Has anyone actually noticed that Canada was in the midst of a nationwide postal strike? I’ve heard a fair bit about it on the news but quite frankly, I haven’t otherwise even noticed.  Well, I take that back.  I HAVE noticed that while these postal workers are heatedly debating preservation of their essential service to Canadians whereas I can take a breather from cleaning all the junk and direct mail flyers from my neighbourhood super box.  Yes it’s true.  While I did briefly enjoy mail pick and delivery right from my college apartment door while in university in the US, I have not had home delivery of my mail in Canada since – oh – like, 1983.  Probably the last time I saw and honest to God letter carrier too.  Seriously, I am not missing the daily ritual making of two piles of mail:  one that goes directly to the recycle bin and mail that comes into the house.  You know the pile that comes into the house is a tiny fraction of that which feeds my Blue Box.

If I hear one more postal worker complaining on the news that they are not going to be able to retire at age 55 like they’d planned, I seriously might just go – well – postal.   If my taxes going up again in order to subsidize the pension benefits and/or pension shortfall of one more public servant, Crown or pseudo-crown corporation employee, I might just send them my early withdrawal penalty fees from personal retirement savings funds (oh wait, they’re on strike) .

But you know, I’m a pretty reasonable person (other than on Monday mornings), and have been known to change my opinion on many things over a glass of Chardonnay (not on Monday mornings), so I thought before ranting too loudly I’d quickly take a look at the CUPW website to see what’s the hold up with getting my next issue of Canadian Living (note to self:  email Transcontinental Media about switching that account to e-subscription).  The union’s main website page announces where and when the next rallies and demonstrations are being held.  Oh great, so now in addition to not getting my daily dose of real estate must-haves in my neighbourhood, it’s also going to take me longer to get home as I attempt to divert these gatherings.  Okay, so when I did finally navigate my way to their Program of Demands (pretty sure CUPW introduced that term to my kids right around toddlerhood) under their Key Resources heading, I found their most recent newsletter from their National President dated August 2010.  Seriously?!   Have there been no updates to the members since?  I honestly could not find out what actually caused the screeching halt of the delivery of greeting cards from yet another charity looking for donations to my mailbox.

I was getting a little freaked out that I might miss my next Columbia House CD shipment (“Did you know you can still buy CDs?” my daughter asks one day.  Thwack.), but then remembered they went bankrupt last year because of this “…obsolete media…”  I guess they thought iTunes was just a fad.

Heaven knows I will miss my opportunity to claim my millions from Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes.  That’s ok because I am one of the over 60% of Canadians saving for my own retirement and it looks like I am not doing so any time soon. 

It also looks like I’m not going to get that postcard from my sister who is visiting Italy right now with her family.  Not to worry, however, for I know within 10 minutes of her arrival home, she’ll have all those photos posted to a shared Shutterfly site.  In fact, knowing her, I should probably check my email for she may very well have already done so while travelling (unlike me who relied on the postal service and mailed film and mementos home from a once-in-a-lifetime trek through Europe in 1989 that never arrived…ever).   

It is absolutely tragic that I will fail to be informed about what’s on sales this week at Giant Tiger (your all-Canadian family discount store).

Ah well, no matter.  Looks like the posties will be legislated back to work next week to resume this essential service to Canadians, so  I have no worries than that the one personally hand-written piece of mail we do get – birthday cards from Grandma – will safely arrive in time for our next family birthday in August.

Long live the internet.

4 Responses to Hey, did you know there was a postal strike going on?

  • I don’t live up yonder, so no I have not noticed there was a strike in Canada. I miss the liner notes, please come back Publisher’s Clearing house, and what happened to the anticipation of dropping the fly off and waiting days for the film to come back, oh the bygone days ( I can hear someone saying that now). Aside from laughing through your post, it was the ‘thwack’ that got me; I am also a wee bit sad. I love letters, the old-fashioned ones. The ones that came to me penned by my dad’s hand that always include a twenty or more back when I was single and in college. Or the letters from friends who were away in faraway places that arrived with pictures… As you say, it’s all posted somewhere for instant gratification. We are a crazed breed. Loved this post today..

  • True ‘nough Brenda! I too miss the handwritten notes. I have fond memories of laundromat days being my ‘letter writing time’. I still do pen quite a few notes and make my kids write thank you letters (not emailed). But it is a plugged in world and while I do respect the collective bargaining process I think the postal workers are missing the mark if they consider themselves to still be an essential service… Thanks for stopping by!

  • Astra, if postal workers in my home town went on strike, I think I’d hardly notice. Our mail is mainly composed of bills and junk mail, none of which I’m particularly interested in. How I miss the days when we would wait for the mail carrier who brought snail mail from pen pals living abroad, or from relatives also living in foreign countries. I remember sitting on the doorstep on hot, summer afternoons waiting for “Charlie,” our mail carrier. He always whistled and had a smile plastered on his face. So unlike postal workers today, I’m afraid.

  • I so miss hand written letters and keep telling myself I must start writing them again. When I first came to Canada, experienced the Winters and log cabin fever, letters from my mum in England were like a breath of fresh air. I would make a cup of tea and sit down with the letter and read it several times, relishing the news of friends and family at home. It became a ritual of sanity.
    As to Canadian postal workers. I do not believe that any essential service workers should be allowed to go on strike, whether it be Nurses, P.S.W.’s, the T.T.C., school teachers, Government workers, etc. This should include ‘rotating strikes.’

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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