Lowman’s | Stuart

Stuart Lowman’s Inbox: The Post Office subject has touched a nerve

The Post Office subject has touched a nerve, with community member Garth Luxton weighing in:

Where do we now stand on the ludicrous issue that the South African Post Office should be the official carrier of any items under 1kg? For an SOE that “only lost 11% of items posted” (how do they reach that “fact” – or is this planned non-delivery?) to have the gall to deny the country the right to have letters, legal documents, medications, etc, actually delivered door-to-door by efficient courier services driven by solid business ethics and principles and willingly paid for by the senders has to be one of THE most incredulous things (and there have been many) to come out of politicians’ mouths in this country.

Several years ago now I already asked friends abroad to stop sending me Christmas cards and parcels because, although they came from places as far flung as California, Iceland, Switzerland and Australia they all miraculously arrived at once around the end of the following March, to an address in Cape Town. It was embarrassing for me to have to apologise for not acknowledging receipt when I would normally have done so and then wondering who else needed an apology whose mail I might never receive; we didn’t need Covid back then to separate friends and families, the SAPO did it for us.

About three years ago a German visitor to SA sent me a postcard from Graaff-Reinet which took from mid-November to the following March to reach me in Swellendam. When I raised this with the clerk at the local post office, her response was “you must realise that we only have two postmen and the one is on leave”.

A fortnight ago I received a birthday card for my 70th birthday in March 2020, 6 months after my 71st. This had been sent by Priority Mail from Switzerland at the beginning of February 2020, 6 weeks before the Covid excuse for everything reared its ugly head.

And my favourite read is the following which apparently escaped national coverage at the time: https://lowvelder.co.za/477235/paltry-punishment-poultry-pluckers/

Thanks for your excellent emails and your interesting coverage of relevant topics.

A BizNews community member who wanted to remain anonymous had the following to say after all the feedback around Rob Hersov’s Q&A that went viral on YouTube:

Humanity as we all know is far from perfect. But it doesn’t exonerate us from doing the right thing. I have been thinking about Rob Hersov’s speech at the spring conference, he is right and the facts are irrefutable. However, talking to the converted doesn’t move the needle, yes they have the skills, production, capacity and the government continues to draw on the declining tax base. That talk doesn’t even register with the people who have the potential to affect the required changes our country desperately needs. It’s perfectly logical that these people continue to vote for the ANC despite the clear corruption and mismanagement because the ANC has something no one else has, it has enabled millions to reclaim their humanity as black people in their country. And in their minds there’s only one group to blame for their fate and as confirmed by an interview with Moeletsi Mbeki the ANC will use the fear of reverting to the past if people don’t vote ANC and they are the only antidote. Black people no longer have the fear of being arrested, beaten, excluded from opportunities, etc simply because they are black.

My humble suggestion why not use this opportunity for whites to directly apologise for the past, backed-up by a well-managed reparation fund. No political parties, just conscientious citizens, doing what they can because the appointed agents failed their fiduciary responsibilities. There will be many naysayers as always but the future of our country is on a knife’s edge and everyone knows it.

Someone like Hersov has tremendous reach, access and influence to be a catalyst in everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. All the ingredients to make this happen are there, the tech, and the resources as mentioned by him. The people with the means to effect this change have just given up because they think the only solution is political but the reality is the power is with the people.

And community member David Lipschitz jumped on the remote work debate. This after PwC launched a full-time remote work policy for US staff members:

On the debate about “remote” working, i.e. working outside a central office building, and being paid lower wages and salaries because of lower commuting costs, even though it has been shown that the average employee works 48.5 minutes longer each day (for the same (or less?) pay), and generally with much less stress (and therefore higher performance) than before when they had to commute to work.

I have worked at my home office “remotely” since 2002. Always paid the same as my colleagues who worked in buildings. My wife has an office at home (actually she uses two rooms of our house as her office). It is only since March 2020 that companies have been reducing my pay and I am now charging an average of 1/3rd less than 18 months ago.

(I should say that I have always been 30-50% more productive working from my home office than I ever was working in central office buildings, and I can go into the reasons for this if you like.)

And companies profits are at record highs, share prices are through the roof and the rich have got richer faster than ever in the history of mankind.

Anyone see a big picture here?

Note that working remotely should actually signify working in an office building. When I work at home I work locally, just as I did before “enclosure” 500 years ago forced me into factories and their modern equivalents, office buildings.

And we currently have “The Great Resignation” as highly paid people realise that they can resign, and move from their expensive cities into inexpensive places around the globe and live a quiet life, not contributing to the further excesses of mankind’s greed.

The Great Resignation is leading to the biggest loss of organisation knowledge that humanity has ever seen, and we are already seeing massive failures in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) community, visible in AI employment processes that throw out the good employees with the bad.

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