Postal Employees Discuss the Craziness That Is Their Jobs Right Now

No doubt about it, the United States Postal Service would be a very interesting and a very hectic place to work right now.

The USPS has been under scrutiny this year by certain politicians and things are only going to get more insane as we near the election in November.

Whatever side of the fence you’re on, you have to admit that folks who work at the USPS right now are under the gun and the environment on the job must be pretty intense.

Here’s what folks on AskReddit had to say about what’s going on there.

1. Overwhelmed.

“My mom runs a small office, and I came to visit her and my dad after work last week. I found her crying in their kitchen just slouched into my dad’s arms.

She was sobbing about how she couldn’t keep this up. The mail slowing down at the main hubs just builds up and when it eventually gets to her, she’s dealing with 3 times as much as mail and packages than her busiest time, Christmas (~600 packages when I spoke to her last), and now has to deal with irate customers demanding to know where their stuff is. All by herself.

She’s got bruises up and down her arms from hustling to get the mail processed and out. Add to that the stress of worrying every day if she’s she’s going to lose her job and her benefits.”

2. Slammed.

“I supervise a large station in a major city where the Postmaster runs over 20 post offices.

Last summer this office was a ghost town at 1700, even on Mondays. Tonight my last carrier came in at 1845. Saturday one year ago, parcel volume was a little under 3900. Tonight it was 8751.

Our base hours are 412.53, today we earned 435.36 but probably hit 455. DOIS is only allowing 60 seconds per parcel, but since all these apartment offices are closed due to C19, everything gets run to the door.

Complaints and inquiries are insane, too – mail delays and packages dropped at doors means a lot of angry customers.

All in all, right now I wish I’d stayed a mail handler. Stations are madhouses. But the carriers are toughing it out, generally keep it on an even keel, and everyone has each other’s backs for the most part.

This station has kept its reputation as a big family, so it hasn’t become ugly. Just difficult.”

3. Saving space?

“I am a USPS carrier.

The latest thing that affects us personally is they are reducing our cases (these are tall shelves that have every address on our route in order for the mail that we need to manually sort) from 2 cases to one to “save space”.

The best way that I can explain this is: you have a normal 2 drawer file cabinet, not jam packed full but each drawer is 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Now combine both drawers into 1. I will remind you that you need to fill it up every morning in order, sometimes stuffing things in to fit, then remove it in order to do the rest of your job.

The best part is the second case was also acting like a barrier from covid-19 from coworkers. Now they are going to remove it and replace it with plexiglass.”

4. Frustrated.

“They’ve removed 5 of our letter sorting machines (4 DBCS, 1 DIOSS) as well as a flat sorter (AFSM) and I think an FSS machine but that is not a part of the building I am routinely in.

Before, we would stay at work until all of our mail was finished, if it was 8 hours or 10 or 12, didn’t matter, the mail has to go out. Now, we are being forced to leave behind mail if we can’t finish in time, even if it is first class mail (something that would get us written up easily before).

The mail we push back is ran first the next day, so luckily only a day delay, but still unacceptable IMO. We are taking election mail incredibly seriously though, and any mail marked as political or election related is processed ASAP.

I am extremely serious about protecting the integrity of the mail. It is disappointing and frustrating that our new postmaster general is not.”

5. Broken down.

“I don’t think people realize how old and decrepit most of the delivery vehicles are.

A typical LLV probably has 300-400k miles and any scratches are literally painted with white house paint. Customers love to ask “Does that thing have air conditioning?” and when you tell them that you don’t even have air bags much less AC, they’re actually shocked. But damn are they perfect for the job.

We had a truck’s horn break, so when you turned the wheel it would honk. We could hear the guy driving it coming down the hill to the office… and then he arrived at the traffic circle… omg we were SOBBING with laughter.

But then it took over a month to get fixed properly and there were exposed wires on the wheel which you touched together to use the horn, like you were hot wiring the damn thing.”

6. Madness.

“We currently have over 11 beamers (big metal cages full of packages) full of first class packages including medicine and anything people have tried to send expecting 2 day shipping.

Overtime isn’t approved and we’re getting more and more backed up with first class and priority mail packages.

It’s getting worse every day.

No one is wearing masks to deliver or in the office, we’ve have 3 cases of covid, no sanitization, and people have been asked to work while they wait on their covid tests even if they have symptoms.

A few people are out for fear of covid and using their vacation or sick leave so no one else can get a day off, and we’re calling in workers from other offices to assist, putting their offices into a frenzy making them short handed.

No one is happy. Everyone is complaining, tempers are rising, some are threatening to walk out and quit, but they show up the next day anyway bc its the best paying job with no college degree in this area.

The management sucks, the supervisors are awful. They’re complaining about all of the carriers because we’re falling behind even though package volume has gone up 80% for our office since Covid hit hard in March.

Customers are complaining about us “being late” even though our daily cut off time is 7 pm, but if we’re not at their house at the time they normally expect during non pandemic and new PMG times, we’re “late” to them.

I’m expecting no Christmas tips this year, that’s for sure.”

7. Tense.

“I’m a carrier in a suburb of a large city, and honestly there’s tension.

Our sorting machines at the distribution plant were hauled off recently and quietly, a lot of the older carriers are jumping ship and retiring as quickly as they can, our trucks just aren’t getting maintained anymore, and half the damn town is so convinced that COVID is some kind of conspiracy that nobody will respect social distancing or wear a damn mask.

I’ve been at this for five years. I was lucky enough to land my own route two years ago when some carrier associates wait ten. I have benefits, I have retirement savings building up, I ACTUALLY GET VACATION DAYS.

And now some f*cker decided he wants to cheat to win again, and I’m going to lose my entire career. Every single case of carpal tunnel, every blister on my feet, every fourteen hour long day during the Christmas season, all the mountains of paperwork I did because I wanted to make my route more efficient for the benefit of my customers, and it all means nothing.”

8. Rumors.

“In the district that I work in, they’re removing one of our machines that sorts the letter mail. The PMG has also divided the Postal Service into 3 separate units, Delivery and retail, sorting units, and An analytical branch to help with logistics to make the service more profitable.

Overtime is being cut and parcels are just being delayed. New “temporary” surveys added by the PMG to track the mail volumes. And there are rumors floating around talking about every Area is going to be dismissed.”

9. A veteran.

“20 year carrier here.

They (upper management) are delaying mail like crazy in an effort curb overtime. Local management is as p*ssed as we are, and now overtime is insane.

We always complain about how incompetent management is, but the one main thing that has never changed until now is ‘Everything goes every day’

It’s obvious to us on the inside that this is a deliberate attack on the post office for personal/political gain.”

10. Delays.

“My office is probably among the better run in my area and it’s not all bad.

But the new delaying mail directives and so on has affected all crafts or positions. Let’s start with clerks: trucks have been late frequently say 4 to 5 times a week. Our clerks are in at 3 am for the first truck at 4. sometimes it doesn’t come until the second truck scheduled time (7)and it spills over their sorting when the counter is open at 8.

Basically we the carriers get sent with what we have and get alert when things are ready. Some days I’ve delivered all my packages before I got mail and vice versa. Then go out with what came. Since the directive? We have super light days followed by heavy days where start time moves from 8am to 7 am.

So no OT is BS when we have mostly rural carriers who are paid based on the evaluated route time and usually aren’t paid ot with the package influx. It’s something in their contracts that they have to do XYZ to get to pay outside of Christmas.

City carriers, which we only have a few, are expected to help out rural routes because we are paid hourly. Though it doesn’t always work the way they want because the days we only deliver minimum mail and packages are always followed by days delivering in the dark. Additionally my office is mostly part time employees so we don’t get set days off.

Though my office does try to give us each one day off. Regulars aren’t saved from this either the few we have are working their days off too. Even amazon Sundays. Before covid amazon Sundays we were always done by 3 pm if not before and no regs.

Now? We’re always out until at least 6 pm. Everyone is tired and no one really wants the imbalanced days.”

11. No more OT.

“My stepdad is a USPS employee and they’re cutting everyones overtime despite the fact that mail is just piling up.”

12. About Dad.

“My dad is a carrier and works at an office that has gone through dozens of equally incompetent postmasters over the years.

Recently his coworker whom he shares a desk with tested positive for COVID and they didn’t even notify my dad or the other employees and didn’t bother to sanitize the room.

My dad only found out because he’s friends with the guy.”

13. From the source.

“My office is fairly small and well run, so we are lucky. However, we have several employees (clerks and carriers) who are out with COVID. No one is allowed to do overtime anymore. I am sure you can see the problem with this.

One solution would be to hire more staff, but there are rules about how many employees of each type and subtype is allowed in each office. After a certain amount of hours lost, the office is allowed to hire temporary employees for a limited time. This is after the damage has been done, and employees are already stressed.

Then, a temp employee come in, and has to learn the rules, systems, routes, etc., depending on their position. It takes a month or two for a temp employee to become reasonably competent, and then their contract is up soon after.

I have friends that work in a much larger major hub post office near us, and they are still somehow being forced to work 60+ hours each week. I know of two new PSEs (basically parcel sorting monkeys) that have quit within two weeks of hiring at that big post office because they were not prepared for the crazy hours and the stress of working 1am to 1:30 pm.

It’s bananas.

We get communications from the new Postmaster General fairly regularly. The last one touted our increase in start times for carriers and a decrease in return trips. Sounds good, right?

No, this means carriers are being pushed out the door before they are ready, and that they are not being allowed to come back to pick up another load because of the new overtime rules for most offices. And that’s why your parcel is late.

I love my job (for real, it’s a great job), but DeJoy is making this difficult for all of us.

Who knows, maybe his changes will end up streamlining our business? I’m skeptical, at best.

I hope you all know that most USPS employees want you to get your mail on time, and we are still trying to help you get your stuff on time whenever possible and save you money when we can.”

How about you?

What do you think about this whole post office fiasco that is going on right now?

Talk to us in the comments and share your thoughts with us. Thanks!