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Going Even More Postal

June 15, 2011

Much like my post from this past Sunday, today’s article also encountered a last second change of topic.  This time it was not because I was uncomfortable with the content of the article I had planned on posting, but rather because of a situation that has gone from bad to worse and has the potential to seriously impact the “business” side of my hobby.

Last night I was in Toronto to see a poet named Shane Koyczan perform with his band at a great little venue known as Hugh’s Room.  Some of you may remember Koyczan from his performance in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  He is an absolute genius with words and I strongly recommend that people check out his work.

But on to the real topic of today’s article; one in which I revisit a subject that I wrote about a mere 10 days ago.

On my drive home from the concert I was listening to the news and heard that after nearly two weeks of rotating strikes in major urban centres across the country that Canada Post had finally done the inevitable and locked out its employees on a nationwide basis.

The company cited drastic declines in mail volume that have in turn resulted in a significant impact to its financial bottom line as the major reasons for finally reaching this point.

Personally, I have noticed a decline in service well before any union action had been officially announced.  Mail that I both sent and received was arriving well outside of Canada Post’s stated delivery standards for a couple of weeks prior to the first official strike action being taken on June 2nd, and service had only been declining further in the time that the union was publicly acknowledging service disruptions prior to the complete work stoppage that started today.

The results of these disruptions are not pretty and quite frankly I am very concerned from a financial perspective.

On the receiving end of things, at the present time I am waiting on two eBay orders to arrive in my mailbox (those birthday presents I bought myself a full two weeks ago now), two payments for orders that have been placed by customers, and a cheque related to a personal matter that I have been expecting since before the start of the month.

The package-sending aspect is an even worse picture for me.  No fewer than a dozen orders had yet to arrive to my customers before the total work stoppage was announced.

While Canadian customers may be more forgiving about delivery delays since the stoppage affects them just as much as it does me, customers from outside the country are bound to be less than impressed by what this situation means for them.

I can only hope that those individuals are patient and understanding, otherwise I could find myself with a massive problem on my hands.  Ultimately, the packages will arrive, just at a much slower pace than they may be used to.

Not only has the situation given me cause for concern about the status of my deliveries, but it has also already impacted other areas of my “business”.

Today is the most notable case of that extended impact.

Each weekday morning I dedicate 60-90 minutes of time to my hobby in a variety of ways.  Wednesday’s usually consist of posting my regularly scheduled article for this blog or tidying up what I have drafted in order to post it later that evening, followed by some work on the scanning project I have been working on for the past couple of months.

Today though, I spent my usual morning hobby session scrambling to e-mail customers to inform them that their orders are likely to face serious delays, then updated my website and eBay Store communications to provide status updates, rather than quickly posting an already prepared article before moving on to the scans.  I then used time I would normally dedicate to personal items and tasks to write an entirely new article for this blog, which doesn’t jive at all with my goal of not having my hobby impact my personal and professional commitments.

Valuable hours have been wasted dealing with a situation that is completely out of my control, pushing priority items related to my hobby aside for the day and cutting in to my personal time as well.

My hope is that the situation gets resolved quickly now that the impetus to do so seems to have increased.  Government intervention, while not something I would like to see, seems both inevitable and necessary given the reports in the media about the state of negotiations.

Failing a quick resolution, my only hope is that my own patience, along with the patience of my customers, can withstand the disruption for as long as it may take for it to be resolved.

Let me know how the strike is affecting you by leaving a comment below, emailing me at bb_bros@hotmail.com or getting in touch on Twitter or Facebook.

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

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