Thursday, March 17, 2016

A note to my United States Postal Carrier

Dear Thin Lady with the Hoodie who stands at our subdivision mailboxes peering intently at the letters in your hand:

Please go find another job.
This is not working for us. It can't be working very well for you, either, based on the conversation I had with our postmaster one day last week, and a mail supervisor the day before. And honestly, I'm working up to another conversation with the postmaster about the quality of our mail delivery service.  (I learned also that mine was among MANY complaints received in recent weeks, so this is not new.)

I know the current carriers are training you so that they can have a little time off from their current six-day-a-week delivery schedule. I talked to your aunt. She was not helpful. She said, "I'm doing the best I can."

It isn't enough.

You actually have a handbook that describes in detail the requirements of your job as a rural postal carrier. There is a lot to learn and a great deal of reporting accountability, and I can certainly see where aspects of the job are difficult to remember.

But when you get it all together, your job is to deliver the correct mail to the address on the package/envelope, and not put it in someone else's box. You are not doing that very well. If you are dyslexic, then find a job that doesn't require you to read numbers and letters with complete accuracy.  It isn't this one.

Twice in the last two weeks, I have had packages placed in others' mailboxes (and I'm wondering now about things expected over the last few months but never received). You had no way of knowing what was inside: it could have been a priceless heirloom, a birthday gift, prescription medication, a freebie giveaway. IT DOESN'T MATTER what was inside: your job is to deliver the mail to the address. You failed to do that.

In one case, my neighbor/friend called to tell me about it, and I retrieved the package from him. In the other, it was left in someone's box who I don't know well, and it was retrieved by a Postal Service supervisor who came out to the subdivision boxes after I went to the post office to find out what to do, since the package sender had called to make sure I'd received it and was able to track it as having been placed in the parcel locker. The supervisor opened the main panel of the mailboxes and searched through all the individual slots until he found my package which, despite having been delivered the previous day, was thankfully still in the individual's locker box.

I'd really like to believe that the person in whose box it was placed would have notified me or returned it to the Post Office or left it in the box with a note that said "Misdelivered." That's what I would do.  But what if they didn't? What if it was medication that they could steal or sell? Or financial account information that could be used for identify theft? A check that could be cashed? Government documents that could jeopardize a person's medical or legal benefits? Are we going to find stacks of mail behind a dumpster that you just didn't have time to delivery properly? Yikes.
YOU are liable and responsible, missy, just as much as the person who receives mail not intended for them.

You have a solemn and clear responsibility to deliver the mail only to the person to whom it is addressed, and you did not do that. I'm now waiting on a report from my doctor who told me it was mailed last week, and then again on Tuesday. Not here yet. We'll see if it comes tomorrow. (And of course I will check with the doctor before I head for the Post Office.)

Mail delivery is not just a job, it is a trust, a contract, between the sender and the carrier to get it to where it needs to go. I have great respect for the US Postal Service for doing an immense job correctly most of the time, and I am amazed that it goes as well as it does. But you're a weak link here, and it sounds as though you've had adequate time to learn the process. Please find something else to do, for both our sakes. Because I won't stop complaining until it's right.

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