United States Postal Service – Failure

I’m not sure how long I’ll go on about this, but I’m having an irritating time with the USPS. I know, I’m probably the first person to ever be irritated by the Post Office.

I received a wedding invitation that has an RSVP card that I need to mail. Now, this is overly formal, and in 2014, I feel like setting up a simple website or google form with a QR code would be preferable, if nothing else, for a solid inventory tracking system. The same thing is true for nearly any event, of course. I don’t usually dig QR codes… Actually, thats not accurate. I REALLY like QR codes, but can’t figure out where they fit. This might be it, honestly. 

So, if you’re getting a group together for anything… A child’s birthday party, a wedding, a cook out, anything, lets say you do this:

1. Create a form using Google Drive with 3 required fields: Name, RSVP (Going or Not), and total number of people you’re bringing. Now, of course, this could be adjusted to accommodate a wedding (since bringing 9 people to a wedding is rude) by saying something like “Will you be bringing a spouse or partner?” or something like that.

Screen Shot 2014 05 09 at 9 01 19 AM

2. At the top of the form, click “Choose Response Destination.” The software will default to a new spreadsheet, with the same name as the form. This is fine, click “Create”.

3. Click on “View Live Form”. Copy the full URL and head over to QR Stuff  and generate the QR code. Click “Download.” Boom!

Qrcode 22213695

4. Now, you can drop this into whatever invite media you’ve chosen, be it snail mail, or electronic. I’d also give a nice, short URL to access it for people who have no idea what a QR code is. I used Pages.app to create this little invite (from a  template, too), which can be printed and mailed, or emailed.

Screen Shot 2014 05 09 at 9 31 30 AM

There. Finished. Now all the tracking can be done easily.

The issue is, I think, that the USPS is running scared. Its not making money (NYT). The public opinion seems to be that the USPS needs to change. There are myriad reasons why the USPS is losing money hand over fist, so I’m not going to go into that. The whole Outbox debacle has shown that there are alternatives that could exist. Sending mail online should be as simple as using email, even if we need to use a third party solution. I can’t buy a single stamp online without using Stamps.com, or any other service, and a monthly subscription. Its really irritating.

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