Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

What's Up With The US Post Office Lately? Mail Not Delivered, Odd USPS Behavior Seen

Half of all local letter carriers reportedly are on medical leave


December 29, 2017

Local post office feature long lines and holiday cheer. But is that really unusual?

The Postman only rings twice. But sometimes, not at all.

Some local residents complain of poor service and frankly odd behavior by the Postman lately. On social media, some residents note that delivery often occurs after 9pm and delivered by people not in uniform.

At local post offices, some days the boxes are not delivered until the end of the day. At residences, letter carriers knock at doors after dark, but do not place mail in mailboxes as they would during the day.

Regular carriers appear to be a thing of the past. Different people deliver every day, as if there were no regular routes anymore.

Packages that do not fit in regular mailbox have been left at foot of mailbox instead of at door (accessible and instruction included in shipping order on label), thus more likely to be stolen.

Some residents report a different and more disturbing problem: Missing mail containing checks.

Letter carriers themselves say they are overwhelmed with holiday mail. The post office cannot hire new personnel, due to Federal sequestration that has been in effect since the George Bush administration. Delivering the mail is an athletic occupation. About half of all letter carriers (the terms "mailman" or "postman" is considered antiquated), are on medical leave. So the remaining personnel are each handling multiple routes, leading to yet more medical leave requests.


Reader Comments(6)

Jeff writes:

The reason offices are unable to hire is because the word is out about how the usps treats people, which is horrible. We don't even get people applying anymore. In the ptf days, we were never short staffed and never short of applicants. 100% postal mgmt. created fiasco.

TruthTeller writes:

I don't know where this reporter got his information. The USPS is constantly hiring people. CONSTANTLY. Up to a 50% quit the first year. Why? Because since 2011, new rules are in place that ensure no one is hired as a career employee anymore, and the pay is not commensurate with the huge responsibility and extraordinary physical requirements. Constant heavy lifting. Walking miles every day (and night). People are quitting in droves within the first year of employment because they are not properly trained, are given dangerous work assignments, have limited benefits, and no real idea of when they will ever become a career employee. It's so bad, that even if the new employee doesn't perform up to standards or fails to come to work regularly they don't fire them because its too difficult to hire a replacement. It used to be a good job, with good pay and benefits. Now, I wouldn't recommend this job to anyone. There is no future for the USPS with this new system of hiring.

DALLAS writes:

I am a Christmas annuant and in my 30 years this is the first time I have worked in distribution at a station branch. I feel for the carriers. They have thousands of letters, hundreds of packages and that doesn't include the marriage mail (red plum) and the EDDM mailings. Yes, you may get packages at 7-8 am and mail as late as 8 pm. Often they have to make 2 trips because they don't have enough room to take all the mail. The rural carriers often make 2-4 trips. Most of the carriers work very, very hard. I can't speak for the newbies as we don't have any Christmas help at our branch (we desperately need them). If you have had a bad experience with your carrier, complain to upper management (DC), not the 800 number. MERRY CHRISTMAS

Blaswot writes:

There is NO WAY half are out. We have 70 routes, no one is out. I have friend at other stations and on social media, it’s not true. Whoever wrote this story must have interviewed management because this is the exact type of reasoning they use on us. “You wouldn’t have to carry an hour off of 89 if he didn’t call in.” We’ve had NO sick calls this week and carriers are still out until 8. They won’t bring ODL in and the CCAs quit faster than we can train them! There’s your 50%~ half of new hires QUIT before a year. No one wants to work in this circus.

Bernie writes:

As a former long time employee, most excuses they give are false. Carriers are worked to death. They can hire, either choose not to or nobody wants these jobs after finding out toxic work environment. Unfortunately the American public is stuck with this decaying institution.


Something seams wrong. Can't hire more. Sequestration applies to federal government employees. The Post Office is not part of the government. They are a corporation controlled by government oversight. They hire every Christmas to handle the extra workload.


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