bad for them when Blockbuster, etc, got into the act – but once I learned the crap they pulled, well, I don’t feel bad anymore.

  2. Ursula (unregistered) on December 7th, 2006 @ 7:56 am

    That’s funny! They haven’t set one up at the Alhambra PO yet, but I expect they may do so, since Royal Oaks is the hub and thus the cutting edge of Sacramento Post Offices.

    Netflix is definitely a phenomenon for the current age–I confess I love it when my next DVD moves up and I “surprise” myself with something ‘new'(since I have over 300 in the Q)…

  3. Erik (unregistered) on December 7th, 2006 @ 7:59 am

    Actually, this was at the Alhambra (aka Sutter Station) branch. Though you may miss it if you’re not looking for it, as its height is more appropriate for kids (much lower than the other slots).

  4. Ursula (unregistered) on December 7th, 2006 @ 9:15 am

    LOL Okay, guess I missed it! I’m going to have to go over there just to see…guess I should have adjusted my glasses! :D

  5. uneasy rhetoric (unregistered) on December 7th, 2006 @ 11:37 pm

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that Netflix accounted for more than one percent of the USPS’ revenue. That a single entity could have such a share probably warrant’s its own slot, especially because in certain neighborhoods it’s probably even higher.

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