Friday, 12 December 2008

High speed mail .... myth or legend?

Royal Mail has installed new route planning software called Pegasus, designed to provide post men and women with the optimum routes to follow on their rounds.

Now you would expect that the first silly story to emerge would be about posties being routed into ponds, getting their bikes stuck in narrow alleyways, or fleeing terrified along Motorways. Not so, it is all about the speed at which posties walk. The Communications Union and Royal Mail management seem to be arguing over the calibration speed for Pegasus – should it be 4 mph or 2.4 mph?

Your first thought like mine might be just how stupid can Royal Mail’s management be to have got themselves into this wrangle over the installation of software that sounds like it comes from Halfords. How could they do something so daft? Then, like me, you might try to have a kind thought - Was there something we didn’t know that could explain it? Yes, there is. We can now exclusively reveal that there was a secret dimension to Royal Mail’s master plan.

Apparently along with the Pegasus software Royal Mail was expecting to take delivery of a fleet of winged horses thus enabling our posties to achieve the higher speeds required. Further advantages include being able to hover out of reach of savage dogs whilst the postie shoots the mail through letter boxes using a golden bow and being able to outrun any Minators or Krakens that lurk in our sink estates.

The development of the winged horse is a separate Royal Mail and government backed project. The government believed this would put Britain in the forefront of winged animal technology. Flying pigs are apparently now off the drawing board in the US, so we must catch up. This technology offers the potential to replace un-green aircraft with low carbon flying equines - Heigh Ho Ryanhorse! – Giddy Up Easyhooves! Jumbo jets however may have to wait a bit.

However the project has run into delays. Eversokindandgentle Animal Research Ltd, was awarded the contract on the basis of “best value”. This was achieved by first outsourcing much of the work to Piratestan and then by using chickens to cross with horses, chickens being even cheaper and more plentiful than researchers in Piratestan. Results from the first trials have proved that chickens, even when crossed with a horse, still cannot fly, even to cross the road.

£2.4 bn of taxpayers money has been spent on the project so far. A spokesman for Eversokindandgentle stated that the project was still “on track” but as the line from Piratestan was a bit faint he might have said “con trick”. (see £2.4bn)

A further unresolved problem is waste as fleets of flying animals in our skies will bring a whole new meaning to the words "atmospheric emissions". A recent clandestine trial involving the RAF flying over central London dropping carefully measured amounts of horse s**t was inconclusive. It proved impossible to distinguish between what was dropped from the aircraft and the much larger amounts of similar material generated from buildings in and around Downing Street and Westminster.

Seriously though .... On the One hand - None of the statements we have read on this story from either Royal Mail or the Union contain the word Customer. On the Other Hand - Several statements from individual post men and women do refer to Customers. Is that where the real problem lies?

Having a laugh ..... seriously? is brought to you by Steve Goodman & Tony Ericson of ChangeWORLD. For even more serious information and comment go to our Exceeding Expectations blog and the ChangeWORLD website

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