I don’t often write about larger issues. It isn’t that I don’t know they are there, I do know all too well. Occasionally the interface between the larger issue and the day-to-day actions that I take come close enough together that what I do makes a difference, and I seize those moments when they are presented to me.
Hydro One has just presented me with an opportunity.
Dear Hydro One Customer,
Canada Post has informed Hydro One of the possibility of a service disruption on or after July 2.
In order to keep your account current during this period, we’re offering the following tools to help you keep up-to-date with your bills.
Sign up for epost™ – View, manage and store your bills securely online by signing up at CanadaPost.ca/HydroEbill.
View your bill online – Visit HydroOne.com to view your bill and check your account balance.
Sign up for Pre-Authorized Payment – Have your bill payment automatically withdrawn on the due date. Sign up at HydroOne.com.
I will share my opinions about this missive.
First, signing up for epost effectively removes human contact and employment from the daily functioning of the Canadian Postal Service. The Canadian Postal Service is a vital public service. I feel this is a BAD thing, machines replacing jobs. That is what epost is all about, replacing human employees with machines. I will not be using epost now, or ever.
Second, the postal strike is a union activity. In my opinion most of the overspending in the Canadian Postal System is on top-heavy, highly paid, poor-decision-making management. The living wage paid to the actual workers who perform the tasks defined by the highly paid overburden of management is something worth preserving. If Canadians want to control costs look to controlling management and their decisions, and union leaders and their decisions, those few at the top create the whole system and culture in which the living-wage workers work. If it isn’t working it due to poor management and union decisions. It is also important to remember that Canada Post increasingly hires on a contract basis, offering no job security, regular hours, benefits, or comprehensive protection by the union. In my view this is not a policy appropriate for national postal services. It isn’t appropriate anywhere, but where tax dollars are used it is exponentially inappropriate.
There are real reasons that “going postal” is a phrase that a lot of people understand.
What I intend to do during the postal strike is to go online and locate my bills, or call the companies that bill me, determine the amount owing and pay it directly to the company.
It is hot out there today, humidex of 37 and it will get warmer as the afternoon progresses. Attila is working hard on the garden shed, the siding is going on, and he sent me off to the building centre this morning to buy the door handle and lock. There are a lot of fiddly bits to go, but we might just have it weather proof by tonight, and just in time, rain is predicted for tomorrow!
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Sunday 26 June 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Visibility: 18 km
Wind: S 15 km/h
Mainly sunny. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 early this afternoon. High 29 except 24 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 35. UV index 9 or very high.
Increasing cloudiness. 40 percent chance of showers overnight with risk of thunderstorms. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Wind becoming southwest 20 near midnight. Low 19.
“I keep the subject of my inquiry constantly before me, and wait till the first dawning opens gradually, by little and little, into a full and clear light.”
1642 – 1727
Your views and actions regarding the general robot-i-zation of the work force are admirable, and are generally mine also. I am a bit more relenting as I want to get stuff done and out of my mind so I will bend their way just to be done with it. Paul, on the other hand, is much more like you are and he will not relent… he will not come to the table of this electronic world… the closest he ever comes is now and then asking me to look something up on Google! Otherwise,he has never learned computers at all and is living his life as if it were 50 years ago. For him, that’s a good thing. For me that would be very hard. For you, I see you living in the modern moment in some ways but keeping the old-time values and practices of days gone by. A good balance. But it’s getting to be more and more difficult to do this – I can see it.
I think the best thing is that now millions of Britons want the Vote to be redone! They aren’t sure they want to LEAVE the EU after all!
Bex, I know what you mean about relenting, I do it too, and I think it is unavoidable for those of us who have to interact with the larger institutions to pay bills, and get the administrative part of life accomplished. I only do what I can when I can, and this is one of those rare instances where I can do something, or not do something as in this case. One thing I have observed in my studies, is that there are no certainties, and how things will progress in the future is difficult, perhaps impossible to predict. I see the same trends that you see, but things could change, suddenly, and then again, things might change slowly, or then again things might change very little for a long period of time. But change is part of the force of nature within which our life force exists. I won’t be the elemental force changing the nature of how we live, but neither will be the rich and powerful; although they can bring despair, death, and misery to large numbers of people and living entities on the planet, that doesn’t change the nature of how we live. Time and natural forces will overtake the meek and the powerful in equal measure.
The whole EU political roiling hot pot leaves me speechless.
I like your approach, Maggie, and I agree that management and union leaders contribute to the high coast of running our postal service. And you are correct about the contracting out! What a way to avoid paying the benefits that people need. So many workers are now in that grey world of soliciting one project after another, and never having any security! But I like your reference to ‘going postal’. Cute!
You are right Diane, the short contract employment is very disturbing. So many families with young children have to work uncertain hours and multiple jobs. They have little time to rest, or share family time… Canada has lost sight of basic values by using the “business model” in every aspect of life, and it just doesn’t belong in many of the vital elements of human and humane existance.
At this point DH and I have changed over to “paperless” the bills that we intend to change over. That includes my US credit card, since I’ve had problems with bills from the US making it in a timely manner.
We’ve never been interested in changing our utility bills over. One of the major reasons for that is that the bills are currently set up so that the payment date keeps changing. For that reason alone, we’ll continue to receive those bills by mail (which we don’t mind) and pay them by hand. At times we run a tight enough budget that we can’t afford a utility taking out its money 6 days before the next paycheck comes in, just because they feel like it.
Hope Attila got things pulled together before any rains came. We had a few thunderstorms around sunset. Not heavy rain but some definite thunder.
I use online payment options as well Teri, which are handled directly by the bank. epost is a third party go between, a bill delivery mode and payment amalgamation. I don’t trust Canada Post. Decades ago they sold “permanent” email addresses, and I though hey, this is a vital service offering this, must be good. I was so very wrong, it was a completely useless service, paid for up front, and it failed within a few years, causing all sorts of problems with missing messages from different branches of the government. I learned then that the people making decisions at Canada Post were not reliable. There were other instances where this was true. What they do best is deliver letters and parcels, in my opinion they aren’t really very good at very much else. Lots of money for ads, so products look bright and shiny and solid, but not for this girl, never again.
I know what you mean about being on a tight budget, and for us the spectre of insufficient funds is always lurking in the wings ready to sweep into centre stage. We have overdraft protection, but it would increase the size of our bills if the bill was paid and there were insufficient funds.
Attila pulled it together, we got rain, and it still leaks, tying it into the garage is pretty tricky. He will take another run at it tonight.