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  #21  
Old 20 August 2007, 02:31 AM
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Canuckistan Canuckistan is offline
 
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
You've obviously never worked for the USPS. My experience with them was that the mindless following of rules was their primary function, and actually processing mail was a distinctly secondary activity. Even worse, the "rules" were typically ones supervisors invented on the spot.
I've never worked for the USPS, but I have had these types of bosses before. And it was somehow my fault that I didn't know that the rules had changed. Even when they changed to contradict the official company line.

Yeah, I cried too at their retirements. And for the same reason as you.
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  #22  
Old 20 August 2007, 02:53 AM
LadyAbaxa
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
You've obviously never worked for the USPS. My experience with them was that the mindless following of rules was their primary function, and actually processing mail was a distinctly secondary activity. Even worse, the "rules" were typically ones supervisors invented on the spot.

- snopes
I don't work for the USPS but my BIL does and he tells stories of stopping to chat or feed squirrels while he's out of his truck. He also gets his route done on time and doesn't overtly try to shirk carrying bulk mail. In my city there's way too many carriers spread out too far to expect actual supervision out on the routes.

Now, if a supervisor saw a carrier delivering mail to a blocked mail box and decided to fire them on the spot I'd think that would have more to do with that carrier already having problems with their work (complaints against them, not showing up for work, etc) then company policy. Cruddy management plagues every industry, not just mail services.
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  #23  
Old 20 August 2007, 03:10 AM
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Starla Starla is offline
 
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My neighborhood has a very eccentric mail carrier. When we moved into our newly-built house he knocked on our door and asked us to move our mailbox onto our neighbor's property. He also claimed that the box's height was wrong and we needed to lower it significantly. When Mr. S expressed surprise that the carrier wanted us to place the box lower than the Postmaster General's requirements our carrier claimed we made that up and that he got to choose where the mailbox went! [We did speak to the town Postmaster to straighten things out.]

He has spoken to neighbors several times about various mailbox blockage issues [the cul-de-sac was built quite poorly from a mail delivery POV] and one of his favorite things is to mutter "I'm not supposed to have to leave my vehicle." Considering that he overstates his case often, I would be surprised to learn he is understating this one.

Not that that proves anything at all.
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  #24  
Old 20 August 2007, 03:05 PM
jespur62
 
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The Post Master at each Post Office has a great amount of control over his coverage area. He cannot disregard union agreements and a few specific regulations, but other than that it is his/her empire.
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  #25  
Old 20 August 2007, 05:37 PM
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robbiev robbiev is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Starla View Post
... and one of his favorite things is to mutter "I'm not supposed to have to leave my vehicle."
This is on topic, but completely irrelavent, and I sort of already said it:

Here, postal route drivers HAVE to leave their vehicle, at least, much of the time. Most of the boxes here attached to a wall of the house, and are not at the street. For instance, my mailbox is bolted to the brick exterior of my house right next to the front door. The front of my house is 20 or 25 feet from the street. My mailman has to actually come up onto my porch to bring the mail (as he does with most of the other houses in my area).

On a side note, I really like my mail guy. He's an older fellow (which really has nothing to do with it) and very nice. A year or so ago when I had a package apparently stolen by someone at the post office (a postal worker) he personally helped me track it as much as we could. I was never able to determine who stole the package, but the senders insurance eventually paid for it and replaced the contents.
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  #26  
Old 20 August 2007, 06:01 PM
Sly Dog
 
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Default I was a Letter Carrier

I am a former USPS City Carrier. Maybe I can clear something up. Rural Carriers and City Carriers are not the same job and are not paid the same way. Rural Carriers are essentially a rolling Post Office and can sell stamps, do most functions that a Post Office does. They are paid based on the volume of mail they deliver. This is adjusted once each year and for the rest of the year they receive a set amount in salary each pay period.

City Carriers are paid by the hour. There are mounted City routes and dismounted city routes. On a mounted route the carrier drives and delivers mail to curbside boxes. They frequently have to exit the vehicle to deliver parcels or to obtain signatures. What they do not have to do is deliver mail to a blocked mailbox. This is for safety as well as efficiency reasons. On a dismounted route the carrier parks his/her vehicle and delivers mail from a satchel, usually going up one side of the street and down the other, returning to the vehicle and pickup usp another relay for an adjacent block.

Street Observations by supervisors are common. Usually the Carrier doesn't know he is being observed. It is a routine function which, obviously, can be used to target a carrier who has gotten on the bad side of his supervisor.

As for being 'fired on the spot', that isn't very likely. Suspended maybe, but not fired. Might be fired the next day or the next week, but to be fired "on the spot" usually means you have been observed stealing or doing something very much prohibited, that it has been well documented (usually by the Inspection Service) and the decision was made by management to fire you. The only "on the spot" part is the moment you hear your career flushing as they take you by the arm and walk you out the door.

Sorry if this is TMI

Last edited by Sly Dog; 20 August 2007 at 06:03 PM. Reason: speeling eror
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  #27  
Old 21 August 2007, 12:52 AM
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Starla Starla is offline
 
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Originally Posted by robbiev View Post
Here, postal route drivers HAVE to leave their vehicle, at least, much of the time. Most of the boxes here attached to a wall of the house, and are not at the street.

Yeah, I know that in many neighborhoods leaving the vehicle is part of the job. In my neighborhood all the boxes are at the curb. I just think that it's unlikely that the carrier isn't allowed to leave hir vehicle (unless s/he needs to deliver special mail) because, if that were the case, my mail carrier would be muttering, "I'm not allowed to do this" instead of just "not supposed to have to."

And I love my mail carrier too. Eccentricity is the spice of life!
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  #28  
Old 21 August 2007, 02:34 AM
BamaRainbow BamaRainbow is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sly Dog View Post
I am a former USPS City Carrier. Maybe I can clear something up. Rural Carriers and City Carriers are not the same job and are not paid the same way. Rural Carriers are essentially a rolling Post Office and can sell stamps, do most functions that a Post Office does. They are paid based on the volume of mail they deliver. This is adjusted once each year and for the rest of the year they receive a set amount in salary each pay period.

City Carriers are paid by the hour. There are mounted City routes and dismounted city routes. On a mounted route the carrier drives and delivers mail to curbside boxes. They frequently have to exit the vehicle to deliver parcels or to obtain signatures. What they do not have to do is deliver mail to a blocked mailbox. This is for safety as well as efficiency reasons. On a dismounted route the carrier parks his/her vehicle and delivers mail from a satchel, usually going up one side of the street and down the other, returning to the vehicle and pickup usp another relay for an adjacent block.

Street Observations by supervisors are common. Usually the Carrier doesn't know he is being observed. It is a routine function which, obviously, can be used to target a carrier who has gotten on the bad side of his supervisor.

As for being 'fired on the spot', that isn't very likely. Suspended maybe, but not fired. Might be fired the next day or the next week, but to be fired "on the spot" usually means you have been observed stealing or doing something very much prohibited, that it has been well documented (usually by the Inspection Service) and the decision was made by management to fire you. The only "on the spot" part is the moment you hear your career flushing as they take you by the arm and walk you out the door.

Sorry if this is TMI
I was about to chime in on the last point you raised (one which I'd completely forgotten when I posted earlier), but it is absolutely next to impossible to be fired "ON THE SPOT" if you work for the USPS, if you're a "career" employee--that is, as opposed to a "casual". Career employees are typically represented by a union (even if they don't actually belong to the union or pay dues) and nearly every situation in which a career employee's job termination or dismissal is involved automatically triggers union involvement. (I write "nearly every" as there are some absolute no-nos that the unions and Postal Management are in full agreement on.) But for something like leaving the vehicle too often, even for non-job-related concerns, wouldn't result in an "on the spot" firing even if he were being tailed by a supervisor or an Inspector.
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  #29  
Old 16 October 2007, 02:27 PM
STF STF is offline
 
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Our entire neighborhood got notices once about how much room around the mailboxes to leave so the postal vehicle could get to it. I assumed people were blocking their mailboxes so they posted those reminders.
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  #30  
Old 16 October 2007, 06:00 PM
Vanilla Gorilla
 
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I have seen my postal employee get out to put mail in my mailbox ptu she would also put a pre-printed note, basically saying that your are not supposed to block a mailbox, on the windowshield of a car in front of my mailbox. Thing is there are alot of cars that park in the street in my subdivision, even though we all of driveways. Maybe that was an occasional thing she does-that is getting out of the truck/jeep to deliver the mail but also to make the residents aware to not block the mailbox.
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  #31  
Old 26 October 2008, 10:13 PM
dane1234
 
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Default blocked curbside mailbox

The claim that a mail delivery truck driver is prohibited from getting out of his/her vehicle and delivering mail by foot to a curbside mailbox that is temporarily blocked by a parked vehicle is NOT was the USPS site says.

Here is what is on the USPS site:

Mailbox blockage by a vehicle may also prevent the delivery of mail. According to our policy, the city or rural carrier should get of the vehicle to make delivery if the mailbox is temporarily blocked by a vehicle. However, if the carrier continually experiences a problem serving curbline or rural boxes where the customer is able to control on-street parking, the postmaster may withdraw delivery service.

The URL is http://faq.usps.com/eCustomer/iq/usp...00000000000%7D

So, the claims by postal employees that a mail carrier is prohibited from getting out of their vehicle and walking a fee feet to deliver to a blocked curbside mailbox is nothing but el toro doo doo.
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  #32  
Old 30 October 2008, 05:53 PM
bl76km81
 
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At one time I had a mailman who was a diabetic/alcoholic, when he worked our route he would stop in for a glass of orange juice. Occassionally my ex would give him a beer.

When he changed routes, rumors swirled that he would stop a particular house, and smoke a joint.

By the way he was President of the Letter Carriers Union.

The drinking and the diabetes caught up with him and he went into insulin shock (?) and died on his route, he wasn't even 40.
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  #33  
Old 30 October 2008, 06:14 PM
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NayShel NayShel is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dane1234 View Post
The claim that a mail delivery truck driver is prohibited from getting out of his/her vehicle and delivering mail by foot to a curbside mailbox that is temporarily blocked by a parked vehicle is NOT was the USPS site says.

Here is what is on the USPS site:

Mailbox blockage by a vehicle may also prevent the delivery of mail. According to our policy, the city or rural carrier should get of the vehicle to make delivery if the mailbox is temporarily blocked by a vehicle. However, if the carrier continually experiences a problem serving curbline or rural boxes where the customer is able to control on-street parking, the postmaster may withdraw delivery service.

The URL is http://faq.usps.com/eCustomer/iq/usp...00000000000%7D

So, the claims by postal employees that a mail carrier is prohibited from getting out of their vehicle and walking a fee feet to deliver to a blocked curbside mailbox is nothing but el toro doo doo.
Well that's interesting. We've got a hardware store at the end of our road and their delivery truck and customers were routinely blocking our mailbox which meant that we weren't getting our mail. According to the above, the carrier should have still attempted to deliver our mail but all they'd do is hold it until the next day and write "box blocked xx/xx/2008" on the envelope. It was a frustrating situation since we both work during the day and couldn't catch them in the act. We tried talking to the people at the hardware store but they basically said there wasn't much they could do. Thanks for trying asshats...

We ended moving our mailbox further up the road anyway because we also have issues with having our mailbox blocked by plowed snow in the winter. The road curves just before where our mailbox was but the plow trucks don't follow the curve of the road so all the excess coming off the plow blade dumps right in front of the mailbox. It was hell last year to keep the mailbox shoveled out due to all the snow we got. It's worth the inconvenience of having to walk a few extra feet knowing we won't have to deal with either headache anymore.
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  #34  
Old 30 October 2008, 10:03 PM
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mags mags is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
My experience with them was that the mindless following of rules was their primary function, and actually processing mail was a distinctly secondary activity.
My dad, who not too long ago retired from an around 40 year career as a letter carrier, would agree.

From what I can tell, they are working under a very outdated form of management which is intended to make employees behave as machines, very efficient machines if possible. I forget the name, I learned about it in an intro business class. It was popular in the late 1800s and early part of the last century, but it wasn't successful (imagine, treating people like machines makes them less productive), so nearly every business abandoned the model by the middle of the last century. One of the clear signs the post office was still working under this model was their penchant for sending supervisors out behind carriers to count the steps they used to deliver mail. My SO's father once worked as a mail carrier as well, and the step counting and harassment about whether he was using "too many" was one of the contributors to him receiving mental health disability.

A few years ago, dad was mentioning how the powers that be had begun to institute a new system for making sure that the carriers were consistent with the times they used on each section of their routes. They were putting bar codes at various points on the route, and the carrier was expected to scan each as they got to that point. My dad had a few years previously experienced his own nervous breakdown (in no small part due to the post office), and as he recovered (anti-anxiety drugs were a big help) he stopped taking the whole thing so seriously. Since they gave the bar code stickers to the carriers to distribute throughout the route, dad stopped by and xeroxed the sheet before going out. Thereafter, he could scan the codes whenever he damn well pleased.

However, as was mentioned, if you are a career employee, there is little you can do that will get you fired. They will make your life hell, but they won't fire you.
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  #35  
Old 31 October 2008, 01:53 PM
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Seburiel Seburiel is offline
 
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I don't work for the USPS, but I filed a complaint against a carrier last year.
A little back story:
We had just moved into the brand new house, but the construction company, to maximize profits per acre, left us with a really short driveway, and practically no room between houses (yes, all of which we knew going into the deal - it's no problem for me) so my room mate parks on the street in front of the house, as there are two cars in the garage. Well, after a while we simply stopped getting our mail, so, I'd have to call and schedule a redelivery, which would usually (though not always) happen the next day.
One day there was a furious pounding on the front door, and there was our postal carrier, face red; he proceeded to scream, at the top of his lungs how I was endangering his life by parking on the street so that he had to get out of his truck and that he wasn't going to deliver anymore, ever.
I told him, in no uncertain terms that his behavior wasn't acceptable, his response was to attempt to force his way into the house. My response was to shove him out and slam the door and lock it.
His response to this was to kick the door, then drive away. I walked out to get his truck number (didn't see one) so that I could report him. I went back inside and called the postal inspector and police. filled out a police report and made an official complaint about the carrier's behavior.
Got a lot of guff from the postal inspector, and he told me more or less this:
Postal carriers are allowed, and expected, to get out of the truck to make a delivery, unless the situation renders the delivery unsafe.
Our street is usually dead as far as traffic goes, so there shouldn't have been a problem there.
To cut this shorter, that carrier isn't on the route anymore, and the really nice woman who now delivers our mail hasn't missed a delivery yet, save for one time, when our next door neighbors double-parked in front of our house.
But that's a story for another day (or not)
-s.
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  #36  
Old 04 November 2008, 12:04 AM
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barbrainey barbrainey is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleEye View Post
If a supervisor ever followed our mail carrier he would die of a heart attack. Our mail carrier is one of the funniest people alive. He spends no time at all delivering mail and hours sitting in his truck reading magazines. When he's not doing that he's out of the truck, walking around, talking to everyone.
Your mail carrier sounds like an incompetent boob! If my mail carrier acted like that, I for one would report him to his/her supervisor! They would consequently fire him, no doubt.

Our mail carrier always gets out of his truck to deliver mail. He doesn't have to for the apartment buildings where I live because all the occupants have mailboxes for each building and these boxes are all lined up in a tight row. There are six apartment buildings and eight units to a building. Both our regular carrier and his substitute are pretty good about delivering the mail on time, too.


B. A. Rainey
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