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If Canada Post strikes, will you notice?

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It may seem strange
How we used to wait for letters to arrive.
But what’s stranger still
Is how something so small could keep you alive.

“We Used to Wait” by Arcade Fire

Canada Post delivered my Victoria Secret order today, just ahead of their strike deadline. I thought that was great of them, considering I’d placed the order just on Saturday, and didn’t select the fast shipping options.

I get abnormally delight about having things delivered to my house. As a result, I have a bunch of stuff showing up here on a regular basis. A daily newspaper. A biweekly basket of local organic produce. A bimonthly order of organic fair-trade coffee. Several monthly or bimonthly magazine subscriptions. Music and movies on plastic discs, not just in digital bits! Books on dead trees! And the percentage of my wardrobe deriving from Victoria’s Secret is probably unusually high.

Of course, that doesn’t all get here by Canada Post. Having heard about the strike threat on Monday, I got to wondering what I’d actually miss.

The bulk of the mail I get, of course, is just advertising and requests for donations (with “free gifts”). That stuff just tends to sit around unopened for quite a while. So, I dare say I’m not going to miss that too much.

I used to get mountains of catalogs; the number is way down now. I’ll usually flip through the ones that still arrive: Vintages magazine, the discount books, exercises videos, Lee Valley. And naturally, Victoria’s Secret (once Jean’s done with it). But still, I don’t see missing that stuff too desperately, either.

Now, the disruption to my Rogers Video Direct DVD rentals will be a little annoying. Hey, I’ve just realized that the copy of Central Station that has apparently been shipped to me hasn’t arrived yet! OK, see, I am definitely somewhat annoyed about that. Especially since they’ve already received the copy of Good Hair that I returned. Plus, TV is mostly reruns now.

But, what else. I can still order from, because they use UPS. Ditto Lee Valley. Ebay, Chapters, VSC are out but, hey, I think I can do without those for a bit. Magazine subscriptions will be disrupted, but I’m always behind on reading those anyway. A chance to catch up.

As for me actually mailing things, well, it has become a pretty rare event to mail personal letters and cards. I do have to send in a cheque for my high school reunion thingie by the end of the month, so if this drags on, I’ll have to use UPS or something for that. But my biggest use of stamps is for insurance companies. Because Jean and I are with different companies, we can’t submit everything electronically. To get the full refund, we have to send in paper forms and paper receipts.

It’s a huge pain that I won’t miss at all, but I do like getting the actual money back. Of course, the Sun Life office is local. I could probably just drop off the paperwork in person.

So wow. A postal strike is hardly the big deal it used to be, eh? Even for those of us still nostalgically tied to old media forms and the thrill of getting a package.

I’m not going to join in on the union bashing here (although, bankable sick days? Probably I’m just jealous, though, since I’d likely have accumulated a year or two off by now if I could do that…), but this could certainly be a tough fight for them. If due to strike, people keep finding other ways around Canada Post, that’s not good for either side.

Maybe I’ll just have to try them new-fangled online movies…

We used to wait for it. We used to wait for it.
Sometimes it never came.
Sometimes it never came.

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