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November 17, 2009

Why are SOME postal workers too lazy to get out of their trucks to deliver mail?

The U.S. Postal Service worker at left apparently doesn't work in my neighborhood...

Because ...

We live in a cul-de-sac, which has been crowded off and on over the past few weeks with trucks belonging to construction crews and landscapers refurbishing a house at the end of our court.

This house belonged to our 91-year-old neighbor who died a few months ago, and her son and daughter-in-law are doing a very nice job, getting the house fixed up (new roof, new landscaping, new paint job) to sell it.

So, apparently on Monday, a couple of these construction/landscaping trucks were blocking some of the mailboxes on our cul-de-sac, including our own. My husband, taking a day off from work, happened to look outside when the postal truck was pulling up into our court.

He saw that this not-so-friendly postal worker did not appear willing to stop, and deliver mail to residents--as is her job. That's because she saw cars blocking her ability to pull up in her truck and pop mail into mailboxes--without leaving her truck, or even her seat.

My husband had a bill to mail, so he popped outside. He saw the postal worker circle our court and bypass the mailboxes of two residents. So, he went and stood in the street. He caught her attention, forcing her to stop and to take his envelope from him.

So much for that saying: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion oftheir appointed rounds."

To be fair--and I often fail in that regard--this motto was never officially adopted by the U.S. Postal Service. (For history geeks, this motto was penned by Herodotus in 445 B.C, and he was writing about the mounted couriers of Xerxes, King of Persia. This motto wound up inscribed on the main New York City post office, erected in 1912.)

Meanwhile, here is the U.S. Postal Service's policy regarding blocked mailboxes:

"Customers are required as a condition of delivery to ensure that proper access is provided to mail receptacles. ... Mailbox blockage by a vehicle may also prevent the delivery of mail.

According to our policy, the city or rural carrier should get out of the vehicle to make delivery if the mailbox is temporarily blocked by a vehicle.

Getting out of the vehicle to make mail delivery? Wow! Who would think? This certainly does not describe the postal worker's actions on Monday.

Meanwhile, according to the above policy, the postmaster may "withdraw delivery service" if the carrier continually experiences a problem in serving curb line or rural boxes where the customer is able to control on‑street parking.

The operative words here are if the customer is able to control on-street parking.

Maybe the customer is not. We've encountered just this issue. As I said, we live on a cul-de-sac, and, because of the curve and the location of homes' driveways, on-street parking can be tricky. Not most of the time, because our cul-de-sac doesn't get lots of traffic. But once in a while, we do get crowds--as when a neighbor has a special gathering or a special construction job going on.

We learned a long time ago not to park in front of our mailbox--because a mail carrier once kindly asked us not to. So, we stopped.

But we have had a hard time controlling motorists who come to visit or work at neighbors' homes during the day, when we're not at home and when the mail truck comes by.

It became an issue Monday. And, frankly, I don't think it was our job that Monday to be patrolling the street and ensuring that our mailbox access was clear.

The presence of these trucks for the construction work on our neighbor's property did not constitute a continual obstruction. This obstruction took place several times over the course of a few weeks--not every day. The obstruction, at most, was temporary.

Per U.S. Postal Service policy, this temporary blockage of access to our mailbox and those of our neighbors should have required that postal carrier to stop her truck, get off her lazy you-know-what, exit her truck and deliver the mail--as her job requires her to do.

She didn't get off her lazy you-know-what. She did not do her job.

Just wondering if any of you have encountered similar problems with your neighborhood U.S. postal carrier. Or, maybe, just the opposite: You want to shout their praises. Whatever.

I'll complain to the supervisor at this woman's post office. We'll see if my concerns get much response.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is the service level of the post office so terrible at almost all levels? They never stop our mail as requested, the customer service in the office is terrible and someone came up with the ideas of switching the routes around. It makes the customer want to 'go postal'.

Anonymous said...

We put up a sign in front of our mailbox for the very same reason. My husband works out of our house, but still isn't always home when the mailman comes, and he's seen cars parked in front of our house even though the sign is there. Our mail person for now seems pretty nice though and has delivered mail even tho someone is parked in front of the box.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the postal service in big financial trouble. Think they could work on their customer service some more but in this era of e-mail who really cares if you get your mail. most days its just junk or bills.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Our mail carrier takes a nap every day and THEN she delivers the mail. I can see sleeping her from my house. She has been known to drop mail in our ditch (and leave it there), she is always out on disability and one day she had the gall to leave me a nasty note when my garbage can was a little too close to the mail box. I like her substitute better , he's good and consciencious.

Anonymous said...

I got one of those nasty garbage can notes. The garbage trucks come by after we've gone to work, pick em up and drop em wherever. Sometimes close to the mailbox. We don't put them there.

Like 9:41 I've had very friendly carriers who do their job.

Anonymous said...

My mail carrier (who is great, friendly and hard working) stopped yesterday to tell me that the routes are going to be resized again in WC at the end of the year. And there are up to 20 extra employees at the Walnut Creek Post Office who may be relocated elsewhere at that time! Routes were just made larger at the end of the summer due to declining volume of mail.

Anonymous said...

What is it with all that bickering? I love the US Postal Service. I can't remember them ever having lost a piece of my mail and to think that they deliver a letter for less than 50 cents all the way across the continent in just a couple of days.

Maybe all the people complaining should know that they have another option. Why don't you use FedEx?

Anonymous said...

I am happy with the service I receive from USPS.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, and their coworkers at the IRS are even less customer oriented. I wonder what the problem could be?

Anonymous said...

www.nytimes.com/1988/01/31/weekinreview/the-nation-critics-say-privatizing-the-post-office-is-long-overdue.html

THE NATION; Critics Say 'Privatizing' the Post Office Is Long Overdue
By DIRK JOHNSON
Published: Sunday, January 31, 1988

Anonymous said...

The Rossmoor post office is the worst post office I have ever encountered. They would never hold our mail and if they did they would not deliver it when the hold was complete. The hours to pick up mail that was put on hold were awful. Did you know that if you fill out the form to place your mail on hold at the Rossmoor post office you are not given the choice to have the mail delivered at the end of the hold? But, if you complete the mail hold online you can request that it be delivered, but the postal carriers choose not to do so.

I used to live in the 94596 zip code and had the most wonderful mail carrier. One day I had a package and I wasn't home so the mail carrier left the slip, but he passed me going down the road. He came back to my house to deliver the package so I would not have to go down to the post office. Now that is what I call superior customer service! I so miss that mailman.

Anonymous said...

subrubs are a funny place. lazy mail-people get more comments than guns....

Anonymous said...

I love the USPS. Try mailing a letter through FedEx or another carrier, and see if you can send it from the West to the East Coast for less than $.50.

You can even track your letter for far less than it would cost to ship by FedEx.

The fact is that with all of email, epay, etc., mail volume is down and probably won't increase. USPS has to downsize, and perhaps reduce service unless they charge more.

Anonymous said...

Our carrier won't deliver packages because he says that our animals make him "uncomfortable". When I explained to the carrier and the postmaster that the only animals we have are chickens (egg laying, 6 pound, bug eating chickens) he still refuses because they make him uncomfortable. For goodness sakes they aren't pit-chickens. I'm pretty sure that what makes the carrier "uncomfortable" is getting his butt out of that little truck.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a neighborhood where the mailman was friendly, always greeted everyone, even wore a Santa hat during Christmas time - guess what? He did it all on foot, and he still does! The only time I saw him in the truck was when he was moving from block to block or going back to the office.

What a contrast to our current mail carrier, who won't leave her truck no matter what. If our garbage cans are too close to our mailbox (this can mean anywhere from six to twenty feet), she will skip our house.

The only time I've ever seen her out was when she decided to come up to my door several months ago while I was home and complain to me about my garbage cans being in the way.

I asked them where she would like me to put them, and her answer was basically to put them on my neighbor's property instead.

Anonymous said...

You have NO IDEA what these peopele go through. Mail carriers are timed for efficiency now. Down to the very minute they hit the time clock. Postal bosses could care less if your mail is delivered - they only care about how fast they can deliver the mail and get back to the station. They don't care about customer service.

Mail carriers are monitored, timed by stop watch, forced to work unpaid overtime and harrassed by postal management on a daily basis.

Most often carriers will deliver the mail, even if the mailbox is blocked. When they have a reason not to, under pressure and in a hurry and working overtime for free and pissed off - no they won't. You civilians have NO idea...

Anonymous said...

I'm fed up with USPS! Our postal delivery woman is too lazy to get out and walk packages to our door. Instead she crams the box so full the front of the mail box doesn't close properly (a major problem when experiencing inclement weather!) Several of my neighbors have walked me mail (magazines, bills, etc.) that had been miss-delivered, and these are people who live on the street behind me.

And in response to the post above mine: nearly every job these days is under heightened scrutiny regarding productivity and efficiency. What bothers me is if other professions were operating as ineffectively as the post office they'd be fired. Whenever I have the choice I now choose UPS or FedEx because it means better & more consistent service than USPS.

Now if all this poor service I'm experiencing is a direct result of gov't cut backs, then let the public know. But this isn't new behavior from my personal experience, it's been happening for at least 3 years since I've lived in my new city.

Anonymous said...

Our postal worker had a certified letter to deliver to us, today. She did not ring our door bell. Instead she honked repeatedly, long, loud burst of sound and did not stop until a passerby stopped and asked what her problem was. She simply did not want to get out of her car. We have no dogs. We were all home, just in a far part of the house where we could not hear her honking, but would have heard the bell ring. There are far too many people who are unemployed, who are hard workers, and eager to find work for this woman to be so lazy. If it was the first time she has been lazy, or dropped mail in water, or delivered our mail to someone else, or others' mail to us, I probably would be less irritated. She just appears to b lazy and not competent to handle delivering mail. As for the sleeping carrier: Get it on video, post it on YT, send it to the PMG and send it to your local TV News stations. Anonymously, lest you get mail-flu in retaliation.

Anonymous said...

I too have problems with my delivery driver, she too seems too lazy to get off the dam truck.

Its ironic how you also mentioned in the article that the problems you were having was with a woman delivery driver.

I never had any problems with a MALE delivery driver from MY experience with them. I had about 4 delivery drivers who were too lazy and they have all been woman.

Anonymous said...


we too have a lazy woman carriers, by the looks of her she needs a little walking outside the truck. she manages to get out of delivery packages to friends on the street the rest of use get the slips to go pick up. Last christmas we had a package that wa at the post office christmas eve, that wold have certainly fit insid the mailbox, of course we get the slip to pick up, nice since the post office closed at noon and she delivered our mail at 1:00pm.so stay outta the carver,ma p.o.
wife order two things from ebay , both arrived broken, when my wife complained about it they made it to be her fault