A shorter version of this article originally appeared in Wired Magazine
It’s been said that Americans will put up with anything, as long as it doesn’t involve waiting in line. ATMs, e-tickets and Amazon have gone a long way towards placating our impatience. And as I stood in a long line this holiday season to send a gift, I asked myself why the saying didn’t apply to the US Postal Service. In this age of instant communications, trillions of dollars crossing borders in nanoseconds and grandmas with email, why do Post Offices even exist?