I'm a rural postal carrier. My least favorite time of the year is just around the corner. Postage rate hikes. The beggining of May the price of a first calss stamp will go up to 44 cents. That is a two cent hike. So here is a preemptive retort to all of the inane comments I'm sure to hear: No I will not be getting a raise from your two cents. No I will not steal you two pennies that have been taped to the leter. Yes if you hand me the two cents I will buy you a two cent stamp and put it on your letter. No it's not a bad thing that the rate is going up. Grrrr, I hate it when a customer complains for ten minutes about two cents. Now multiply that by ten or twenty times a day. The witty retort that you have come up with about the rate increase is probably not that witty or original. Believe me, I have heard it before... At least one or two hundred times. Prices going up sucks, I know. Instead of complaining stock up on forever stamps, they'll cost you forty-two cents and still work when the stamp price is fourty-four. The hike will cost an average household about three more dollars a year. That's it. Personally I don't think stamp prices have gone up all that much when you look at the big picture. I happened to pull out a letter in the envelope from a friend that was mailed in '95. I looked at the postage. thirty-two cents. In fourteen years the price of a stamp has gone up twelve cents. come on. Is it really worth complaining about?. For every cent that gas goes up at the pump the post office spends something like a million more dollars in fuel costs. How do you think they pay for it? All right, I'm done complaining. I just get so tired of hearing gripes about two cents. Postage rates are tied to inflation. No inflation, no raise. Now if only my pay was tied to inflation right!