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Goin' Postal Delivers Controversy in First Week of Business

The owner of a new Woodward Avenue shipping store addresses negative comments regarding franchise name.

A new Royal Oak store's name has a controversial name.
A new Royal Oak store's name has a controversial name.
When Suzanne Weinberg of Royal Oak decided to open a Goin' Postal shipping and postal store franchise, she did so to be part of the community.

"I want to help people and make a living for my family," Weinberg said. "I want to be a role model to my kids."

The last thing Weinberg wanted to do was to hurt anyone's feelings when she opened her store's doors this week at 30270 Woodward Ave., but just days into the new business venture she finds herself being called insensitive because of store's name.

[Read: Goin' Postal Opens Royal Oak Location]

"Unbelievably insensitive," commented Suzanne Jones on the name Goin' Postal. "Hope they didn't sign a long term lease. Can't imagine that business succeeding in this town."

"Disgusting and in very poor taste. Even though it is a national company, the name is rude. . . and putting a location in Royal Oak is just a big rude slap in the face," said Christy Dykins Howard.

In the 1990s, Royal Oak became synonymous with the term "going postal" when on Nov. 14, 1991 employees heard screams coming from the workroom floor of the Royal Oak Post Office at 200 W. Second St. 

That day, 31-year-old Thomas McIlvane of Oak Park went on a rampage in the post office after finding out he had lost an arbitration hearing. He took the lives of four co-workers and wounded four more before killing himself and shaking up the community.

The Royal Oak shootings followed the Oct. 10, 1991 Ridgewood, NJ post office shootings and there were seven other tragic events at post offices across the country before that. By the end of the 1990s there would be eight more postal shootings in the U.S. and the term "going postal" became synonymous workplace rage.

"I believe in supporting local small businesses, but (Weinberg) should have had some sensitivity when she bought a franchise with such a crazy name," said Royal Oak letter carrier John Dick. 

Dick's wife, Jackie Dick, is a retired letter carrier who worked with the Royal Oak postal workers slain 22 years ago.

"The people I worked with are fine, dedicated, compassionate people. They do not deserve this hideous moniker, nor do they need to be reminded of this tragedy because some idiot thinks that the name is cute," wrote Jackie Dick in the comments on Royal Oak Patch. 

James Hall, the COO at Goin' Postal Franchise Corp. based in Zephyrhills, FL, said they have hundreds of stores across the country.

"I am sorry that some people have taken the name negatively," Hall said. "That was never our intention. We mean no malice."

Hall pointed out the Goin' Postal stores have a partnership with the United States Postal Service (USPS). Stores sell stamps and offer USPS shipping options.

"The post office is a huge ally of ours," Hall said.
Jacob Riggs December 12, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Maybe they weren't aware of the tragedy from 1990?
Timmy Turdburglar December 13, 2013 at 04:20 AM
What a catchy name for a business. I will support this business and send a lot of stuff their way. The rest of you need to stop living in 1991. Grow up.
Debbie Campbell December 13, 2013 at 06:38 AM
Catchy name ?—Really Turdburgler?-- I hope that the owner didn’t sink her entire life-savings into this place because I have a feeling this RO location will close quickly due to lack of business—I for one would NEVER use this service…
Bill December 13, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Remember this is a national franchise and around the country the term is not linked to specific acts of aggression. There’s been all kinds of comedy skits, programs, movies etc. that have used the term in a comedic manner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making light of the tragedy that occurred here, and similar tragedies around the country. But, it has been over 20 years, and perhaps lending a different perspective to the term is in order. Would I have purchased a franchise with that name and established the business in Royal Oak - probably not. That said, I’m also not going to purposely hinder their success, either. Look at the bright side - it’s a business opening - not closing, in Royal Oak. And, she didn’t need a liquor license to open!!
Norm December 13, 2013 at 08:43 AM
Timmy, I am with you. I lived here at the time of the post office shooting and did not associate the name with that occurrence. Give it a rest. I will use their business.
Jack Manning December 13, 2013 at 02:07 PM
What a bunch of ignoramuses making negative or rather down-right nasty comments about this business. Shame on you people. You are the ones who have associated this with the tragic incident at the RO Post Office. Instead of moving on for better times from this incident, you, you, and you have the low-life of dragging up this as an analogy. You are pathetic human beings.
K. Scott December 13, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Jack, wasn't it yourself that just made ignorant comments on the site regarding a black Santa? Pot meet kettle. FYI, a real shooting did happen, people can't forget easily. The first time I heard this name several years ago, I thought of Royal oak too.
Cementhead December 14, 2013 at 12:36 AM
I carry mail in Royal Oak. I have had many folks jokingly say to me "Just Don't Go Postal On Me". It means only one thing. And it is never funny. It means this. Don't shoot me. Goin' Postal has never had any other connotation except for a shooting reference. The phrase never existed before the wave of workplace violence in the Postal stations in the 80s and 90s. How anyone of you, or the owner of this franchise, can pretend that this is just another catchy funfilled phrase is beyond belief. I will let one of my coworkers tell you what it is like to lay on the floor and beg for your life while a gun is pointed at your brains. I will give you a tour of the Royal Oak Post Office and show you where pools of blood and spattered brain matter stained the walls. Then you can tell me to get over it, it has been over twenty years. I will take you out for a beer afterwards and we can slap each other on the back and laugh about that funny "Goin Postal" thing.
Jack Manning December 14, 2013 at 09:00 AM
Give me a break. As Hillary Clinton said of Benghazi, "That happened a long time ago....it's time to move on."
K. Scott December 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Only Jack could come up with a tea party rally point, good grief.
patti denomme December 15, 2013 at 08:05 AM
On the heels of the one year Sandy Hook Elementary massacre I think it's important that we never forget any of these tragedies. The term "going postal" is certainly not a local one and though the people across the country may not know it's associated with Royal Oak they certainly know it's associated with workplace violence. The name is in very poor taste and though I don't think the local franchise owner deserves to be attacked nor do I think she intended any malice for this I would be surprised if she or the founder didn't know about the negative connotation. In my opinion they both are guilty of really bad judgment.
KatPatMac December 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM
I am happy to see a new business open in Royal Oak. Like Bill and others, I'm certain the owner of the franchise meant no offense. But who doesn't know that the term "goin' postal" is essentially saying "don't shoot me"?!? I don't care how long ago it happened or where you're from, everyone knows what "goin' postal" refers to... that day in Royal Oak was violent and it was horrific for those who were at the Post Office... the EMS workers, the ER staff, and the co-workers and families of the victims and the shooter. It was gruesome for the people who took care of those who were injured and for those who had to clean up the mess at the post office. And I'm not just referring to the blood and brain matter. There were lives shattered that day and people who will never be the same because of it. The term "goin' postal" will never mean anything else to most of us who were here that day. I wish every small business owner success, but I do agree this is in poor taste and pretty thoughtless, especially in Royal Oak. That being said, I wish the business owner success, but perhaps a name change would be a good idea.
Joseph McCauley December 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM
I also worked at the Royal Oak Post Office in 1991. Using that term was offensive when a video game came out with that term and it's not cute to keep using it for a company that works in the postal business. It also demeans anyone working at the Post Office. As far as getting "over it", try saying that when a bunch of people are shot or killed in your work place.
Judy Davids (Editor) December 15, 2013 at 01:37 PM
This comment was emailed to me by Clinton Baller: "Among many things, this dispute is about language and words and how meaning morphs over time as generations come and go, about our society's short memory, and about its degree of sensitivity. If one person had the notion use a name like this, it would be one thing. But one of the most telling aspects to me is that an entire franchise has been built on this name. And if you compare a map of Goin Postal locations with a list of postal shootings, you will find plenty of correlations. As a business person, looking at it from a business standpoint, it's really hard to believe a business would risk offending people like this. But the fact that they have taken the risk and met with some degree of success indicates (sadly for many, happily for others) that a formerly offensive term has become acceptable. We are so used to seeing formerly acceptable words (I'll pass on giving examples, but I'm sure you can think of a few) become unacceptable. The opposite is less common. This case, for me? I don't like it. But what are you gonna do? Write comments like this, maybe. Fire off a couple astonished emails. And then sit back and watch society change."
Jerry December 15, 2013 at 10:00 PM
I was driving and saw another location of the same name and thought this has to be the worst idea someone has come up with. I will be going to a party and someone who was at the post office that day, I would not even ask her for here opinion on the subject. As I others have said here, we have to get over it. We will as we were not there but for those who were there, the post offices, Sandy Hook, Vietnam, the other school shootings, you get the idea. They cannot the live with it everyday they wake up. As I drive down the road I can't tell if the way some people are driving they don't have any value for there own life or other drivers. But it is a free society so we just will not do business there.
Mark Itall December 16, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Goin' Postal is as inappropriate for a business name as the Sandy Hook Target Range would be. My family will never patronize it.
canseeallsides December 16, 2013 at 03:13 AM
Royal Oak just laid a wreath at a memorial less than two months ago... forget it and move on... seriously? Move on? Are you seriously considering it's that easy to forget the loved ones lost? NOTHING is worth your dehumanizing concept and losing compassion for the sake of a pun or any amount of business. How about "Holocaust Railways"? Good name? The gravity is certainly not comparable but the pain for those involved may be. Still too soon? Should we move on from history or remember it so that we do our best not to repeat it? I fear in this not-so-healthy world mentality that the business is actually glad about this publicity. So may I suggest letting them fade quickly and quietly. Let each make their own choice. Only time will tell but I have a hunch it will not succeed unless the name is changed. The comments about this would not exist if a better choice for a name was made so blaming the comments is ridiculous. 33% of these franchises fail and it has been voted one of the worst franchises.
canseeallsides December 16, 2013 at 05:01 AM
This is a known offensive brand for many years so due diligence was not followed. Whether ignorance or strategic publicity, it's still a lapse in judgment. https://www.google.com/search?q=goin+postal+protest https://www.apwu.org/news/nsb/2008/nsb-conv-2008-4-080822.htm http://www.mpwu.com/Photos/2008/Natl%20Conv/postal/goin-postal.htm http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22863226/more-than-mail
canseeallsides December 16, 2013 at 05:04 AM
GOIN’ POSTAL Franchise Complaints "high loan failure rate of 33%" "a brand name inspired by mental illness and workplace violence" "something IS goin’ wrong with Goin’ Postal" That qualifies Goin’ Postal for inclusion in UnhappyFranchisee.com’s list of WORST FRANCHISES IN AMERICA http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/goin-postal-franchise-complaints/
carol sheldon December 16, 2013 at 07:44 AM
using the term going postal is not appropriate in Royal Oak
Nancy December 16, 2013 at 08:52 AM
Society needs to quit worrying about who is going to be offended by something, because pretty soon, no one will be able to say anything or name anything or buy anything, because it may offend someone. If you want to mail something from there, then go, if you don't, then don't go. But unless you've had subpar service from the company, do not be running it into the ground, because of a name. It's silly. As silly as wanting to change a team name, because of they are named the Redskins.
Fran December 16, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Frankly I think the name of such a business is totally disgusting, be it local or national! Some moron thought of it without giving any thought to what it actually means, and the events which caused it to come to exist! Too bad for those who have invested funds in the franchise, as they also did not give much thought to the name of such a business! Totally insensible! I will always remember what happened here in Royal Oak on that horrible day! Similar example of such would be to call a business "Going Columbine"! Get the message here!
Timmy Turdburglar December 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM
I am going to go and send some packages from this business today. I think it's a great name for the store. It's too bad that some of you have to be so self serving all the time.
Joseph McCauley December 18, 2013 at 11:59 AM
I'm sure that's you're real name Tim. Nothing you say can be taken seriously.
K. Scott December 18, 2013 at 03:23 PM
I think it where all his ideas come from, kind of like a small child.
canseeallsides December 18, 2013 at 04:05 PM
People have the freedom of speech to be insensitive. No one is saying the business cannot do this, they are saying they shouldn't have done this or they should have been aware that it may upset some. I respect your choice to shop there, quite frankly I wish all people were as obvious as 'turd as it makes it easier to pick them off (figuratively speaking of course). SELF-SERVING: serving one's own interests often in disregard of the truth or the interests of others. So you are denying that the events in the past happened and are not true, or are you criticizing the comments here and demeaning their worth? The comments should have the same respect and free speech protections. You are a hypocrite if you think otherwise. People have a choice and you have made yours, kudos 'turd!
Timmy Turdburglar December 19, 2013 at 05:47 PM
And I bet that Joseph McCauley is a made up name too. Who do you think you are to criticize my name?
Joseph McCauley December 20, 2013 at 08:41 AM
I worked (and retired after 30 years) at the Royal Oak Post office. My route (for 25 years) was along Washington Street in downtown Royal Oak ... dumbass!
Fran December 21, 2013 at 10:14 AM
Wondering how old "Timmy" is and why his mother didn't teach him any manners? I ignore comments from people like that! Canseeallsides needs to get off the "fence" and commit to things! Don't we just love this "Patch" thing!
canseeallsides December 22, 2013 at 02:39 AM
Thank you Fran, that means a lot to me. I am VERY strongly on one side of this but even stronger about freedom of choice and freedom of speech. Where I am with this is people have a right to open a store with any name but other people have a right to criticize and even boycott if they choose, the free market (not manipulated) should sort it out. I am just trying to live up to my username and see all sides. As I say on Patch often, seeing and being aware of all sides does not mean I agree with them. The best way for me to form an opinion is to seriously consider all sides (regardless of how stupid or insensitive they may seem to me.)

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