If you’ve paid attention to the news in the last few months, you’ve no doubt noticed that the United States Postal Service has been under the microscope.
Some think the USPS is being intentionally sabotaged before the upcoming election, while others believe that the agency has not been run efficiently for some years.
Either way, it has to be an interesting place to work right now.
So what kind of craziness is going on there behind the scenes?
Let’s hear from folks on AskReddit.
1. Rural area.
“I’m a rural carrier in a very small office we have 3 routes.
We usually fly under the radar as far as big sweeping changes go but this is even effecting us. It’s something new on a weekly basis that they try and institute as part of “cost cutting measures” yet were being told we are getting new scanners in the next month and several of our nearby offices are being upgraded with the new LLV’s that were primarily rural routes that use their own vehicle.
Our dps (delivery point sequence) has routinely been messed up ever since they started making changes which I can only assume is because of them removing sorting machines or cutting hours at our distribution center.
Our package volume is the highest it’s ever been due to covid and us being the last mile delivery for fedex and ups on a lot of their packages only makes it even worse. Yet were still expected to complete our routes in the evaluated time or we can expect to end up on the “list” that gets discussed on the teleconference with all the other postmasters in the district.
I feel for my postmaster she’s a genuinely good person and they are being scrutinized for every little thing that is not up to the new standards.”
2. A mess.
Day one when they offered the covid leave… 3 clerks went out for 2 weeks to self quarantine for no reason.
We are under a state mask mandate and about 95% wore it the first day… And a steady decline since. My union steward was one of the non wearers and when asked to wear it, said he wasn’t going to so just send him home instead.
We had our start times shifted for overtime and temp carriers. 3 different start times now, which ultimately helps the only 8 hr workers as their mail should be all up and ready by the time they come in…. Yeah, no. Still asking for help.
We recently had a supervisor come back from a vacation and test positive. Stand up the day before was about a possible case with a few clerks calling B/S; that he was positive and they are putting us at risk since they didn’t tell us sooner…
And suddenly the next day we are down all of our clerks and a few others who had been around him.. 8 people in total. 7 day mandatory admin leave (since a few burned their covid leave already…)
Although the union steward who never wore a mask took the leave too…and union president (who wore it about half the time) as well.. and not just 1 week…working on 2.
Meanwhile we regularly have to cover/split 5 routes. Asked to work on my day off, even though I’m just on my own assignment not OTDL. Mandated most days with an hour or so.
It was pretty much like that before all this though. We always had a ton of lackluster carriers at my office so OT was never a concern. If we were one of the no OT offices… I can’t imagine it would go well at all.
I almost welcomed consolidated casing because we have a lot of terrible carriers who get away with giving off anything. A third of the office is 8/40 with “medical restrictions” to back it up.
As for mail, package volume is crazy. Y’all need to stop ordering from Wish. Letters and magazine stuff is down, but then there will be super heavy random days I guess when the plant catches up.”
3. Already quit.
“I got hired as a cca (city carrier assistant) in March, and actually resigned in July.
I really liked the work, but certain things were too ridiculous. I live in Virginia, and worked at a smaller office. The trucks are all SO old, nearly all of them had something broken that was waiting on repairs, and only a few had actual AC.
While there was a fan, it would just push hot air back at you (if you were coated in sweat it did kinda feel cool). While there were plenty of pretty posters saying how to deal with heat exhaustion, that was about it for aid from the upper levels. Management knew that we had a problem with heat sickness, but couldn’t do anything but continue to push the carriers to carry more in less time.
The March – August months are usually prime opportunities for training employees because mail is slow, but everyone started ordering what they needed online, burying us in packages. I left because I was going to be fired for performance, because I got really sick from the heat and couldn’t carry.
Our office was strapped for employees, and the ones who were there are swamped in work. My coworkers were decent people, but there was a bunch of office bullsh*t over the schedule, and it was a mess.
Nobody wants to report injuries, because it’s very much the post office covering their *sses from lawsuits. There were incidents at my office with a carrier vomiting from heat exhaustion, and another was bitten by a dog, but they didn’t report because they didn’t want to deal with the drama, and management turned the other way.”
4. My friend.
“From a friend that’s a carrier:
Harassment from management to make impossible times. Fake discipline issued left and right (failure to follow instructions, failure to be regular in attendance) all issued without so much as an official discussion. Mail delayed for days, up to a week on some routes.
Packages have increased to near holiday levels and they start even later now. Supervisor on drugs. 100+ degree weather and they’re told they can’t go back to the office to sit in the AC for a bit. Managers not talking COVID seriously, masks on chin, not enforcing mask rules or physical distancing rules.
Just an epic sh*tshow.”
5. Strange days.
“We lost 3 jobs and had almost all of our routes extended in the middle of the pandemic.
We had a few weeks of daily delayed mail, but that seems to have gotten back to normal in the past couple of weeks.
We are currently being harassed to move faster on said extended routes.”
6. Angry customers.
“The plant we get our mail and parcels from is extremely backed up. People have been waiting on parcels for weeks with no movement.
We either have no mail at all one day or are completely slammed the next. No matter what amount we have we are expected to do it all in the same amount of time. We are taking the brunt of angry customers when we have nothing to do with it at all (I’m a city carrier.)
We get what we get each day and that is all we can deliver. They are cutting back our overtime as well. Mail is being brought back and left for the next day which is never supposed to happen.
It’s just a lot.”
7. Pretty bad.
“My annex is in a smaller village but as of today we began receiving a larger volume of unsorted raw letters and flats.
Combine this with carriers being threatened to have their routes cut as a punishment for not finishing in time while we are experiences record level package volume its pretty bad.”
8. A lot of Amazon.
“USPS mail carrier here. Office is run pretty well.
The biggest issue that we have been dealing with is a substantial increase in Amazon packages. Christmas has always been the ‘busy’ season for postal workers but current Amazon volumes make the holiday season seem not so bad.
Package volume has consistently remained very high since October/November of last year. The worst part is that Amazon doesn’t actually deliver in my city but they do deliver to every other city in the county, making our package volume even higher.
Corporate has actually implemented many cost cutting policies that also help out carriers at the same time. I know that many people are hoping that the USPS fails, but if that happens the costs of shipping will increase dramatically.
The USPS forces other carriers to maintain competitive rates. Without the USPS, it won’t be possible for Amazon to keep the 1-2 day free shipping that has helped make Amazon so successful.”
“Simple answer is the Post Office was broken before the new guy took over, bleeding cash because of bad deals with Amazon and others, old worn our machines that constantly break, and this gigantic turd was handed to the new guy right before election season starts.
There are no good options and everyone is butt hurt over any and all changes that happen or are rumored to happen.
As for what is happening in my office, we are going through Christmas level Amazon everyday and letter volumes are all wonky with volumes not following usual tends (heavy Monday light Tuesday for example is how it usually is but there is no pattern to when it arrives anymore).
Overtime is through the roof because it takes so long every step of the way with the extra packages but we soldier on.”
10. Extra screwed.
“Our station hasn’t had any internal issues, but we have lately been having issues with receiving mail from the plant. Four times in the last month, large amounts of letters were missing.
It ranged from a third to two thirds of the DPS for all of our routes and were for every route in the station. I essentially received trays one, three, and five; but not trays two and four on three of the instances. The fourth time, it was even worse.
If you sorted trays one, three, and five into order; you must have sorted the other two. I don’t believe this kind of screw up can be accidental.
And as a bonus, every time it happened was a fairly heavy day; so when it finally came in, we were extra screwed.”
11. Outta here.
“Had a guy take a sudden retirement.
Nobody knew, he just left one day, and when we called to ask, he told us he’d retired.
That, and we’re understaffed.”
12. All kinds of news.
“In my workplace, they’re relocating as well as removing quite a few DBCS’ (mail sorting machines). They’re currently in the process of sending them out to one of our sister facilities for storage, but I highly doubt that they’re gonna be storage for long.
To put it shortly, the machines we’re removing are old models of DBCS’ and while it seems suspicious given the news stories about the Post Office scrapping hundreds of sorting machines, these old machines on our end at least have been planned to basically be scrapped for a long time; even before the new Postmaster General.
On the surface, the only reason we’re doing it now is cause mail volume is super low and package volume is very high. Speaking of…
It is packed on the floor. There were so many packages piled up for so long, that our floor drivers were having trouble navigating the place cause of all the cages of packages waiting to be processed and dealt with.
Today, it’s looking a little better, especially compared to the last few weeks, but it’s still as if we were operating during Holiday season. It’s gonna get worse again, though, as long as this pandemic is around.
When it comes to COVID, employees have had to find out who tested positive basically through hearsay and rumor because management is only allowed to call a meeting together to tell us of the number of people tested positive; nothing else as to even which department they worked in or areas they frequent.
Unfortunately, the first positive COVID cases at our facility resulted in several workers taking leave for at least two weeks; leaving us remaining working basically as a skeleton crew until they came back which didn’t help matters in regards to getting the mail out.
I can tell you for sure, a bunch of these leavers mostly saw the positive cases as an excuse to take a vacation as many of them I know now to be anti-mask, COVID deniers, etc. This situation may or may not have played a part in why management is being so vague with the COVID cases information at the facility.
Speaking of COVID, it seems like half the workers are incredibly lax about the whole thing. Sure, we have a mandated mask policy and sanitation standards where we work, but a lot of the workers I’ve seen go about their day are acting as if COVID isn’t as much of a concern; more like an annoyance.
People talk to each other with their mask down half the time, a lot just wear masks half-crocked on their face, some just wear a plastic face shield, and I think everyone at the workplace forgot about that whole 6 ft. distance thing.
What I see more of in regards to this are people just straight up complaining a lot of the time about wearing masks with some even taking their complaints straight to management CONSTANTLY.”
13. A bad scene.
“I’m a postmaster at a larger office.
Covid has decimated surrounding offices so we’re sending our carriers there to help. The carriers sorting cases have been reduce to half of the equipment that we normally have and it makes it very difficult to sort the mail now.
I have 2 vacant management positions at one of my subordinate offices and I’ve been told they won’t fill them. So an office normally run with 4 people is being run by two. 0400-1900 7 days a week.
Our vehicles are literally falling apart, a carrier was driving and the door fell off.
I’ve had 2 days in the past two weeks where I had to send my carriers to their routes with only about 25% of their mail. Our processing operation was running late, the truck was told to leave without the mail.
I’ve received numerous calls about missing packages, I look at the tracking and they’ve been sitting in a processing facility for days.
We are trying the best we can. I’ve been breaking the rules to make sure people get their mail but I know I won’t be able to do it for much longer. In the coming weeks we will start getting overloaded with campaign and election mail and I don’t know what I can do.
Please be patient with us and know this isn’t the postal employees fault. We want to do a good job, we’re proud to do what we do and we’re trying to figure out a way to make this work.”
Now we want to hear from you.
Have you noticed anything weird going on with the post office lately?
Either as a worker or as a customer?
If so, please talk to us in the comments.