Can you believe it? A hundred years ago Mr. Merritt Chance the postmaster of the post office in Washington D.C. received three applications to post children by mail under the same regulations that permitted live animals to be sent.
In June 1920 Mr. John Koons, the Assistant Postmaster General of the United States answered a request for an interpretation of postal regulations and then ruled that children could not be sent through the mail by parcel post. Koons, reviewing the regulation, pointed out that parcel post was limited to “harmless live animals which do not require food or water.”
Children in parcel post
However, a historian of the USA Postal Service confirmed that soon after the Post Office Department had created parcel post in 1913, there were several instances of children being shipped by railroad through parcel post, the last-known instance having been on 31 August 1915.
Sometimes the facts are indeed stranger than fiction.
State Owned Enterprises
Well if I look at the current functionality of our postal services, I am glad that they do not attempt to ship children as part of their services. A certain magazine that I am subscribed to, usually had the magazines delivered by the post office. Due to Covid this is no longer an option and a courier company has now been appointed to deliver the magazines.
Unfortunately it means another source of income for a struggling SOE has now moved to the private sector. From time to time we all need to do business with the government sector, but it seems to become increasingly difficult to do so. I need to pay my Telkom account every month, but because they seldom send an invoice it is not that easy to find out how much I owe them. Over the last couple of years many of my friends have already closed their Telkom accounts because of similar frustrations.
Good service delivery
Any small business owner can tell you that without good service delivery and monthly invoicing, your business will soon be at risk. Why should it be so difficult for SOE’s to also come to grips with this principle that every small business owner clearly understands.
# Private- vs public sector
Perhaps the fact that small business owners risked their own money to start a business venture, they want customers to come back for repeat business and also tell their friends and family about the business – marketing by word of mouth. You can almost say they lay down their lives for their businesses.
They take all the risk and usually have little or no security.
Yet many people working in the public sector I suppose do not have the same motivation to retain customers. Often the customers have no other option but to do business with your employer because either they are the exclusive supplier of that service or we are forced by law to do business with them.
Attitude makes the difference
In Joh 10:11-13 the Lord compares himself to a similar position when He says: “The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
How much do you care about your work and the clients you serve; do you have the attitude of an owner or a hireling?
Do you feel like a square peg in a round hole in your job and you don’t know why? If you are that person, a Career Direct Assessment (available online) will help you understand. It will not only show who you are, but will also point you in the right direction.