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.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.
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.
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.