Trickle down theory fails at the USPS

February, 1992

Overall, self-interest is good. We work to benefit ourselves, so we can do what we want with our pay. But when an act of self-interest victimizes, violates, or physically forces the will of others, it becomes destructive. Management's failed attempts to automate the USPS, and try to make it appear as if it is successful, is a selfish attempt to preserve their jobs. When automation does not produce the expected numbers, like the salesmen of the bar-code machines says they would to the top management, then continuous attempts to speed up the letter carrier results. Someone has to pay the price. The floor supervisors are a reflection of their managers. Look at the difference of the same supervisors at Royal Oak when Pressila and Fisher were postmasters. If the floor supervisor wants control and obedience over you, then chances are, their managers above them want the same control over them. Is this coming from the top officers in Washington, or just the regional administrators, or just the Area office?

Has the trickle down theory failed at the USPS? Not the economic theory during the Reagan era. The theory at the USPS where management, from the top down, barks down marching orders and everyone obeys in lock step order. The orders (goals) trickle down from the top, and if not competently thought out, result in a twisted and evil way of applying these intentions. What may have started out to mutually benefit everyone, eventually became one sided and selfishly benefited by only a few.

More and more offices experience the "automation expectations" from managers. You know the type of manager that would use the computer as a means of controlling letter carriers, by trying to scare them with the numbers game, instead of using the computer as a learning tool. A tool to find where problems are, and creatively try to change the process, or system, of how mail is delivered. Service has no meaning when those in management play the numbers game.

The trickling down, of barking orders, will have to change to the top listening to the people who move the mail. The USPS needs a new way to measure performance on all levels. The USPS needs to change for the betterment, the M-41, M-39 and volumes of other manuals that promote conformity. Management's creative ability is dead. The bureaucratic structure does not promote creativity, freedom nor openness. It promotes conformity, imprisonment, and lies. It does not allow room for individuals to freely expect and return mutual respect, and until the management's philosophy throughout the USPS changes, only the names will change, because the top down's lack of control won't work.


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