The Post Office Wants Their Penny Dammit!

Reader Joe wrote to us with a heads-up about not short-changing the U.S. Post Office. His postman left him a serious-ass invoice charging Joe with 1¢ postage due. According to Joe’s rough numbers, the PO spent at least $.25 to pay the postman for the estimated minute it took to write the invoice. Joe’s letter and photos, inside…

Please see attached photos. We recently went to a first birthday party, and received a thank-you card in the mail today. Unfortunately, the sender used a $0.41 stamp and did not write in their return address (see ‘envelope.png’). As a result, our mail carrier took the time to fill out ‘invoice.png’.

Let’s do the math, shall we?

Entry level mail carrier salary is $40,000 per year. That’s $769.23 per week, or $153.85 per day. Let’s give them 10 hour days on average, and that’s $15.38 per hour. 60 minutes in an hour, and that’s $0.26 per minute. So assuming it only took one minute to stamp the envelope with the ‘POSTAGE DUE’ stamp, write in the number one, take out the ‘carrier’s statement’ envelope, write in our address, our last name, his name, our town, and our zip code…he just cost the US Government $0.25. And that doesn’t include the gas he burned idling at the top of my driveway.

And we thought that the paperboys who wanted their $2 were batshit crazy. However, if we literally interpret the postman’s invoice (.01¢), you actually owe just one-one-hundredths of a penny. (The correct notation would have been $.01) Loyal Consumerists know that many people are confused about dollars and decimals.