Something is staying Chicago's couriers from their appointed rounds. In the city's Lakefront neighborhoods, mail can take several days to travel a couple of miles downtown. That's if it's delivered at all: 20,000 pieces of mail were found in a basement of a house once owned by a letter carrier. Another carrier's delivery truck held a second missing batch. Worse, a bunch of letters ended up burning in a field. The remedy, critics feel, is better management.
So Chicagoans weren't amused when news broke recently that the Post Office has spent a good chunk of change renovating the office of local mail-processing chief Celestine Green. The $200,000 workplace redecoration involved a large bathroom replete with a whirlpool and a big kitchen. The U.S. Postal Service says that it uncovered the situation late last year, sent back some of the plush suite's furniture, and converted it to a conference room. There's no word on what happened to the whirlpool.
Hoping to turn things around, U.S. Postmaster General Marvin Runyon on May 2 reassigned Chicago's postmaster, Jimmie Mason, to Columbia, S.C., and Green to the Chicago suburbs. Mason and Green would not comment.