Postal Service Vent

Yesterday, when I got home, the doorman told me that the postal delivery person tried to delivery a letter to me with 46 cents due. Obviously I was not home. The doorman offered to pay for letter but wasn't allowed to because he couldn't present two proofs (one with a picture) that he was me. So this morning I went to the post office to get the letter. The pickup window was closed and the clerks at the other two windows weren't very helpful (actually, they claimed it was not their job). So I had to get the head of the post office who was in the lobby talking on her cel phone (another favorite vent of mine). Finally, she got off the phone and offered to get the letter, which she couldn't locate for about 20 minutes. Then I had to sign for it, show two proofs of identity, and pay the 46 cents (which I did with 26 pennies and 4 nickels which got them annoyed at me).
Right now I am extremely perturbed (how's that for a diplomatic term). Anyone else had problems with the post office?


  • 23 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Actually, no, I have a great rural carrier who regularly leaves me mail with postage due and a little envelope to put the change in for next day pickup. She gets the mail through in rain, snow, etc. Great service. I just think they should cut back mail service to two or three times per week in rural areas.
  • Don't get me started. I live in a rural area, mail is delivered to our mailbox by rural carrier. Asked to have mail held while on vacation (filled out their very proper yellow form) and indicated that all held mail should be delivered on xxx date (day after our return home). No mail was delivered that date. When I called the PO to find out where my mail was, the response I got was "well, uhhhh, it's still here and we don't know why she didn't deliver it". Fortunately I was home that day and could go get the accumulated mail (which would have fit in the box, and if not, the majority would have and the balance could have been delivered the next day). Another time when I returned from vacation they did deliver, but only a small (very small) portion of the held mail. I realized about 10 days later that I hadn't received some expected bills and insurance payments, discovered that a particular check had been mailed approx. three weeks earlier, and upon checking with the PO was told "oh, there's a big stack of mail still being held". Hellooooo. And tell me again why the postal service needs more money? Wish I had their benefits and pay!
  • No, I wish I had some. Bills have been arriving on time for years with not a single error.
  • So Whatever, I hope you have learned your lesson from all this. Next time pay them in all pennies.
  • Just this morning our Executive Sec was venting about the PO. She went with a stack of corporate tax returns to have them go return receipt. The guy behind the counter said "Geez, doesn't your company have a postage meter?" Apparently, he thinks it too much to expect him to actually do his job while he's standing at his work station!

    Nice touch, Whatever, on paying with pennies and nickels.
  • I have a very nice pleasant mail carrier, she always smiles and says hello and never complains that I get probably 1000 mail order catalogues a year. I haven't been to the post office in a very long time but my recollection is the employees seem to be from the same applicant pool as those at the DMV. But aside from the lazy attitude of those front employees, I have always been amazed that all the mail in all the world gets delivered, generally in a timely manner and generally to the right locale and for only pennies. Lots of somebody's must be working hard at the post office I think we just don't see them, cause ah...duhhh...they are working.

    No I don't, nor never have worked for the PO and the only person I ever knew who did was my brother while he was in college, and that was over 30 years ago
  • That reminds me about my working for the PO back in the days when they hired college kids at Christmas to deliver the excess. I got $1.85 an hour, an enormous amount considering the rest of the time was .85. Too bad it only lasted a few days. If you want to save a few pennies on postage, buy discount postage. I send off $90 and get back $100 of older stamps. My outgoing mail tends to be colorful and sometimes generates comments like - why are you using those old stamps, they must be valuable. They are - face value, even when they are from the 1950's.
  • Never heard of discount stamps. Where do you send off for them? And, how do you come up with the correct amount for today's charges? They send you $.01 stamps? Varying denominations?
  • I'll send you the address of my most recent supplier - in Portland, Oregon., but it will be a couple of days, since I will be out tomorrow and Thursday. The lots are in varying denominations and you mix and match to come up with .37. My last batch had stamps ranging from a few 1c from the 1950's, a few 5c a lot of 8,10,15,18 and 29 and a few oddballs like 9,16. The oldest were 2c from the 1930's. The stamps come from the PO originally, which prints millions, many of which go unsold. They sell them at a discount to dealers. I don't know how many middlemen there are between the PO and the user.
  • Gillian: When you were young, how did you manage to keep the mail dry in those saddle bags?
  • I don't remember and it was in Missouri where there is rain.
  • My late husband was a letter carrier for 25 years. I remember the homeowners stories about how they would leave windows open in the summer because they could hear him whistle as he walked down the street and knew their mail was here. Or the nice people that would offer him a hose to rinse off when the temp was 90+ and the humidity 100 percent or meet him at the door with a cold glass of water. Some had hot chocolate or coffee in the winter. He came home one day (we once lived on his route so he delivered our mail) with ice hanging from his moustache. When he left the P O he had 2 months of sick days unused. There are those, maybe a small amount but are those who work for the P O who really do work and work hard. I wonder how many of us desk jockey's could walk an entire mail route for just one day and not complain or go home depressed everyday from hearing what a bad job they do. When I pay $2.00 now for a loaf of bread or a gallon of gas I think 37 cents to mail a letter cross country isn't so bad. May Rick rest in peace.
  • I try to not talk about the Postal Service as my mother-in-law to be is a postal carrier and treasurer of their local union . . . needless to say her and I do not see eye to eye on alot of topics to do with the postal service, especially when she complains about something like the way overtime is distributed, that the union presence created!
  • My brother works for the post office in a small rural town and it is most entertaining to have a family get together and listen to his stories about the post office. They are now on their third postmaster, none of which had a clue about their job. One refused to replace lights as they burned out, so they were reduced to working in semi-dark conditions before she was terminated. It appears that she would get a bonus if she kept expenses down! The people they get to work are not to be believed! My brother has been called in numerous times on Saturdays when a person just failed to show up! Did they get fired? No, because "they are too hard to replace." My brother could have refused to come in as this was his day off, but he does have some type of work ethic and feels it's not fair to let the customers suffer because of slackers.

    The current postmaster changed time cards on employees when she went over her "allotted" time for a mandatory meeting. It was supposed to be 15 minutes and she went to 45. When employees wrote in 45, she changed it to 15. Postal inspectors had to be called in on her for this.

    On my brother's route, he has encountered a nude man walking around his front yard. When he saw my brother drive up, he put an ice cooler in front of his "exposed" parts and walked up to the mail car where my brother proceeded to put the mail on top of the cooler. Another day he saw a group of pigs running thru a house where the front and back doors were wide open. This is just a couple of stories. There are hundreds more.

  • I have had my share of frustrations with the personnel in the post office building, but our mail carriers have been great! When my son was young, he continually dismantled toys, receptacles, and anything else he could get away with – all with his plastic tool kit. His favorite ‘take-apart’ toy was his bicycle with training wheels. I would look out the kitchen window and there would be bike parts all over the driveway and our mailman would be sitting out there with my son putting his bike back together. On another occasion, I backed over a Big Wheel strategically placed behind my car by aforementioned son. I was headed to the shed for a sledgehammer to batter that Big Wheel to oblivion, but once again the mailman stepped in, jacked my car up and the Big Wheel was rescued. Following a blizzard the postmaster delivered our mail in a jeep with a plow on the front.
    No complaints from me if I can stay out of the main post office building.

    Anne in Ohio
  • How long ago was this? My husband is a letter carrier. (Yes, I could share a ton of stories too; along with some of our "lively discussions" on union v. mgmt!!) But I'm curious, he quite often misses lunch or his breaks or both because they give him extra mail to deliver and require him to be back/done delivering mail in the same amount of time. So, breaks and/or lunches are first to be sacrificed. It's hard for me to picture any mail carrier having enough time to fix bike parts. It's nice that he can do that. Maybe we should move out there?
  • Well, this would have been '78 or '79. I think he got that toolset when he was three. And no, I can't imageine this happening today. Our mail carrier who is friendly and reliable moves like a flash. Times have changed!

    Anne in Ohio
  • The last time I was at the post office, standing in line with about ten other people in front of me with only one postal service employee taking care of customers, I noticed a very large banner hanging on the wall in the back of the building. I don't remember the exact words but it was something to the effect of "people say we can't provide the type of service UPS can--let's prove them wrong". Sorry postal service but you have a long way to go to catch up to the service that UPS provides. The people who work at my post office are the rudest, slowest, non-caring people I have ever encountered. They act as if they are doing everyone a favor by waiting on them. And the women all have fingernails that are six inches long which makes it even more difficult for them to move quickly. The postal service needs a good overhaul.
  • I'm one of those people who, like szemcumo, thinks it's a great bargain to get a piece of mail across the country for 37 cents. To my knowledge, I've never had a piece of mail get "lost," though once all my best friend's family's Christmas gifts from their Minneapolis relatives were lost either by UPS or FedEx and never recovered.

    I frequent three post offices that are on my way to various parts of towns and the clerks have been unfailingly polite and efficient. During the Christmas rush, a full-time clerk was devoted to helping people learn to use the automated device for posting one's own packages in lieu of standing in line.

    Meanwhile, my mail carrier encouraged me to install my mailbox on my front porch after a vandal knocked down the one on a post at the curb, even though the curbside boxes were supposedly required for my neighborhood and my front porch box requires my carrier to park and get out of his truck.
  • I just share some of the other's thoughts here that I have never had a postal carrier who was not pleasant and helpful, almost to a fault. But, go into the PO and they all seem to be belligerant, deliberately inefficient, irrascible, cantankerous _________ fill in the blank. On the other had, we have had a satellite office open in the local mall, and the folks there are the nicest, most helpful folks in the mall. There mjust be an explanation, but I sure don't know what it is!
  • Perhaps the Post Office people are rubbing off on one of our office workers. She refuses to put a return address (using the stamp) on outgoing mail. Next time she says something, I think I'm going to say "Yes, I would like a return address on that. Thanks for taking care of it for me."

    Then I'll have to work on her acting like I've asked for her firstborn child when I send a COBRA notice that has to go certified.

    Our normal postal worker here in small town Nebraska is also our postmaster. He's a sweet, fuzzy-haired gentleman that was actually excited when I moved here before getting married because my wedding invitations and thank yous increased their mail levels. He will order any type of stamp I want, just to keep business up.

    However, in Colorado Springs, I would just about need prozac to do a bulk mail. There were different rules every time I went, and I had a 50% chance of leaving in tears. I also feared getting poked with a four inch fingernail.
  • I remember a mailman named Joe Correro in my hometown of Cleveland, MS, heart of the MS Delta, Cotton Country. Anyway, Joe and his family were known by everybody in town and Joe knew everybody in town, their kids, their dogs, their problems. How in the world he managed to hustle that huge, long route on foot all those years I will never know. He never 'did not' smile. He never snapped at anybody. He always came up on porches with mail and knocked on doors like my mama's, he never asked a favor, he probably always accepted a cool drink of water. It was probably before unions or if they 'were' unionized, you'd never know it. Joe was a dear, dear man and I along with thousands of others, still miss him and I know that his picture in the dictionary in Heaven appears next to the word 'service'.
  • The summer before I was five years old I took a bad fall and fractured my neck. Although there was no cord damamge I was flat on my back for what seemed like forever. Mom would let me lie outside on the big porch. Our postman was my regular company and would bring me soap bubbles, comic books, and an occasional orange push-up. He was my hero that summer. I try to offer my current postman cold lemonade or hot cocoa depending on the weather and always tip at Christmas.
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