For more than a decade now, letter carrier Bob McLean has driven around Bellevue each holiday season, delivering a little Christmas cheer while wearing a full Santa getup for two or three days. But this year, a local grinch complained to the U.S. Postal Service, and McLean has been banned from bringing his alter ego to work this year.
“The government is shutting me down because it’s a non-postal regulation uniform,” said McLean, who has been with the postal service since 1971.
McLean began donning the red and white when a stranger at the mall told him he looked like Santa Claus. Always the crowd pleaser, McLean took to the comparison, went out and bought a suit, and then another.
Why must the government be so grinchy? Maybe it’s because Santa puts the government to shame when it comes to dispensing goodies.
Seriously, though, I can’t understand the rationale behind this ban. Does the official USPS postal uniform actually improve a carrier’s ability to do his job? Does wearing a Santa suit hurt anybody in any way? Those aren’t snarky; I’m genuinely asking. Apparently, a fellow carrier complained about McLean. Was he just grouchy he can’t wear pajamas to deliver mail or jealous that McLean is a local favorite? Either way, this seems yet another example of the way excessive regulation leaves little room for creativity and innovation.