WASHINGTON (CAP) - The United States Postal Service has won the right of first refusal for a new government contract that allows the entity to handle the delivery of all email, outbidding competitors Federal Express, UPS, and DHL. The deal is expected to create some 10,000 jobs over the next five years.
Under the agreement, all email will first be routed to a USPS sorting center where designated mail clickers will forward each individual message onto its intended recipient. Clickers will filter out spam and prioritize message delivery based on importance.
"This is a natural progression for the post office, and positions us for success well into the 21st century," said Postmaster Gen. Patrick Donahoe. "We used to deliver mail by locomotive, then by trucks and airplanes, and now we'll be delivering it electronically. It just makes sense."
Donahoe said much of the postal service's existing infrastructure will be converted to handle email delivery, including upgrading workstations from Windows 95 to XP, offering classes in Microsoft Exchange administration, and purchasing wireless mice and keyboards. Officials say the improvements will increase delivery efficiency by 23%.
"That whole idea of mail carriers working through rain, hail, sleet and snow? A thing of the past," said Donahoe. "Now if the weather's bad, mail carriers - err, I mean, mail clickers - can just work from home."
Donohoe said other facets of mail delivery will remain unchanged, such as the six-day delivery week. He said any email sent on Sundays will be delivered by postal workers first thing Monday morning.
"Next day delivery at no extra cost?" Donohoe said. "Who doesn't want a piece of that pie!"
Critics call the plan asinine, saying there's little chance that civil servants "who move at a snail's pace" can keep up with the dearth of email sent every day. Others say the NSA would be better suited for the project, since they are already reading everyone's email.
"This is just another example of government waste, and a service that should be privatized," said Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA). "What happens during the next government shutdown? Who is going to deliver my naked selfies to all my female staffers?"
Sources inside FedEx say the company is planning to launch a competing service, offering same-day delivery of text messages with pre-delivery retrieval options for those who regret their message the moment they send it.
- CAP News Staff