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How the US Postal Service reads terrible handwriting

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  • Publicado em 7 Ago 2022
  • At the Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City, keyers process 1.2 billion images of mail every year. It's a more difficult job than I thought.
    Edited by Michelle Martin: mrsmmartin
    Thanks to Zack from JerryRigEverything for being the camera op: brclip.com/user/jerryrigeverything
    I'm at tomscott.com
    on Twitter at tomscott
    on Facebook at tomscott
    and on Instagram as tomscottgo

Comentários • 4 341

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott  2 meses atrás +16379

    That 1.2 billion images stat seemed unbelievable, but it makes sense when you break down the numbers: it works out to an average of 38 images per second, which is about right for the number of staff there!

    • karlsomewhat15
      karlsomewhat15 6 dias atrás

      ​@incrediblejonas 1.2b / 365 / 60 / 60 = ~38
      The metric given was "per second" not "per working second"
      Your math isn't incredibly accurate either, you translated 1.2b to 12,000,000 (12m) so you're off by multiple orders of magnitude

    • Mark
      Mark 11 dias atrás

      I enjoy your videos.

    • ro pro
      ro pro 27 dias atrás

      Over 800 employees just to decode crappy handwriting?! No wonder the US Postal Service is a money loser. If the writing is shite, just chuck them in the bin! Stop enabling poor handwriting! 😆

    • Peter Smythe
      Peter Smythe Mês atrás

      CAPTCHA mailing addresses can make all those numbers way bigger.

    • Naveen Kumar Yarlagadda
      Naveen Kumar Yarlagadda Mês atrás

      wow

  • Tyler Dean
    Tyler Dean Mês atrás +2328

    Imagine doing a Captcha every 4 seconds for a living. Mad respect, I would go crazy.

    • Ξενοφώντας Σούλης
      Ξενοφώντας Σούλης 5 dias atrás

      On the flip side, these people will be very good at actual Captcha

    • Spartacus
      Spartacus 8 dias atrás

      capthas are annoying because you didn't expect them and you aren't trained for them, so you sit down and think about it. These people spend a lot of time training that it becomes muscle memory they don't need to consciously process it. Their eyes see and their fingers type automatically, so it becomes far far easier for them to do it.

    • Dang Le
      Dang Le 9 dias atrás

      @JosephMcBrosiph The trance like state of Minesweeper. My eyes would just move the mouse pointer without interference from my brain. Those were good times

    • Jason J. Samuel
      Jason J. Samuel 13 dias atrás

      I thought about transferring to this department but now I’m glad I didn’t

    • Martin Krauser
      Martin Krauser 17 dias atrás +1

      They should make a machine to do it

  • Kyrrial
    Kyrrial Mês atrás +344

    I worked at this exact REC from 2008-2009 as someone who did what Tom is learning here. You're expected to type at a MINIMUM of 7000 characters per hour (Ah, the specified 7150 later in the video), which can be very difficult to do because that only give you AT MOST about 2-3 seconds per piece of mail (they say ~4 seconds later, but you, as the keyer, choose the speed; you just get in trouble if you go past that 4s mark too much, because the scanners physically can't scan the next piece of mail until you finish the piece you're on). The training that Tom goes through lasts... a week or two? I can't remember exactly, but then you're sent out on the live floor and have three months of probation to hit that 7000 mark. If you don't meet that minimum, you're just let go when probation ends because, quite honestly, you are nothing more than a seat warmer there. I developed major tendonitis from working here, but they refused to pay workers comp unless I got a $4000 procedure done to prove that it was due to working there that caused it. And they wouldn't pay that $4000 if they saw any evidence that it could have been caused by something outside of my work. Not that outside factors DID cause it, but that outside factors COULD HAVE caused it. So I opted to go to college instead since that was almost a full years worth of tuition at a state university.
    Fun fact, mail from the Seattle, WA mail processing center was the clearest and easiest to read. I think they actually cleaned the camera on occasion; centers back east, particularly Worcester, MA, would have giant smears of ink on every single image that prevented reading any mail whatsoever, and they'd never do anything to try and clear up the camera. Also, it's not all handwritten mail that we'd see: very clear, printed addresses still couldn't be read sometimes, and only part of that was due to the address not being in that database of known addressed mentioned at the beginning of the video.
    Another fun fact: until recently, almost all addresses in Utah (or at least in the most populous county [Salt Lake County]), are a grid of N, E, S, W, so an address would be, like, 1350 W. 15600 S., and this stupid addressing encoding system wasn't designed for that, so the house number in this example is "1350", and the address portion is "W. 15600 S.". The 3+1 rude didn't really work well at all here, which was infuriating working at the SLC REC. Since almost everyone here writes the cardinal abbreviation, IIRC you'd do "W_ _S", and then have to pick from a list of ALL addresses that have the same house number and directions, but find the correct second number, of which there could be many. It's a stupid, rigid system, imho.

    • ネプギア
      ネプギア 6 dias atrás +2

      It's 2022, you'd think they'll simply serialise every letter that can't be OCR'd with a QR code or barcode if the worker can't process it in time and toss it into a secondary loop that will insert the letter a few minutes later, by which time it should be processed, instead of having it hold up all the mail behind it. Like, QR code isn't hard...

    • Ron C
      Ron C 28 dias atrás +1

      I can imagine a lot of cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    • nkr dinla
      nkr dinla Mês atrás +3

      allowing the records to be released earlier. Computer recognition is getting more and more sophisticated. It’s amazing to see it in action, even if it’s briefly.

  • Farrah Upson
    Farrah Upson Mês atrás +758

    Oh, wow. I worked at the Salt Lake REC for several years. Whenever this place comes up in the news, it's described as the place where bad handwriting is deciphered. But in my time there, I spent more time looking at printed addresses that for some reason couldn't be read by the automated systems than looking at handwritten addresses. Also, once you learn the rules, applying them becomes automatic and extremely fast. It's a fun job for the right person.

    • Nick Lai
      Nick Lai 18 dias atrás

      @André Wolski Imagine living with the fact that every time you work, you're making your job harder for yourself.

    • Chris
      Chris 24 dias atrás +5

      @Jason Baumgartner i love how respectful your response to andre was

    • Chris
      Chris 24 dias atrás +3

      whats weird watching this vid, I could see myself doing this. it looks very simple and fun to do.

    • Contra Band
      Contra Band 26 dias atrás +2

      Looks like an anxiety attack

    • cursedGalataea
      cursedGalataea 28 dias atrás +14

      My guess is, people started taping down or taping over top of the printed addresses, rather than glueing them, or the tape changed quality and was so reflective the scanners couldn't read them. I spend half my day fighting with taped over barcodes and scanners at the PO.

  • Rachael Brown
    Rachael Brown Mês atrás +211

    This is so cool! I’m a USPS rural carrier and I had no idea this place existed. It’s amazing how much work goes into getting the mail to us every day. Thank you for the video!!

    • William Jenkins
      William Jenkins 28 dias atrás

      It really is amazing. One of the few actually functional government systems and there are politicians trying to destroy it our of spite.

    • Frank Nord
      Frank Nord Mês atrás +6

      @John Mullen Right, the US is the place where poor people are scared of calling an ambulance, I almost forgot that. :(
      Still, thank you for your service, it's one of the most underappreciated jobs to do.

    • John Mullen
      John Mullen Mês atrás +7

      @Frank Nord EMS here (US) is privatized by a large margin these days as well. Some are great, some are terrible haha

    • Frank Nord
      Frank Nord Mês atrás +9

      I'm not a USian, but thank you for your service anyhow. Emergency medical responders and postal deliveries are the only functions of government I can respect - and in my country the latter has been privatized decades ago.

  • Luke
    Luke Mês atrás +4766

    I can't believe that every time a doctor writes a letter it goes through this processing facility. Fascinating!

    • Roger
      Roger 13 dias atrás

      Well...only the machine-unreadable ones hit the REC.

    • TNerd
      TNerd Mês atrás

      don't they prescribe electronically now?

    • BlackOpsCW
      BlackOpsCW Mês atrás

      @Vigilant Cosmic Penguin Why do doctors have insane handwriting or something?

    • Lexie Madz
      Lexie Madz Mês atrás +1

      @-TheTopAdventure- mmmmmmmmmm

    • Lexie Madz
      Lexie Madz Mês atrás

      @PhattyMo this exchange gave me a real chuckle 😆

  • The Double K
    The Double K Mês atrás +166

    I am an archivist and therefore, reading handwriting is one the key skills required for the job. However, I bow down in awe in regards to the speed at which those people are parsing the adresses. I could never achieve that. I am happy to have the luxury of taking as much time as I need for a proper transcription.
    Also, I should point out that I work in Germany and the old German cursive is both a joy to read and an infuriating experience at some times. Trying to transcribe stuff from the 19th century is still easier than medieval writing by many orders of magnitude.

    • Lore Catan
      Lore Catan Mês atrás +1

      @ViperhawkX oh my god, Cyrillic cursive is a nightmare!

    • Leofred
      Leofred Mês atrás +3

      I can read and write medieval scripts (except maybe the worst cursive styles), 19th century German cursive, Sütterlin and Spencerian handwriting. I'm apparently good enough that a friend of mine, who works at an archive, regularly asks me to transcribe stuff for him - as a second opinion/failsafe.

    • Secret Forreddit
      Secret Forreddit Mês atrás +3

      @ViperhawkX It's so much fun to write, though!

    • ViperhawkX
      ViperhawkX Mês atrás +9

      At least it's not Cyrillic cursive, that stuff is downright unreadable even when it's done carefully.

    • Becker Der Bäcker
      Becker Der Bäcker Mês atrás +1

      I had to transcribe my ancestor's late 19th century German registry of marriage. It wasn't Sütterlin but it was close and it was hard to do. Took me quite a while!

  • Azraelle
    Azraelle Mês atrás +112

    I used to do this job for nearly 10 years, at this location! Nice to see that microcosm get some exposure, it's a lot harder than it looks!

    • Artimus
      Artimus 21 dia atrás +1

      I used to work there myself. Shortest job I ever had. I was one of many that couldn’t pass the training course.

    • Pawmeowzing
      Pawmeowzing 23 dias atrás +2

      how much do they get paid?

    • SilverFlame819
      SilverFlame819 27 dias atrás +2

      @123457474869 Best job I've ever had. Hands down!

    • 123457474869
      123457474869 29 dias atrás

      How was it? It looks like an awful job tbh. Did you enjoy it?

    • SilverFlame819
      SilverFlame819 Mês atrás +13

      Funny, I used to work there too, and I thought it was the simplest job I've ever had! :D

  • Benjamin Hernandez
    Benjamin Hernandez Mês atrás +24

    I once carried mail in the rain, and pocketed a letter from a customer. The rain made it into my jacket during a hard pour and when I unloaded it at the station, I saw it was smudged. I asked the supervisor what I should do and he said “It still has a return address, let Salt Lake have a go at it”. I heard back that the customer got it through. The REC is amazing.

    • James
      James 21 dia atrás

      Benjamin Hernandez, I'm unsure, I think it's next Wednesday but it could be Thursday we said to meet up, sorry I forgot, can you remind me please mate.
      It was the big Tescos on the corner opposite the storage warehouses, right?
      Also, how is Alan doing? Send him my regards incase he can't make it next week!
      Cheers dude.

  • LilacDoe
    LilacDoe Mês atrás +297

    100% guaranteed a privatized mail company wouldn't care even 5% as much about delivering letters.

    • David Ribeiro
      David Ribeiro 11 dias atrás

      Amazon.

    • LilacDoe
      LilacDoe 25 dias atrás

      @lithium you have a source where that was true before Louis DeJoy became Postmaster General?
      It does not matter if its true now in the middle of conservative sabotage to enact their 50yr dream of giving the USPS to some billionaire totally not bribing them with campaign contributions and a future lobbying job. We can simply put Louis DeJoy in prison where he belongs.

    • lithium
      lithium 26 dias atrás

      @LilacDoe Do you realize that private mail carriers actually exist, and have lower rates of losing mail than the USPS? (and in general are way faster)
      A monopoly is when quality goes down. Not inherent to private business, the opposite rather.

    • LilacDoe
      LilacDoe 26 dias atrás +1

      @lithium 100 years of corporate greed and non-permanent regulation.

    • lithium
      lithium 27 dias atrás

      based on what

  • TheBushdoctor68
    TheBushdoctor68 Mês atrás +22617

    About 40 years ago, I wanted to send a letter to a girl in America because she appeared in our Dutch newspaper for having saved a swan that was shot with an arrow.
    All I had was her first name, the name of her town and the picture from the newspaper, being an optimistic kid, I just glued the photo on the envelope, added her name and town, and to my amazement the letter got delivered: A few weeks later I received a thank-you note in return.
    Kudos to the US postal service.

    • foiin
      foiin 18 dias atrás

      @Phoomph Gaming literally like I need my femboy maid dress already

    • nupanick
      nupanick 18 dias atrás

      @fgbhrl It's been done a few times! My favorite is _Going Postal_ by Sir Terry Pratchett.

    • L. King
      L. King 20 dias atrás

      Bless USPS
      F UPS and Fedex

    • Soundblaster Studios
      Soundblaster Studios 22 dias atrás

      Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. - Motto of the USPS

    • Nick g
      Nick g 24 dias atrás

      40 years ago I wrote to Jimmy Saville hoping Jim would fix it for me.. boy am I glad he didn't reply

  • Michael O'Donoghue
    Michael O'Donoghue Mês atrás +78

    When I applied to join the Australian Federal Public Service I was tested to ensure that I recognised McCloud as being different from MacCloud.
    When I was embedded into the Australian Military and assigned to a Military Mail Sorting Office I learnt that Major McCloud was indeed the same person as Major MacCloud.

  • 78flex
    78flex Mês atrás +40

    When I was a student, 20 years ago, I worked a few days in the city mail sorting center. I did many types of work, but for one hour I was put to a similar job as this; to parse and write the zip codes of pooly written letters and envelopes. It was a strange experienxe. The room was almost completely dark, and you could tweak and tune a lot of parameters in the program, to suit your work style and make you as effective as possible. You could see in real time how you performed, and there was clearly some friendly rivalry between the full time workers about who was fastest. After an hour I was quite pleased to be able to parse and type about 80 zip codes per minute, until I saw that the guy next to me did it twice as fast...

  • Jeff W
    Jeff W Mês atrás +143

    2:29 “Siemens came up with this in the '90s…”
    That was actually, for me, the most interesting (and kludgy) part of this whole video. In the 1990s, usability was still in its infancy and companies like Siemens certainly weren’t asking their end users what names might make sense for them or, even less imaginable, observing what they did in usability tests-the engineers just came up with arcane terms like _outward_ and _inward_ and called it a day.

    • Daniel O'Neal
      Daniel O'Neal 12 dias atrás

      @Jeff W You don’t *have* to watch anything. Tom made a fun and informative video about an aspect of the US Postal Service that most people never new existed. That’s all. He’s not trying to reinvent the wheel.

    • Bart Broekhuizen
      Bart Broekhuizen Mês atrás +1

      Ever thought about why your keyboard is QWERTY and not something else? Its because the typing machine would jam, its a performance thing. You can type faster and don't have to wait until the previous key is back in its original position.

    • wheedler
      wheedler Mês atrás

      @hansiraber Isn't your foundation for defending the system equally as unstable unless you've done the same? Not that "Siemens wasn't very invested in usability tests in the 90s" is a devastating insult.

    • Pär Emanuelsson
      Pär Emanuelsson Mês atrás +5

      @Jeff W I don't quite get why it's pointless to train people to use a computer system. If you require people to type in the addresses exactly as written on the mail, then you probably won't need much training, but if you invent another system that's ten times faster, but requires a bit of initial training, I would think you would always go with the faster system. Your point about using bits of data is correct though - since OCR nowadays handles most readable addresses, the stuff left over is typically mail where you just have bits and pieces of an address to go with. There are more suitable ways than the 3+1 strategy to handle such use-cases.

    • hansiraber
      hansiraber Mês atrás +4

      have you ever made a system that thousands of people used, that lasts thirty years, and that offers incredible processing speed so that a letter can be input in 4 seconds? because if you haven't, you don't have such a good foundation for trash talk.

  • Alex R
    Alex R Mês atrás +47

    I used to the the same job in the UK. Here it's called MDEC (Manual Data Entry Centres). I remember when they updated the software to show 2 letters (addresses) on the screen at once, this improved efficiency as when you're keying in the missing information from one, you can see the next address to then key that information on and so on.
    Probably the most therapeutic job I've ever had. Boring and monotonous but with music and experience, your day went fast and it was quite the breeze. The issue, as always, was management.

  • chrayez
    chrayez Mês atrás +17690

    Only slightly-irrelevant, but I’m continually amused by the oft-repeated observation that the American “Post Office” delivers the mail, while the British “Royal Mail” delivers the post.

    • Max Mottram
      Max Mottram 6 dias atrás

      @Peng Win have you gone round the bend? Growing up in Liverpool I’ve never once heard someone say happy Christmas

    • Nikki Cogan
      Nikki Cogan 7 dias atrás

      In Ireland we call it "an póst" which translates to "the post"

    • Frank Zaffuto
      Frank Zaffuto 10 dias atrás

      Park on a driveway and drive on a parkway

    • Creeper Pug
      Creeper Pug 12 dias atrás

      @Fireinthedarkness666 that hurt

    • Rawn
      Rawn 13 dias atrás

      Ok

  • BeccaB Bea
    BeccaB Bea Mês atrás +23

    I have actually done something called ‘reverse indexing' that teaches a computer to read handwriting in old records. This speeds up the indexing of census records in particular allowing the records to be released earlier. Computer recognition is getting more and more sophisticated. It’s amazing to see it in action, even if it’s briefly.

    • Martin Keegan
      Martin Keegan 21 dia atrás +2

      Aha! I did the data ingest management of the UK and US censuses for a big genealogy website, along with a couple of thousand other datasets, and I always wondered how they got the transcriptions I was receiving!

  • 🕷️Spider Cat🕷️
    🕷️Spider Cat🕷️ Mês atrás +28

    the USPS is such a well-oiled machine when you think about it. it's a shame people are trying to dismantle it for personal (financial) gain. :(

    • John
      John Mês atrás

      It's only a matter of time, it's a thing of the past. In America you really don't *need* USPS at all anymore. The only letters that still require snail mail are government agencies.

  • MethosTR
    MethosTR Mês atrás +5

    I did a somewhat similar job to this, except it was data conversion at the IRS, transcribing paper tax returns into the ISRP system. It seems mind numbingly boring at the beginning, but after your training when you get the live work, it becomes much easier and quicker for your brain to get into a groove. The training has a lot of challenging and complex scenarios to prep you for just about anything you might encounter on someone's taxes, but for the most part the live work was really easy, with only a couple pages in each tax form for the majority of the work.
    I remember the days flying by, as I would sit at my workstation listening to music or a good podcast, only getting up for a break or lunch. It was one of the easiest and chill jobs I've ever done, and I'd do it again if I could.

  • TV Mohini
    TV Mohini Mês atrás +7

    I’m so proud that my professor, the late Dr. Sargur Srihari of Computer Science department at SUNY Buffalo, was responsible for the amazing OCR that Ryan Bollock referred to. He was considered a pioneer in this space. The USPS funded our lab. So the core of the USPS was invented right here in the good old US of A 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

  • Max White
    Max White Mês atrás +7936

    I like how from an outside perspective this seems like the less advanced side of mail management when 99% of it is done with literal walls of computers, but from an internal view the humans here are the most advanced handwriting interpreting systems available that the computers have to fall back on.

    • RA
      RA 19 dias atrás

      Because the only thing that computers lack is IMAGINATION! humans can guess.. machines only spits out yes or no, in this case if it doesn't see a pattern it just wont work unlike a human who can use best guesses

    • JoJos HoHo
      JoJos HoHo Mês atrás +1

      Because the computer are tools created by people, not sentient aliens...

    • Misch Magnifique
      Misch Magnifique Mês atrás

      @Arkysaurusrex I love that you bring up Discworld. I haven't read Making Money yet, but I'm on my way on reading every Discworld novel. Being at #18 atm, Maskerade. I'm reading them in the order they were published, except some books I already read in the past, like The Wee Free Men.

    • Danan
      Danan Mês atrás

      Lmfao, those are practically welfare jobs.

    • Puffpuffpass
      Puffpuffpass Mês atrás

      @Vigilant Cosmic Penguin For the time being at least

  • flabiger
    flabiger Mês atrás +13

    I used to work at FedEx doing something similar. I really enjoyed extrapolating complete addresses from incomplete information. I also had to use GIS to show the drivers exactly where someone lived in rural areas.(Google maps is not accurate when it comes to address in rural areas.)

  • alextheasparagus
    alextheasparagus Mês atrás +6

    I'm a postman in Sweden, and at my office we get mail from a central processing terminal which we hand sort to the individual adresses and then deliver them. I've always wondered how the machine reads really unclear handwriting and still manages to send it to the correct post office! I don't know if it's the same here, but maybe it's something similar. Very cool.

  • a24396
    a24396 Mês atrás +3

    I'm so impressed by the post office. Everytime I think I have all the information I need to justify my amazement over the job they do I learn more, and it just blows my mind!

  • Auracle
    Auracle Mês atrás +4

    I did some temp work in Royal Mail's processing centre, deciphering badly-written addresses that their automated systems couldn't read. With a big can of energy drink and a podcast, it was a kind of zen little job over the Christmas rush.

  • Tuna Feesh
    Tuna Feesh Mês atrás +1990

    I love that this guy genuinely likes his job. He seems very happy to tell everyone how it works. So refreshing!

    • Be Inquisitive
      Be Inquisitive 10 dias atrás

      He probably just knows that mail sorting is kind of an amazing process when you are telling it to people that don't know what actually goes into it. So it is probably always fun to enlighten people about it

    • Dr SMUS
      Dr SMUS 20 dias atrás +2

      cheerful Ron Swanson

    • HappyFunJay
      HappyFunJay 26 dias atrás +1

      He’s got a major Ron Swanson vibe, except he actually likes his government job.

    • Moon Girl
      Moon Girl Mês atrás +6

      @LordDay well I thought so too, but from what I've read here it just requires a special personality type. It was well paid and people enjoyed it, although most of them quit (but for other reasons like bad management).

    • LordDay
      LordDay Mês atrás +14

      I doubt the actual employees have much fun. Fast data entry gets old real fast, though I'm sure there are some people who like it.

  • coldfoot99
    coldfoot99 Mês atrás +3

    Back in the late 90's I worked as a Casual hire for the US Postal Service during the Christmas holiday season. The last two years I worked was as a helper on the DBCS high speed mail sorting machines. It was an quite an experience to see just how quickly the mail from the local post offices was processed and was on it's way to the trucks bound for the destination post office. Long hours and physical work but rewarding too. During those years I also worked as a carrier and gained a whole new respect for that job delivering in near zero temperatures and blowing snow.

  • •_
    •_ 19 dias atrás +2

    Assuming all 810 employees process 1.2 billion images per year and accounting for weekends and federal holidays and no vacations this branch processes over 5,900 images per person per day. Knowing that not all employees actually process these images and providing vacations raises this number even higher.
    If the average time a letter is on the screen then you're looking at over 7200 letters per day per employee while keeping a recently 120 keystrokes per minute. Kudos to those employees!
    Side note at 2:45 I never knew all those street suffixes existed.

  • Cathy Flikkema
    Cathy Flikkema 10 dias atrás

    I’ve worked in this very building for most of my 18 year career. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I love this crazy organization! This video is the best one I have seen yet. You are a lot of fun to watch and Ryan does such a great job of explaining how the technology works. He’s a computer nerd to his core. 😊 Really great video!

  • Jake reviews all
    Jake reviews all Mês atrás +2

    I always find it interesting how the mail is handled. I am surprised at how much still does get mailed. They have 3 ISP and all of that stuff happening but what about the building itself.....if that got destroyed in some way....

  • Graham Hudson
    Graham Hudson Mês atrás +3149

    This is a rare job that is both of these things:
    1. It gets harder every day.
    2. It becomes less necessary every day.

    • Vandelay Industries
      Vandelay Industries Mês atrás

      @Asu Ah I see what you mean

    • Clive Handforth
      Clive Handforth Mês atrás +1

      @Paul Serdiuk there's a screening process so once you're hired it's very hard to get fired.

    • Whiskey_Pink_42
      Whiskey_Pink_42 Mês atrás

      @Alan Davis mansplain us harder

    • Ross Mitchell
      Ross Mitchell Mês atrás

      @Seraph X2 ink running isn't the only kind of damage, could simply be scrapped off or maybe stained by something spilled on it.

    • Draken
      Draken Mês atrás +1

      @encycl07pedia Ya neural nets can solve protein folding, but no way they will get as good at a human at looking at bad writing.
      Got you !

  • SilverFlame819
    SilverFlame819 Mês atrás +3

    Why am I watching a video about the REC? This is literally the best job I've ever had. I miss that job so much. Great bosses, nobody breathing down your neck, listening to music or podcasts your entire shift... If my health hadn't taken a long jump off a short pier, I'd still be there.

  • Vhaelen
    Vhaelen Mês atrás +3

    hey tom i have 2 suggestions for possible future videos:
    one is the french frigate hermione, its an old school frigatte that was completed in 2014 (construction started in 1997) it was built using MOSTLY traditional means
    the second sugestion is castle guedelon that is being constructed near treigny in france, this is not a restauration of an existing castle, this is a completely new castle built from scratch using 100% traditional methods (funily construction on this also started in 1997)
    i think the castle especially would make for a great video and would both be entertaining and informative

  • Karsyn Eat my Mangos💦
    Karsyn Eat my Mangos💦 Mês atrás +2

    As a USPS Automation Clerk and On The Job Instructor who regularly runs and assists DIOSS and AFCS machines, it's amazing to finally see what the REC site is like. They do fantastic work to get rejected mail turned around back into readable, barcoded mail in only a few hours.

  • Steve Whitcher
    Steve Whitcher Mês atrás

    Interesting video, but I wish you had covered what happens once the info is keyed in. Is a barcode printed on the envelope to enable further sorting without having to go back through the REC? Or will the system remember and recognize that piece of mail at the next sorting step?

  • Demonlordd
    Demonlordd Mês atrás +2700

    Would've been cool if you included a "master" doing it to see how fast they do it

    • SilverFlame819
      SilverFlame819 Mês atrás

      When I was working there, I could probably key that stuff in my sleep. It's super simple once you've been at it a little while. Just becomes kind of like muscle memory.

    • Memetics
      Memetics Mês atrás +1

      @Ellie No, you're making false assumptions about how they would go about finding someone to do such a demo. There's no requirement that they use someone while on duty; they could easily find an unpaid volunteer. Heck, I'd do it after my work shift just to help promote the place, if I were working there, seeing as how I'd be proud of what I do.
      Take care to question your assumptions (i.e., think critically). :-)

    • Ellie
      Ellie Mês atrás

      @Alex The people there are still being paid to work, not be in a youtube video. My point still stands.

    • DasSkelett
      DasSkelett Mês atrás +3

      @Chapystick _ Eh, they probably have a few thousand example images, which the expert might have done in the training 20 years ago. If the training set hasn't changed completely in the mean time, they most likely can't remember anymore, after doing millions or billions of real images in between.

    • Albert Batfinder
      Albert Batfinder Mês atrás +3

      In spite of the goal of making sure the address is only deciphered once, the local delivery officer has to read every address and slot it into a “sorting frame” set up for their beat. You get amazingly good at grabbing a letter, absorbing the whole address in one glance, and moving your arm to the correct slot. When you start, it can take a whole minute to ploddingly read the address, then search the frame for address. After a few months, it takes only 3 or 4 seconds.

  • John Ingram
    John Ingram Mês atrás

    Nice video, and an interesting topic. It would have been nice to see an experienced keyer plow through the training set, at just a few seconds per image.

  • Lightshockie
    Lightshockie 26 dias atrás +1

    It blows my mind just how optimized this, a government system, is. God Bless the USPS

  • nobodynemoq
    nobodynemoq Mês atrás

    Great, comprehensive video - as usual! Love it 😁
    I've got a short story on the address recognition...
    One day a friend of mine sent me a postcard from London. I live in Poland, so the address on the postcard was more or less going like this:
    Pawel Osikowski
    ul. Jana Pawła II 15/59
    31-729 Kraków
    POLAND
    The postcard arrived about a month later.
    It had a lot of japanese stamps on it, and a paper strip glued - with a note...
    "Missent to Osaka" 🤣
    I wasn't mad, rather amazed 😉

  • Frank Jones
    Frank Jones Mês atrás

    This is one of the oddest topics for someone to think about, and the fact that it's covered in such good detail is truly incredible.

  • Hippie McFake
    Hippie McFake Mês atrás +2565

    Cool topic, but a few things I'd have loved to see:
    1. The difficult examples you guys kept mentioning
    2. A pro doing it
    3. How do the people there like their job? To me it seems soul crushing but maybe they enjoy the flow state?
    4. What's the bottleneck for automated processing? Machine learning has gotten so good that I wonder what kind of image can be processed in four second by a human but not by a machine given that there are billions of training examples.

    • SilverFlame819
      SilverFlame819 Mês atrás +1

      @Moises Chavez That's the best job I ever had. Not being sarcastic. No bosses breathing down your neck, no customers to deal with... Just images on a screen, and music or podcasts in your ears. The days would fly by!

    • SilverFlame819
      SilverFlame819 Mês atrás

      @Ardub When I worked there, I was burning through SO many podcasts. When you listen to 8-16 hours of podcasts a day, all your favorite podcasts run out of episodes REALLY quickly, so I certainly discovered a lot of new ones! :)

    • Minalkra
      Minalkra Mês atrás

      @TheSteelRodent Not any more - hell, the medium-sized company I work for has signature capture now and that can be REALLY painful but the tools are out there.

    • ham stirrer
      ham stirrer Mês atrás +2

      Glad someone else said this, the job, cubicle, high targets, just everything about it just filled me with such a sense of doom

    • we
      we Mês atrás

      Hey guys 🤝. Believe in our God. Believe in the Son of God. Believe in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus Christ is coming soon

  • Kira Adams
    Kira Adams Mês atrás

    That has to be the most tedious, soul-destroying job I could possibly imagine. A huge round of applause to everyone who has to do that all day every day!

  • Must Upload Too
    Must Upload Too Mês atrás +2

    tom scott is like that teacher that you wish you could hug and tell them you are proud of them and never stop. thanks tom.

  • Ryan Krebs
    Ryan Krebs Mês atrás

    A few years ago I backpacked in the Grand Canyon to Supai, AZ where I sent myself a letter - it’s the last place in America where mail is delivered by mule and you get a special postmark. Months later, I finally got the letter. It was soaked in water and arrived in a special bag with an apologies from the postmaster. It probably went through this center! Kudos for the USPS

  • Teakwondo Chest
    Teakwondo Chest Mês atrás

    You should do a video on the operators that review the scans from luggage at airports. That‘s even more mindblowing.
    They have like 7 seconds per scan to determine of there‘s a potential danger or bomb in the luggage.
    and per 100 scan images there are 2-3 „test“-scans, which either have a bomb or something in it, which you have to recognize. If you fail those test images a couple times you loose your certification

  • 9thstreet
    9thstreet Mês atrás +3464

    I did this as a temp job for the Christmas season like 15 years ago. For an anti-social computer nerd it was almost a dream job, pop on some headphones and just mash buttons for 8 hours. At the time the money wasn't bad either, somewhere in the $14/hour range as a transitional employee (temp). I got offered a full time spot a couple months after the season ended but turned it down, which ended up being a good move as they closed the facility just before the next holiday season.
    As mind numbing as it looks, eventually your brain just keys in on the specific spots you need to check and you button mash your way through it in a blur. The days actually flew by most of the time.

    • Dr. Austin Melendez
      Dr. Austin Melendez 29 dias atrás

      That's a cool experience, thanks for sharing!

    • IvoK
      IvoK Mês atrás

      @Dim T chaotic, random thoughts are not pattern... it's just putting irrational stuff together, taking crappy possibilities as most probable... it's noise....the noise we live in

    • Dim T
      Dim T Mês atrás

      @IvoK conspiracy theories are actually the perfect example, as its literally people imposing a pattern where there is none

    • sono-neko
      sono-neko Mês atrás

      I worked as a data entry clerk for about 7 months before taking another job offer and it was easily the best job I've ever had.
      I regret leaving but couldn't pass up an opportunity to get a new career.

    • Antek
      Antek Mês atrás

      That’s a lie

  • Ethan Lindquist
    Ethan Lindquist Mês atrás +2

    Considering how many checks I get in the mail from clients, I've always wondered how they did this

  • Adrian VanderMolen
    Adrian VanderMolen Mês atrás

    Wow. I would absolutely struggle with this. Props to those who can do this and at the speed that is required.

  • Travis Terrell
    Travis Terrell Mês atrás

    Wow this was really interesting! I've always been paranoid that my mail wouldn't get delivered because of my writing, even when I'm extra careful. I'll be less concerned now!

  • Nightslights
    Nightslights Mês atrás

    Hello Tom, I just want to say I love you're informative videos, and never stop them from ending! Information is power, and you spread power to all those who watch you. Much love, NightsLights.❤❤❤

  • Just Me
    Just Me Mês atrás +3330

    Top tip from an ex-postie in the UK: Don't use red envelopes, but if you do, always write the address on a white sticker or label and attach that. The lasers that read the address can't pick up the writing so well with a red background. They have a similar problem with metallic envelopes, so the sticker rule applies here, too. If they can't be read by machine, they have to be hand sorted, and this potentially adds days to the delivery time. We would get lorry loads at Christmas and Valentine's, and we were just an average sized town.
    Also, always put a return address, even if it is just your house number and postcode. That simple act could save your item from being permanently lost if the delivery address is damaged/defaced/missing.

    • Benjamin Hernandez
      Benjamin Hernandez Mês atrás

      @Milo I thought the Royal Mail privatized in the 90’s, much like ISPS did in the 70’s.

    • Andreas U.
      Andreas U. Mês atrás

      @MxHill Not on red envelopes.

    • Lyoko is Great
      Lyoko is Great Mês atrás

      @Gaelan Steele i think return addresses should be a requirement for all mail

    • Lyoko is Great
      Lyoko is Great Mês atrás

      @Daniel Smith yes santa letters have the post code XM4 5HQ

    • effluviah
      effluviah Mês atrás

      Thank you so much for your insight! :) If you don't mind me asking, have you ever worked in a facility which issued any special postmarks? I'm aware they are hand stamped, so I can't even imagine the workload and logistics of trying to get, for example, countless holiday themed special postmarks stamped and sent along in time for the holiday itself! I truly appreciate all posties; And all ex-posties, too! :)

  • Anthony
    Anthony Mês atrás +1

    This would be my personal hell. I'm glad there are personality types that prefer work that is repetitive but also requires you to pay attention, because if it were left to people like me it would only get done in 15 minute increments before I had to get up and walk a few laps. I prefer one complex problem over a million simple problems any day.

  • kelownatechkid
    kelownatechkid Mês atrás

    This is an amazing organization. Gotta love the postal services!

  • rattyeely
    rattyeely Mês atrás

    I've always wondered how they deal with the mail the machines can't read, turns out they just use mechanical torque

  • Theli
    Theli Mês atrás +1

    I worked in the UK equivalent (MDEC, Manual Data Entry Centre) so this was cool to see how its processed similarly, although with mainly different hotkeys, but esentially the same

  • Cheese Fries
    Cheese Fries Mês atrás

    As an analytics and spreadsheet nerd I can only dream of the information you could collect from a place like this.

  • Punketeria1369
    Punketeria1369 Mês atrás +1

    I always wondered who's job this was. Also my big thanks, as I am one of those with dreadful handwriting. Like at work I have to type all my documents, as nobody can read my handwriting; sometimes I even can't understand my own penmanship 🤯
    Thanks 😊👍
    chEErs,
    93

  • Brock Turner
    Brock Turner Mês atrás

    I would love to just watch someone who does this for a living. 4 seconds per image is insane.

  • hypergolic
    hypergolic Mês atrás +2

    When your reading the paper and a journalist writes (complains) about the Post Office / Postal Service spending X£ Billion on a new system, it's very easy to overlook it as a total package.
    Just watching this, thinking about all the development for the training system, the manager dashboards, the integration to the mail centres, it's almost mind blowing, until you realise it works. Incredible.

  • The359
    The359 Mês atrás +3607

    As a USPS Automation Clerk and On The Job Instructor who regularly runs and assists DIOSS and AFCS machines, it's amazing to finally see what the REC site is like. They do fantastic work to get rejected mail turned around back into readable, barcoded mail in only a few hours.

    • Pär Emanuelsson
      Pär Emanuelsson Mês atrás

      @Jarrod R It's commercial. There are several commercial suppliers for OCR on addresses, Siemens (actually now Koerber) being one of them. Naturally there might be customer-specific enhancements implemented that were funded by the USPS, and these would not be available to other customers.

    • SilverFlame819
      SilverFlame819 Mês atrás

      I used to work there, and I've never seen it as quiet and empty as this video shows! Usually the whole floor is filled with people!

    • Kris Green
      Kris Green Mês atrás

      @Jarrod R due to privacy reasons, the images can't be shared. As far as I know, it's not proprietary. I could find out.

    • gladitsnotme
      gladitsnotme Mês atrás

      @Alex You think elderly people can magically improve their handwriting? Or magically stop using stamps?

    • The359
      The359 Mês atrás +5

      @Kayleigh Ohler You misunderstood. The REC site only handles letters that the machines in sorting facilities cannot read. These sorting machines can read 99% of the mail. The REC site only handles the 1% that do not read. So no, the REC site would not cripple the postal service as that 1% could be sorted manually on site in such an emergency. The REC site exists to avoid needing all that mail to be sorted manually.

  • Yu!8*&
    Yu!8*& Mês atrás

    I remember spending 15 minutes handwriting addresses on some letters due to the fear of the address not being readable, then I look at it and it's perfectly fine.

  • GamerCatz 259
    GamerCatz 259 Mês atrás

    I love how Tom is always passionate about what he dose

  • Dennis Bottaro
    Dennis Bottaro Mês atrás +2

    I would like to thank everyone of these folks for ensuring every piece of mail I've ever scrawled on has gotten where it was intended! Amazing work!!

  • Daltira
    Daltira Mês atrás +2

    Damn to think that there’s people out there doing this is insane

  • raydunakin
    raydunakin Mês atrás +2076

    I can't even imagine how it's possible to do this job as quickly and accurately as required, but I'm sure glad there are people who can do it.

    • Will Longden
      Will Longden 20 dias atrás

      @SuperFlamethrower it depends , i used to do this but in the UK not US
      If i remember rightly F4 was international , most counties that start with "county" are in Ireland and so are F4, but county Durham is England. it wasnt a problem for me as a grew up in county durham, but it wasnt uncommon for people to get a (metaphorical) clip round the ear for sending that domestic post international
      that said, the system works on certainty
      EG it may not know if the zip is 801273 or 801778, but it will know that because of the state/city that it HAS to be 801xxx
      or if that piece of mail sent to Ireland had ENGLAND on it, there would still be a conflict, so it would pass it back (sometimes to someone else, sometimes back to you) to fit another piece of the puzzle , maybee the address line , or the county again with F4 disabled to force the word to be typed

    • Cerberous+1
      Cerberous+1 29 dias atrás

      @Azraelle do you still work there. And have you kept up o. Training on any system updates since you left

    • Farm Cat
      Farm Cat Mês atrás +1

      I once visited a REC in Charleston, WV. Most of the employees were women who seemed to be from very low-income/no education backgrounds; this was a good job for them.

    • Fat Cole
      Fat Cole Mês atrás

      @Alex Robertson it wasn't

    • Fat Cole
      Fat Cole Mês atrás +1

      I used to do this, weirdest job I ever had

  • Mumzie Obiwan
    Mumzie Obiwan Mês atrás

    This was awesome...always wondered how things at the Post Office worked!

  • Marvin Martian
    Marvin Martian Mês atrás

    I used to work in the Bowling Green, KY REC way back. Hard to remember - maybe 1995. Each location competed for a contract from the Postal Service back then and as for the data entry folks on the floor, ITT won that one in Bowling Green. There was a set of 4 or 5 technicians like me who (working for Electrocom Automation) more or less monitored the system and waited until something broke then fixed it. And sent reports at the end of the day. Usually very boring. But fairly often the sorting facility we serviced had equipment failures and the 'buffer' would fill up somewhere and the responses would back up, or they wouldn't be scanning the images to send us to begin with. Several times a week the data entry folks would have to stop working and take some massive breaks until the situation was resolved - then usually be asked to work even later to make up for it. I think maybe in 1997 is when the Postal Service decided they wanted to take all those jobs internally. The video mentioned fiber connection to the system today. Back then it was something like a T1 or T3 connection. The data entry folks where I was sat in a big room and didn't have the cube-farm type dividers, best I can recall. Amazing that even with the leaps in OCR technology there's still a need for the human touch.

  • 7enth
    7enth Mês atrás +1

    Thank you for actually making a informative video about what we do. We have had local news in but none have actually shown how we are trained. Have worked there for almost 9 years now

  • Daniel O'Neal
    Daniel O'Neal 12 dias atrás

    I worked at the REC in Charleston, WV, from 1996 until I closed in 2009. It was actually a really good job. Once you got used to the work, it became so automatic that you could even listen to audiobooks while you keyed.

  • David Wilkinson
    David Wilkinson Mês atrás +82

    I work there! got to talk to Tom for a minute after he filmed this one, super nice guy. Thanks for coming.

  • Nicholas Turner
    Nicholas Turner Mês atrás +1

    I worked in the UK’s equivalent in 2005(ish), the MDEC in Plymouth (now closed). Not dissimilar, only the image would have a red box around the word it couldn’t recognise and you’d type that word, no abbreviations or strange keyboard layouts. I did it for a month or so so I had a bit of money for the summer holidays…

  • Frances Bernard
    Frances Bernard Mês atrás +1

    Maybe the best employment position for a teenager to have while in high school when planning to become a pharmacist is to work for the postal service.

  • SuperDave LJ
    SuperDave LJ Mês atrás +2

    I'm starting to see this tech applied in websites that demand rock solid security in terms of establishing identity. It's awesome, but also quite frightening.

  • Chris Boursnell
    Chris Boursnell Mês atrás

    I really like that the keyboard has home row numbers. They actually thought about how to improve the terrible keyboard design of a default keyboard and made it more efficient

  • TBot Alpha
    TBot Alpha Mês atrás +1546

    This reminds me of something Terry Pratchett wrote into one of his Discworld novels. The Ankh-Morpork Postal Service had a Dead Letter Office, which dealt with mail that was addressed... creatively, let's say, by the frequently lazy, illiterate and/or insane citizens of Ankh-Morpork. The joke being that the staff weren't just reading illegible addresses, but also interpreting the vague details to figure out where the sender actually intended the letter to go. The people employed in the Office were noted for being particularly sharp; the kinds of people who would complete cryptic crosswords in their heads for fun.

    • Frederica Panon
      Frederica Panon Mês atrás

      @The Berk 'Going Postal' is the book that made me fall in love with Sir Pterry's writing

    • oh no
      oh no Mês atrás +1

      Going Postal by Terry Pratchett is my favorite book of all time

    • Wrince Wind
      Wrince Wind Mês atrás +1

      @Eyal Minsky-Fenick Specifically, those curly buns with the icing on top that put the Patrician in mind of 'doings' (aka dog poo)!

    • Jer Gol
      Jer Gol Mês atrás +6

      RIP Sir PTerry. 😔

    • greggv8
      greggv8 Mês atrás +8

      @paradoxmo that's why GPS in Japan is very accurate when finding an address. They all had to be geo-located. In countries where address numbers are in order, with each block going up by 10's or 100's, mapping can usually get close enough by evenly spreading the numbers out. Then it relies on the person to see the number.
      That doesn't stop human error from doing things like switching which side of a street has the odd and even numbers or even getting the numbering of a whole town backwards. Another automated address mapping fail I've seen was on a road where there were two crossroads very far apart and few addresses. Whomever did the data entry used the same rules as they would for an urban area so the GPS mapped location for the place I needed to go was about a mile off from where it actually was.
      I had to edit the Google maps pins of my place and some of my neighbors, and contact Amazon, so their drivers would quit dropping off other people's stuff at my back door.

  • GrowingObsession
    GrowingObsession Mês atrás

    i was in a data input/customer service job for a few years where i got really good at people's handwriting, enough that other folks at work would come to me to ask to deciper people's addresses, so this is like a dream job to me!

  • WB
    WB Mês atrás

    As a piece of mail, who works at mail academy I’m impressed that the mail is mailed at the mailing rate that it was intended to mail at. .. mail.

  • Pathite
    Pathite 27 dias atrás

    I've always wondered how the machine read those hand written letters. I always suspected it wasn't just the processing machine itself reading all those hand written letters, but I never had the proof to back that up till now

    • mattmmilli
      mattmmilli 23 dias atrás

      Well it reads most of them, except shitty handwriting

  • db_liam
    db_liam Mês atrás

    My dad has worked for the USPS around 26 years and knows about this place, yet never knew how it worked. Great video!

  • PlayDeeBug
    PlayDeeBug Mês atrás +595

    i worked at one of these facilities in the 90’s in texas. Our location processed all mail going in and out of colorado. You had to train for 2 weeks learning the short cuts for zip codes and street addresses. Once you started encoding real mail.. your computer was randomly monitored to check your accuracy. If, by the end of the month you had something like a 97% accuracy.. you would get a bonus. I was obsessed with being fast an accurate so I had a friend write a program in javascript that mimicked the program at work. I would practice for hours at home. all in all.. it was a fun job

    • whuzzzup
      whuzzzup Mês atrás

      You shall be an honorary German. As a good German, after a hard day of Wörk, you of course play a Wörk simulator like Truck Simulator or Farming Simulator.

    • Sam Sitar
      Sam Sitar Mês atrás

      thanks for explaining that.

    • Vigilant Cosmic Penguin
      Vigilant Cosmic Penguin Mês atrás

      @Adam LaMore People would love to do that. Heck, they could probably even crowdsource the entire job, just have hobbyists do it independently like how they classify newly documented galaxies. You know, besides the obvious security risk of showing people's addresses to the general public, but that's a minor matter.

    • lemster101
      lemster101 Mês atrás

      That's awesome. I was thinking "what a tough job to have to do", but you approached it like a game which I hadn't thought about at all.

    • luhist
      luhist Mês atrás +2

      I worked at Bmt REC for years. Closed it down. I still find myself hitting home row keys every now and then.

  • N Knighton
    N Knighton Mês atrás

    I worked doing data entry and I had to try to read people's handwriting on their checks in order to enter their payments. I couldn't keep up with the deadlines because I had a hard time reading people's handwriting.

  • Journeyman.71
    Journeyman.71 Mês atrás

    Always one of the most interesting and entertaining channels on YT!
    In my job, I have to regularly look up addresses (nothing like this volume!!). This reminds me somewhat of the predictive searching on our in-house GIS platform, as well on Google maps!

  • -
    - Mês atrás

    The USPS is in it's dying stages so it's nice to document how it works while it still is there.

  • msnpassjan2004
    msnpassjan2004 Mês atrás +1

    1:38 That is a really cool fun fact. An image of the envelope is sent to Utah so the letter never leaves the automation at the OCR plant !

  • EnoVarma
    EnoVarma 25 dias atrás

    A famous writer in my country once sent a postcard to his sister from abroad using only runes. It was delivered, with a message from the postal service: "Please, tell your brother next time to at least write the address in normal alphabet."

  • alittA X
    alittA X Mês atrás

    What happens if the computers read someone's mail incorrectly without realizing it? What's the last line of defence? Is it the postman who notices that the letter has been addressed to someone who lives in an area that the postman doesn't serve?

  • ArcticNight26
    ArcticNight26 Mês atrás

    This is similar to work I do, only for medical documents. The images per hour expectations are lower, usually set by the hospital or clinical turn around time. Over 4 years Ive processed around 20 million images.

  • blxckberrybabe
    blxckberrybabe Mês atrás

    I've always wondered how my great-grandmother's entirely cursive and entirely spanglish letters got delivered

  • Horntx
    Horntx Mês atrás +2

    It would have been cool to see an employee who does this for a living going through the training at light speed

    • Ryan Bullock
      Ryan Bullock Mês atrás

      The fastest people at the REC can process at a speed of one letter every 2 seconds, or 1,800 letters an hour. Very few can go that fast. It's incredible to see those folks do it when the mail pops up on their screen and before you can read the city, state, and ZIP, it's already processed! I couldn't go that fast when I did that job. I was closer to 1,100 per hour.

  • Nightriser271828
    Nightriser271828 Mês atrás

    As someone whose writing prompted someone to ask which language I was writing in, I must profess intense curiosity as to how the hell my letters are indeed sent anywhere.

  • Abram Berry
    Abram Berry Mês atrás +2

    My Grandpa worked at this facility for years! He said that one quick mistake means that you could accidentally send a letter meant for China to Chile instead

    • SilverFlame819
      SilverFlame819 Mês atrás

      Absolutely true, which is why they test you every week, to see how accurate you're being. :)

  • Pawmeowzing
    Pawmeowzing 23 dias atrás

    I wonder how much those employees get paid for doing their job so quickly and accurately

  • Goatsfordays
    Goatsfordays Mês atrás +678

    I like how Tom goes to the US and one of his stops is an obscure location of the US postal service.

    • Cardinal Ash
      Cardinal Ash Mês atrás +2

      @encycl07pedia They didn't say the city is obscure. "an obscure location of the US postal service" is referring to the building, and it is most definitely obscure as it's one of those things you don't think about.

    • encycl07pedia
      encycl07pedia Mês atrás

      Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and Mormonism. I wouldn't call it obscure unless you're just totally ignorant about the United States AND Mormonism.
      Note that I'm not a Mormon and have never been to Utah outside of the Four Corners Monument.

    • Andy Miller
      Andy Miller Mês atrás +1

      @Tomoko Kuroki That and the FAA are probably some of the most reliable services in the US

    • Dave Ballard
      Dave Ballard Mês atrás +1

      Well.. it is one of the more interesting things in SLC. ;)

    • A Hyena
      A Hyena Mês atrás +8

      @Tomoko Kuroki Which makes it all the more tragic that it's constantly under attack and sabotaged by shitty politicians

  • lajya01
    lajya01 Mês atrás +2

    Newman would be proud.
    I've programmed those kind of systems 15 years ago to process tax returns. It's insane how many ways people can badly fills a tax form and yet, we had to do everything possible to file it anyway.

  • BlueNinja
    BlueNinja Mês atrás +1

    As someone with terrible handwriting and often end up botching the address and having to write over letters, thank you for your service

  • lolcatmaroon
    lolcatmaroon 10 dias atrás

    Imagine going into work every day knowing you a legacy and the skills and experience you are creating are near pointless

  • Ronwe TheFallen
    Ronwe TheFallen Mês atrás

    I just want to mention that if the end goal of automation is to eliminate the need for human labor, then wouldn't it make sense to start thinking about the future of leisure? We'll also have to start thinking about ways of simulating work, as having tasks to do for a reward is essential for mental health.

  • Penumbral
    Penumbral Mês atrás +521

    It's thanks to these guys that doctors can send any mail at all, the true heroes of the modern world

    • doan tran van
      doan tran van Mês atrás

      ok

    • EdgyShooter
      EdgyShooter Mês atrás +2

      @Maxx B. Hmm is that two tablets every 7 hours or 7 tablets ever two hours...

    • Maxx B.
      Maxx B. Mês atrás +5

      would be great to know if there is a place to send those presctiptions to so I actually can figure out what i have to take

    • Kobzyy
      Kobzyy Mês atrás +14

      especially the different wing for doctor's handwriting and doctor's letters

  • Pastor Raptor
    Pastor Raptor Mês atrás

    If only this was a thing for writing essays. I went down 1 grade on a few essays back in high school because of my handwritting.

  • TheHomeskoolER
    TheHomeskoolER Mês atrás

    Thank you for always answering questions that I never knew I had.