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View Full Version : Postal Carrier wants me to move my car. I say I dont have to....


Meeko
12-18-2006, 04:47 PM
I'm home for the hollidays since last Wednesday. I am at home with the family, and I parked my Explorer on the street/Cul-de-sac next to our yard. As straight as one can get a non-curved car, on a non-curved stretch of road.

Mail did not come for two days in a row. Third day, we recieved an enormous amount of mail (Obviously, the three days worth).

Fast-forward to today's delivery.

Postal carrier knocked on the door and handed me the mail, and stated that I had to move my car. If I did not move my car, he would not deliver the mail, and that today was a warning.

We argued, and he didn't grasp the fact that a car/truck is way less cumbersome than 8 ft snowfall. He said that I was not only doing a diservice to me, but also my neighbor, since he couldn't get to them either.

I then said "Oh, I guess your car doesnt have a reverse on it?" and slammed the door in his face.


Do I need to move my own car, which is front of 'my' house? ((I do receive mail to this address))

Where does he get off, telling me to move my car, and what would he do if it snowed?

Back when the US mail was owned by the Govt. Wasnt it an honnor for the carriers to 'never fail' in the delivery?

silenus
12-18-2006, 04:50 PM
If your car is blocking the mailboxes in any way, the carrier is in the right. Otherwise, I'm not so sure. But they will refuse to deliver if you are in any way impeding their access to the mailbox.

Meeko
12-18-2006, 04:53 PM
If your car is blocking the mailboxes in any way, the carrier is in the right. Otherwise, I'm not so sure. But they will refuse to deliver if you are in any way impeding their access to the mailbox.

I was not in front of the box itself. Could he get the jeep type car in front of the box? That is up to debate.

Can he not walk? Don't postal carriers walk on mor crowded routes?

Where is this posted?
Did I miss that day in class?

Dinsdale
12-18-2006, 05:02 PM
Where is this posted?

Uh - here? (http://pe.usps.gov/text/dmm300/508.htm#wp1051804)

3.1.4 Clear Approach
Customers must keep the approach to their mailboxes clear of obstructions to allow safe access for delivery. If USPS employees are impeded in reaching a mail receptacle, the postmaster may withdraw delivery service.

3.2.6 Location
Subject to state laws and regulations, a curbside mailbox must be placed to allow safe and convenient delivery by carriers without leaving their vehicles. The box must be on the right-hand side of the road in the direction of travel of the carriers on any new rural route or highway contract route, in all cases where traffic conditions are dangerous for the carriers to drive to the left to reach the box, or where their doing so would violate traffic laws and regulations.

That took about a minute to find. I'm sure you could find more, and your carrier (as well as you) may have copped an attitude, but if you want your mail delivered you might want to park elsewhere.

Lamar Mundane
12-18-2006, 05:13 PM
I then said "Oh, I guess your car doesnt have a reverse on it?" and slammed the door in his face.



That's the Christmas spirit!

the PC apeman
12-18-2006, 05:18 PM
Most every one in my neighborhood has a mailbox attached to the house near their front door. The mail carrier parks and walks to a half-dozen or so houses, moves the van, repeat. (He probably does more houses at a time in the flatter areas.)

Maybe you could change to a house-mounted type mailbox or a mail-slot in your front door. I'm sure your carrier would love that.

(While my home's foundation was dug out for repairs, I set up a typical streetsedge box on a post. When construction was complete, I felt kind of bad moving the mailbox back to the front door. It's up about 8 steps.)

Dinsdale
12-18-2006, 05:20 PM
Back when the US mail was owned by the Govt. Wasnt it an honnor for the carriers to 'never fail' in the delivery?

Yeah, back in the day my mail cariers really enjoyed it when I would install ever-increasing challenges for them to over come in order to get my mail to me. Attack dogs, snake pits, moats ... those dedicated civil servants cheerily overcame any obstacle - or gladly died trying. Where need one look these days to find a little basic work ethic and pride in a job well done?

hajario
12-18-2006, 05:25 PM
Most every one in my neighborhood has a mailbox attached to the house near their front door. The mail carrier parks and walks to a half-dozen or so houses, moves the van, repeat. (He probably does more houses at a time in the flatter areas.)

You couldn't do that in my neighborhood. We are designated as the kind with street side boxes. Only older neighborhoods that are grandfathered in can have the doorway kinds.

Years ago I didn't know better and parked in front of my mail box. The postman put a flier on my car that had the appropriate regulations printed on it. You can also be denied delivery if you have too much snow or any other obstruction in front of your box.

You were being an ass when you slammed to door in the postman's face.

jjimm
12-18-2006, 05:29 PM
"Oh, I guess your car doesnt have a reverse on it?" and slammed the door in his face.Whether you're in the right or the wrong, this approach is not only hideously rude, but also a surefire way to end up with your mail rubbed generously in the sweaty asscrack of whichever mail carrier is delivering it.

Guinastasia
12-18-2006, 05:31 PM
Back when the US mail was owned by the Govt.


Is this a whoosh? Last time I checked, the government is STILL in charge of the mail.

Wee Bairn
12-18-2006, 05:44 PM
I tried to fight this battle once, and lost. If they can't get their trucks to drive in front of the box with ease, they do not have to deliver your mail. You don't like it, you can pick up your mail at the post office. This is one of those battles not worth the effort, because you ain't gonna win.

FatBaldGuy
12-18-2006, 06:23 PM
Where does he get off, telling me to move my car, and what would he do if it snowed?
Just so you don't think we're ignoring this part of your childish rant, if it snowed and he couldn't get access to your mailbox, he would not deliver mail until you cleared a path.

Meeko
12-18-2006, 06:30 PM
Just so you don't think we're ignoring this part of your childish rant, if it snowed and he couldn't get access to your mailbox, he would not deliver mail until you cleared a path.

Again, I thought it was an old motto / tradition / saying that weather [listed in various forms] will not keep the USPS from making its rounds.

Q.E.D.
12-18-2006, 06:32 PM
Sure, the postal carrier is being a bit pissy about it. Unfortunately for you, he's also well within his rights. Even if he weren't, there are two broad groups of people you don't want to piss off: the people who handle your food where you can't see it, and the people who deliver things to your house. It's the price we pay for peace of mind. You need to apologize profusely to that man.

Guinastasia
12-18-2006, 06:33 PM
Again, I thought it was an old motto / tradition / saying that weather [listed in various forms] will not keep the USPS from making its rounds.

It's a saying, not actual policy. And while the weather itself might not prevent the mail from being delivered, (providing there isn't a state of emergency in severe weather), a mailbox that has been blocked WILL.

Q.E.D.
12-18-2006, 06:33 PM
Again, I thought it was an old motto / tradition / saying that weather [listed in various forms] will not keep the USPS from making its rounds.
Mottoes are not legally binding.

According to Pliny
12-18-2006, 06:41 PM
I used to work at the post office. Complain to either the Postmaster or Assistant Postmaster.
It's sometimes hard to get the number from the main website, but they are usually listed if you enter "Post Office" into the Yahoo Yellow Pages - http://yp.yahoo.com/

Usually they just want things to go smoothly, so they will tell the carrier to back off. If they don't, then it must really be a problem.

Sapo
12-18-2006, 06:43 PM
Mrs Sapo (the postal carrier) just had a good laugh at this. No clear access to your mailbox, no mail.

There are different types of routes, All walking, Park and Loop, All riding, Clusters only, etc. If you live in an area where you need to have a streetside mailbox, that's the last of it. A car blocking your box (even if it is not yours) means no delivery. After several days (the first they just assume it is happenstance) they will notify you that you must clear the box. If in that period you don't comply, they will put a hold in your address. That means they won't even attempt to deliver (i.e. they won't have your mail in the truck) until you go there and notify them that the box is clear.

It kinda sucks, but consider that he has to deal with an entire route full of people who think THEIR mail is super special and important. Making favours and exceptions only gets them in trouble.

Oh and yes, the car does have a reverse. They are only supposed to use in the designated spots on the route (and they do anything to avoid having reverse points in the route) and if a supervisor finds him reversing where he shouldn't he gets in trouble. If he has an accident while reversing, he is in a world of trouble.

Ferret Herder
12-18-2006, 07:08 PM
Again, I thought it was an old motto / tradition / saying that weather [listed in various forms] will not keep the USPS from making its rounds.
Yeah, it's a nice motto, but it says "neither rain nor snow nor dark of night." It doesn't include things like "jerk customers setting up an obstacle course," nor does it supersede local snow removal laws if you're getting ideas about that, by the way. My husband faced a door-slot mailbox past a set of front stairs where not only were they not shoveled, but the resident's kids had turned it into a literal snow slope for sledding down. He rubber-banded the mail up and tossed it on the porch, being nice since he could have taken it back to the office. The next day, the resident told him that she thought he had to deliver it into the box regardless. :smack:

My husband says the policy at his particular office would probably be to "dismount" for the occasional obstruction but not deliver for repeated instances - doing that every day would slow down the carrier on the route, especially if they let everyone do it, and it could pose a risk to the carrier in some cases.

And reversing? In the street when not absolutely required? Hell no. You try to back up a brick-shaped vehicle with all of those odd mirrors and see how often you want to do it, especially when you're trying to not hit a customer's car or mailboxes. Where my husband works, he absolutely cannot back up his vehicle except for specially-designated situations/locations, or face suspension. (Apparently the risk for/incidence of accidents in these vehicles is too great.)

Harmonious Discord
12-18-2006, 07:16 PM
The way you did it works get if you don't recieve bills to the house, and only do on-line billing. You can stop recieving the 90% unwanted garbage in your life. You can legally park there, but they will legally require you to pick up the mail from the post office, if you do. They don't always keep it either. Sometimes they send your mail back to the sender with a note of undelverable. The sent one important documant back to the sender once because one day the county highway crew blocked access for a couple hours. The mail got delevered after that day like normal, except for the important one that got sent back as undeliverable to the sender. We found out because the sender told us over the phone.

Mangetout
12-18-2006, 07:17 PM
Whether you're in the right or the wrong, this approach is not only hideously rude, but also a surefire way to end up with your mail rubbed generously in the sweaty asscrack of whichever mail carrier is delivering it.
Or worse - after all, this is a postal worker we're talking about - slamming the door in his face might be equivalent to saying "Oooh! Oooh! When you go on a killing spree, Shoot ME, Shoot ME first!"

brad_d
12-18-2006, 07:21 PM
Suppose my neighbor decides that the best place for him to park his '86 Buick is directly in front of my mailbox, resulting in my mail delivery eventually being put on hold. Further suppose he tells me to get stuffed when I ask him to park elsewhere: "It's a public street, Buddy. I'll park where I want."

What are my options at this point? Is he breaking any laws?

kanicbird
12-18-2006, 07:24 PM
IIRC that motto (neither snow, nor rude owners of SUV's parking in the way, nor dark of night...) is not of the USPS, but a courier service that build a building and had their motto set in stone, then the USPS bought the building and never removed the motto. IIRC it is the USPS on 8th ave and 33rd st in NYC.

But besides that, why would you purposely make someone's job difficult? Can't you just park in some place that won't cause problems?

Guinastasia
12-18-2006, 07:26 PM
Suppose my neighbor decides that the best place for him to park his '86 Buick is directly in front of my mailbox, resulting in my mail delivery eventually being put on hold. Further suppose he tells me to get stuffed when I ask him to park elsewhere: "It's a public street, Buddy. I'll park where I want."

What are my options at this point? Is he breaking any laws?

Simple-you call the cops, and they'll send a tow-truck, I would imagine.

Ferret Herder
12-18-2006, 07:29 PM
Suppose my neighbor decides that the best place for him to park his '86 Buick is directly in front of my mailbox, resulting in my mail delivery eventually being put on hold. Further suppose he tells me to get stuffed when I ask him to park elsewhere: "It's a public street, Buddy. I'll park where I want."

What are my options at this point? Is he breaking any laws?
My letter carrier husband says to call the post office and either talk to your carrier or a delivery supervisor, explaining the situation. Either they'll make an exception for you, or maybe try to deal with your neighbor too.

the PC apeman
12-18-2006, 07:48 PM
...
And reversing? In the street when not absolutely required? Hell no. You try to back up a brick-shaped vehicle with all of those odd mirrors and see how often you want to do it, especially when you're trying to not hit a customer's car or mailboxes. Where my husband works, he absolutely cannot back up his vehicle except for specially-designated situations/locations, or face suspension. (Apparently the risk for/incidence of accidents in these vehicles is too great.)
Are mail delivery routes this micromanaged? We had a substitute carrier one week - a young (20-ish) guy with a serious attitude problem. Unfortunately for him, I had a concrete delivery one day during his stint and it was blocking the width of the street.

He griped and stomped his feet and demanded that I move the mixer. Well, it wasn't my mixer to move. Maybe I could have asked the contractor (who ordered the cement) to ask the driver but none of us thought that should be necessary.

So for the next 15-20 minutes the carrier sat in his van pouting and listening to his iPod. Did he do the cul-de-sac behind him that he normally delivers after my street? No. Did he go around the block and access the street from the other direction. No? He just sat there, pouted, and waited.

Could it really have been that he had no discretion in the matter?

Enola Straight
12-18-2006, 07:49 PM
[postalworker/]"Say ...that's a nice car...it sure would be a shame is something were to happen to it"[postal worker]

That, and are you sure he dosen't collect AK-47s?


Do yourself a favor, and don't aggravate a stranger with an already stressful job.

David Simmons
12-18-2006, 09:56 PM
Of course you don't have to move your car. You will move it, though, when you drive to the post office to pick up your mail which the postman won't deliver.

Sapo
12-18-2006, 10:12 PM
Are mail delivery routes this micromanaged? We had a substitute carrier one week - a young (20-ish) guy with a serious attitude problem. Unfortunately for him, I had a concrete delivery one day during his stint and it was blocking the width of the street.

He griped and stomped his feet and demanded that I move the mixer. Well, it wasn't my mixer to move. Maybe I could have asked the contractor (who ordered the cement) to ask the driver but none of us thought that should be necessary.

So for the next 15-20 minutes the carrier sat in his van pouting and listening to his iPod. Did he do the cul-de-sac behind him that he normally delivers after my street? No. Did he go around the block and access the street from the other direction. No? He just sat there, pouted, and waited.

Could it really have been that he had no discretion in the matter?

Yes they are that micromanaged. And no he didn't have much discretion in the matter. There is a lot of answering to do if you are found out of your route.

The problem with your new carrier was probably aggravated by the fact that didn't KNOW how to navigate around that obstacle. It would have messed up his sequence and he wouldn't have known how to pick up his trail again (think ants in "A Bug's Life"). Your regular carrier might have been able to deal with it better.

GiantRat
12-18-2006, 10:17 PM
While in college, I worked for USPS as a Casual Carrier (that is, an un-uniformed temporary carrier). From what I remember, USPS was largely (if not entirely) self-sufficient financially, but is still a Federal agency, FWIW. More importantly, USPS policies regarding driving routes (and driving to park-and-loop route stops) were largely written with an eye toward safety. Having driven an LLV (the aluminum cheesebox on wheels that's become ubiquitous), I can say that reverse should only be used when absolutely vital (i.e., parking the thing in the Post Office's loading bay. There's no rearview mirror (since there's no rear window), and reversing using just the side mirrors leaves a big blind spot right where you least want it - your direction of travel while reversing. You having to park somewhere else is a small price to pay to avoid having a kid chasing a ball into the street getting killed by a Postal worker who can't see him.

scr4
12-18-2006, 10:21 PM
So what you guys are saying is, if there is a car near the mailbox, so the carrier cannot reach the mailbox without stepping out of the van and walking 10 feet, he would choose not to deliver to that mailbox?

Jackmannii
12-18-2006, 10:23 PM
You need to apologize profusely to that man.Or tender a polite apology accompanied by some fine baked goods.

I doubt your family is really happy about losing mail service merely for your parking convenience.

I and at least half the people on my block got curt notices awhile back to mount our curbside mailboxes 18 inches higher within 72 hours, or have mail delivery suspended. Aapparently the new Mail Delivery Czar drove a taller vehicle and found it inconvenient to reach down into the boxes which had served just fine for years. Enough people squawked so that the deadline was graciously extended to 10 days, but we all dutifully went out and got new posts.

You don't mess with the Postal Service.

For the old-fashioned "neither rain nor snow..." delivery types, take the bozos who drop off the free Weekly Suburban Pissant newspaper and ad fliers. Nothing will stop them from completing their appointed rounds...on your driveway, in your flower beds...

ParentalAdvisory
12-18-2006, 10:58 PM
So what you guys are saying is, if there is a car near the mailbox, so the carrier cannot reach the mailbox without stepping out of the van and walking 10 feet, he would choose not to deliver to that mailbox?

I think that's it. While it was rude how you acted toward the carrier, I feel that if a car is obstructing the mail box, it is not a lot to ask to step out of the carrier vehicle and put the mail in the frickin' mailbox. These vehicles are not space capsules, you can get out of them after you launch from the post office.

ParentalAdvisory
12-18-2006, 11:01 PM
*You as in the OP, not you scr4.

Neptunian Slug
12-18-2006, 11:11 PM
Most every one in my neighborhood has a mailbox attached to the house near their front door. The mail carrier parks and walks to a half-dozen or so houses, moves the van, repeat. (He probably does more houses at a time in the flatter areas.)

Maybe you could change to a house-mounted type mailbox or a mail-slot in your front door. I'm sure your carrier would love that.

(While my home's foundation was dug out for repairs, I set up a typical streetsedge box on a post. When construction was complete, I felt kind of bad moving the mailbox back to the front door. It's up about 8 steps.)

You're lucky. Apparently, the USPS is forcefeeding my neighborhood with curbside boxes. I had to get one since I was new to the neighborhood. So now about five houses out of 100 or so have a curbside mailbox. That will really improve effienciency. I am sure they will force everyone to convert soner or later.

Mr. Slant
12-18-2006, 11:16 PM
If they get really evil they'll put one of those conglomerated mailbox deals at the end of the street. Now THOSE are the devil.

hajario
12-18-2006, 11:32 PM
So what you guys are saying is, if there is a car near the mailbox, so the carrier cannot reach the mailbox without stepping out of the van and walking 10 feet, he would choose not to deliver to that mailbox?

Multiply that by three hundred houses and you might understand why.

susan
12-18-2006, 11:57 PM
I don't mind the conglomerate boxes since they added locked package boxes as well. I've never had my mail ripped off or unwanted non-USPS mail put in the box when I've had one of those, rarely wind up with missing mail or someone else's mail, and still have a personal relationship with my mail carrier.

Ferret Herder
12-19-2006, 07:02 AM
Multiply that by three hundred houses and you might understand why.
Exactly. That's why I noted above that a rare occasion is probably fine, but repeated instances are another matter entirely. The whole point of a driving route is to be able to drive up to each box, lean out, and put the mail in. Cars behind the postal vehicle will expect slow driving with a series of very brief stops. When it turns into "drive forward, secure parking brake, unbuckle seat belt, hop out of vehicle, close door, walk to box, put mail in, open door, hop in, buckle up, take parking brake off, continue forward" then suddenly the drivers behind you don't know what to expect from your vehicle, and your time for each stop where this happens has probably tripled, messing up your delivery time, and probably pissing off your supervisors because if enough people do it you're suddenly getting overtime on this route that has been planned out for you to fit in under that time. So it's not just the letter carrier's convenience at stake, but safety issues, USPS budgets, etc.

Athena
12-19-2006, 07:11 AM
what would he do if it snowed?

I can tell you from experience, if it snowed to the point where he couldn't pull his car up to the mailbox, he wouldn't deliver the mail. As many others have said, it's the recipient's responsibility to provide a clear path to the mailbox; that includes snow removal.

We happen to pay for snow removal service. Our plow guy does our drive and then cuts a swath by the mailboxes. Even with that, we sometimes get a notice in our mailbox saying that we need to do it better.

MsWhich
12-19-2006, 08:07 AM
I would further point out that some carriers who have mounted routes (i.e., driving routes) have physical conditions that prevent them from doing a walking route and so no, they really can't park the truck and walk 10 feet (especially not multiple times over the course of an entire route) when your mailbox is blocked.

In addition to the other excellent reasons listed earlier by Ferret Herder and others, that is.

the PC apeman
12-19-2006, 09:26 AM
You're lucky. Apparently, the USPS is forcefeeding my neighborhood with curbside boxes. I had to get one since I was new to the neighborhood. So now about five houses out of 100 or so have a curbside mailbox. That will really improve effienciency. I am sure they will force everyone to convert soner or later.Yes, I see how lucky we are in this neighborhood. I suspect part of the reason are our narrow two-lane streets with one lane of parked cars. Half of us would have to have our mailboxes across the street in someone else's yard*.


* I know it's actually city property to about 10' out from the street but that's not the way people think of "their property" around here.

scr4
12-19-2006, 09:40 AM
... some carriers who have mounted routes (i.e., driving routes) have physical conditions that prevent them from doing a walking route and so no, they really can't park the truck and walk 10 feet ...
What do they do about packages?

David Simmons
12-19-2006, 09:44 AM
* I know it's actually city property to about 10' out from the street but that's not the way people think of "their property" around here.In most cases isn't it an easement in case the city needs some extra room when doing street repairs? If that's the case, you don't have an easement to put your mailbox on their property.

Sapo
12-19-2006, 09:46 AM
There are normally some trucks with just packages. This prevents regular routes to be too messed up in their timing by dealing with packages. If it is one or two, then fine, if there are too many or if the carrier is uncapable of delivering them (because they are light duty only) then the package truck delivers them.

Harmonious Discord
12-19-2006, 09:56 AM
Yes, I see how lucky we are in this neighborhood. I suspect part of the reason are our narrow two-lane streets with one lane of parked cars. Half of us would have to have our mailboxes across the street in someone else's yard*.


* I know it's actually city property to about 10' out from the street but that's not the way people think of "their property" around here.

The mial boxes around here were all on one side of the street for decades. They delivered in one direction and did a loop. They switched the businesses to a different carrier now, so thy have the boxes on the other side of the road now, and some residents still have to cross the street.

the PC apeman
12-19-2006, 10:21 AM
In most cases isn't it an easement in case the city needs some extra room when doing street repairs? If that's the case, you don't have an easement to put your mailbox on their property.Well, looking at a surveyor's map of my neighborhood, the properly lines are clearly 10' from the curb. This was an issue here for some folks doing remodeling. The building code set backs are measured from the property line, not the curb.

Anaamika
12-19-2006, 10:40 AM
Multiply that by three hundred houses and you might understand why.
Not to mention that every time he has to do that, my mail further down the line gets more and more delayed. I don't think that's fair at all and I prefer the rules that says everyone has to have their mailbox cleared.

Mailmen have their routes planned out just right so they can get to everyone in the same day. If they have it planned so it's "drive-stop-put mail in/repeat" and then suddenly they have to get out for even 10 houses, it's going to put the whole route behind. And I don't think the rest of the route should have to put up with that so 10 people can park where they wish!

Queuing
12-19-2006, 10:52 AM
Do yourself a favor, and don't aggravate a stranger with an already stressful job.

I have never understood why postal work is considered so stressful. To be honest it seems like a pretty easy job to me, can anyone explain?

Mr. Slant
12-19-2006, 11:00 AM
There are normally some trucks with just packages. This prevents regular routes to be too messed up in their timing by dealing with packages. If it is one or two, then fine, if there are too many or if the carrier is uncapable of delivering them (because they are light duty only) then the package truck delivers them.

This raises a question I've had.
I've started selling used books online.
I know that my carrier is glad to pick up a box or two with pre-printed media mail labels on it from my residential mailbox.
How many individually boxed books would I have to leave out before my carrier got annoyed with me?
Is that just something they cope with as part of their business operations plan?

brad_d
12-19-2006, 11:02 AM
My letter carrier husband says to call the post office and either talk to your carrier or a delivery supervisor, explaining the situation. Either they'll make an exception for you, or maybe try to deal with your neighbor too.Thanks. :)

If my neighbor refused to negotiate with the post office, as well, would they be able to suspend his delivery as a means of encouraging compliance? Have you or your husband ever heard of a situation like this actually happening?

Mr. Slant
12-19-2006, 11:07 AM
I have never understood why postal work is considered so stressful. To be honest it seems like a pretty easy job to me, can anyone explain?

It's not the job, it's the management structure.
Apparently the bosses push their carriers and other staff very hard for performance.

Martiju
12-19-2006, 11:09 AM
Any other UK dopers reading this with amazement?!

We might be living in the past, what with our postmen carrying sacks of mail on bikes but you know what, they actually come up to the front door, put the mail in the letterbox and go off on the rest of their route...almost always without complaint.

I always thought it was a bit of a myth that people in the US all had those funny mailboxes on sticks (which means you have to go out to collect the mail) just so the postmen didn't have to get out of their vans!

You live and learn!

Queuing
12-19-2006, 11:25 AM
It's not the job, it's the management structure.
Apparently the bosses push their carriers and other staff very hard for performance.
So what does performance mean? It seems, at least with some stories in this thread, they go out of their way to not perform. I just keep hearing Newmans rant in Seinfeld about how the mail never stops. I suppose I should be careful though, don't want to start a GD or Pit thread here.

Sapo
12-19-2006, 11:36 AM
This raises a question I've had.
I've started selling used books online.
I know that my carrier is glad to pick up a box or two with pre-printed media mail labels on it from my residential mailbox.
How many individually boxed books would I have to leave out before my carrier got annoyed with me?
Is that just something they cope with as part of their business operations plan?

Normally, they don't mind. More boxes, better job security.
If he has an attitude problem, then well...

BMalion
12-19-2006, 11:58 AM
Again, I thought it was an old motto / tradition / saying that weather [listed in various forms] will not keep the USPS from making its rounds.




Well, it's more of a guideline than an actual rule.

Exapno Mapcase
12-19-2006, 12:09 PM
I have never understood why postal work is considered so stressful. To be honest it seems like a pretty easy job to me, can anyone explain?
It's stressful because any job in which you have to deal with people is stressful. If you have to do it outside in every kind of extreme of weather it's extra stressful. If you have to go up to peoples' doors it's extremely stressful. If you have to deal with dogs, well...

I delivered mail every summer in college. Subs have all these problems and more. You need to sort through a entire route's worth of mail before nine o'clock. That means standing in front of a box with hundreds of dividers and matching each envelope to the right address. Heaven help you if you get an old name mixed in. Then you head for a part of the city you've never seen before. You go up to each house and have three seconds to figure out the puzzle of where they are hiding their mail delivery. A mailbox that can be of any style up to fifty years old so it may be unrecognizable? A letter slot in the door? The milk box on the side of the house? Behind the screen door? That box lying on the porch? Again, you have to get it right or there's trouble.

Since it was summer the day is over 90 and you're dying. The kids harass you. The dogs... Well, I had a German shepherd try to jump through a screen door to attack me. The lady whose house it was yelled at me because her screen was damaged.

Numbers? Houses are required to have them, but don't. Some house numbers are on the side of a house. Or in back. Or on a separate house on the property. Or apparently nowhere at all. Then you go into an apartment house. A multi-box opens with a key and you're supposed to stuff mail into these tiny holes but again half don't have names or apartment numbers attached and everyone yells at you for leaving things too big for the boxes outside the box because they get stolen.

Oh yeah, officially you can't cut across lawns. Of course, every single person in the USPS does. Unless there's a supervisor around to see you.

So-called rural routes are easier, admittedly. Our friend from the UK can't imagine how far apart the houses are in a normal suburban subdivision let alone those in farm country. I worked so long ago that all cars had bench seats in front. So when I went out to a rural route I drove my own car. That's correct. I sat on the right side of the car, used my left hand to steer and my left foot to push the accelerator, and stuck my right hand out the window to put the mail in the boxes. This was official policy! This was such insanity that even the P.O. got rid of it and went to the right-hand drive vans and trucks.

You had to take a separate driving test to get certification for right-hand drive. They of course used the old broken-down vehicles for the test. Mine had a seat stuck as far back as it would go so that my feet didn't come within a foot of pedals. I sat on the edge and passed. The first time I was assigned one I was based downtown and had to drive it out to the suburbs through the heaviest part of rush-hour work traffic. That was stressful, yes, indeeedy.

So you're driving a right-hand drive vehicle in a sea of left-hand drive cars trying to pull up to curbside mailboxes which are supposed to be at a required height but are drooping or skewed or have been apparently welded shut, while trying to scoop up the occupant's mail with your left hand and keeping one eye out for the packages that are in the back of the truck and the other eye out for kids and cars and delivery trucks and people backing blindly out of driveways. And that's the easy route. One day I came back to the post office and found they were so shorthanded that I had to do a second route that day. Ever try delivering a bank's mail at five pm? And then doing the route in the dark?

Of course it gets easier with time, but I've left out hundreds of the little aggravations. And today the USPS does not get government subsidies so they push people harder all the time. I feel for the carriers every day. Like any job, you have to have been there to really understand. Carriers really do go out of their way - often literally - to get the mail to you but they have rules they have to follow and they don't have to put themselves or others in danger just to satisfy your whims. Think of the nuttiest, craziest, most antisocial people that have ever despoiled the Dope and remember that each and every one of them gets mail every day.

As for the OP: you can cut off your nose to spite your face and stand your ground or you can get your mail. Your choice.

Meeko
12-19-2006, 12:19 PM
If the job is truly so micro-managed, then I doubt my comments will prevent delivery. Or if anything unethical will occur.

Further, I would like to restate, that I was not blocking the box. I was on the curb of the cul-de-sac, inbetween houses (and their boxes).

Further, beyond that, I move the car before he was out of the cul-de-sac.

Ignorance is no excuse. Fine, I would have liked, and appreciated a reason, over a blatant demand. I have left my car there before, many times.

I think there is enough support here, that a ""traditional"" belief in the USPS is no longer the case. Given what I knew THEN, and how the situation was presented, I might have been slightly angry. Enough to appologize? No.

Foxy40
12-19-2006, 12:20 PM
Allow me to step to the side of those that say you should apologize. It is also customary to tip your mail carrier so you may want to add a gift card or some socks with the card explaining how you didn't mean to make his job more difficult.
In my humble opinion, it seems to me you were being pissy because you thought your convenience was more important than his. He is doing a job, an important job and doesn't need it to be made more difficult because you have a good parking spot.

Telemark
12-19-2006, 12:22 PM
Any other UK dopers reading this with amazement?!
In many places, like my neighborhood, the postal workers do come up to every door since we don't have mailboxes.

But, out in the burbs where I used to live it would add over a minute at each house to go from the street to the front door, and sometimes that long to drive from house to house. It would require 10x as many postal workers to do a route like that if you were on foot or bike. The regs are different in different locations.

Queuing
12-19-2006, 12:24 PM
Ok, sounds somewhat stressful for a day or 2, but I assume that most mail carriers are assigned the same route every day? Basically negating the first half of the stress.

Driving downtown at rush hour? I would imagine a good number of people who are also driving at that time are doing so for work.

Is driving a right hand drive really that much more difficult? It might be, I have no idea, is it?

It seems to me that it is not an abnormal level of stress, I wonder why it has such a reputation? Is it because of "going postal"?

Queuing
12-19-2006, 12:26 PM
Allow me to step to the side of those that say you should apologize. It is also customary to tip your mail carrier so you may want to add a gift card or some socks with the card explaining how you didn't mean to make his job more difficult.
In my humble opinion, it seems to me you were being pissy because you thought your convenience was more important than his. He is doing a job, an important job and doesn't need it to be made more difficult because you have a good parking spot.
Sorry for the double post, but really? You tip the mail carrier? What for? Do they get paid below minimum wage? I know for a fact they do not (well at least not in Canada) and have GREAT benefits.

A.R. Cane
12-19-2006, 12:41 PM
I haven't read every post, so this may have been mentioned, but you could mount your box on the same post w/ your neighbor. This should allow more room for parking and still leave the boxes clear.

brad_d
12-19-2006, 12:44 PM
I have never lived in a neighborhood that had curbside mailboxes. Even in the suburban houses in which I've resided, the mailboxes were on the front porches and the mail carrier came by on foot. Streetside boxes are common in suburbia, but hardly universal.

The OP's situation does sound kind of awkward. Is street parking effectively forbidden during the day there, on pain of mail nondelivery? It kinda sounds that way, if parking even between the boxes is considered an impediment by the mail carrier.

Ferret Herder
12-19-2006, 01:11 PM
Sorry for the double post, but really? You tip the mail carrier? What for? Do they get paid below minimum wage? I know for a fact they do not (well at least not in Canada) and have GREAT benefits.
The reference was to a Christmas/holiday gift, because they get no Christmas bonus, unlike their supervisors who get hundreds or thousands of dollars based on the performance of the carriers under them. Also, during December they get no double time for hours worked past 10 each day; it's paid at the usual time-and-a-half rate - a huge boon for their supervisors who get to look like they're not giving out nearly as much overtime, and ups their bonuses even further.

It's not unusual to give a holiday gift to people who do work for you regardless of their wage status - some people tip garbage collectors who do a good job, hairstylists, doormen, etc.

Oh wait, they do get a $25 Christmas bonus, which is sent automatically to their Christmas party fund. They have 10 minutes to line up, eat their food, and have their party unless they want to take their lunch period and spend a whole 30 minutes celebrating.

Why is it stressful? Because they have supervisors micromanaging them to keep those lovely bonuses intact. They get told every day, based on some computer running the numbers for their route and calculating off the mail volume exactly how long they should take sorting and delivering the mail, and if they're off, the supervisor comes down on them - well, if they're over the allotted time, then they get yelled at. If they're under, the supervisor loads more and more work on them instead. My husband started running his route and skipping his lunch to do all of his work, and for his trouble he got more added onto his route with no extra time allotted, and he could no longer keep up the pace so he switched to a less-loaded route. Any reasoning is met with, "The computer says..." and a stare from the supervisor.

They are told that snow should not affect their delivery time - so according to the USPS, slippery sidewalks, unshoveled stairs and walks, roads that need plowing, none of that should increase delivery time at all. Same thing with darkness - some carriers have to strap a head lamp on to even read the envelopes, and try to aim it at a house's number to confirm it, but that won't get them any slack for extra time required when their long route is done during the fall/winter hours where it's dark at the end of it. Rain either, for that matter.

In hot weather, their non-air-conditioned vehicles cannot have the windows open when they are not in the truck, so even on dangerously hot days they have to roll the windows all the way up and let their truck become an absolute oven while they're away from it.

It's the holiday season, and they're also not given extra time for all those packages they're delivering, even those on a walking route. Typically packages require at least one extra trip back to the truck for each series of blocks they deliver in, if not more.

He's had supervisors threaten him that he can't have time off (booked well in advance and approved by them) for our honeymoon, for family vacations, for doctor's appointments when he needs medical care. He managed to get those times off but typically he has to say he'll talk to the union rep, or even go ahead and file a grievance.

Getting back to something I mentioned before, being mediocre is most rewarded. If you're average at your route, the supervisors don't hassle you. If you're awful, you get hassle. If you're good, you get hassle because the supervisors assign you more work for the same pay rate - unless they let you have some overtime. If you're on the overtime list and you're a good carrier, then you get worked like a dog - the mediocre carriers on the list will get maybe any overtime on their route but otherwise aren't pushed. The supervisors' reasoning is "why pay Average Joe an hour of overtime when we can make Reliable John do it and he'll finish in maybe a half hour?" So the reliable carriers see they're being worked hard, more so than other carriers, and money's nice but it can't make your muscles not ache.

Customers let their dogs free and claim "he doesn't bite!" while the dog is in obvious attack mode, trying to circle the letter carrier, snarling and snapping. They refuse to come get the dog, instead ineffectually clapping and calling for the dog. They put the dog on an invisible fence and think everything's fine, but that merely keeps the dog from leaving the yard (unless the dog charges the line and goes past) - that doesn't protect someone who has to cross onto the yard, like a letter carrier, meter reader, small child retrieving a ball, etc. Most letter carriers try not to use "dog spray" needlessly because that can prevent ever making peace with a dog, but if a carrier is bitten and it is determined that he/she could have brought out the spray and used it, the USPS can discipline them.

Customers do things like put their door slot mailbox on the side or back door rather than front so you have to go hunting for the box. Some refuse to answer the door for an item that needs to be signed for, then the other members of the house get pissed off at the carrier for "not ringing the bell - someone was home!" (my husband has seen people inside the house, and stood there for up to 5 minutes when one house is supposed to take under 30 seconds); others slowly meander to the door while on the phone, and refuse to put down the phone while he's trying to explain that no, you print here and sign there - no, not there! One has even snottily told him, "I'm on the phone!" and sat there in front of him, talking, and refusing to sign while on her precious phone call.

Some never use their front door and so miss issues with their front steps, like slippery shellac'd stairs are still a hazard even if shoveled (please salt or put down traction strips!), or hornet nests forming in the eaves, and so on. My husband thinks that the best shovelers on his route are elderly people who are too frail to be heaving snow around, while able-bodied people - especially with able-bodied kids of the right age to be pushing a shovel - tend to not be as good. (And those who have a landscaping service do their shoveling are apparently awful at it because they usually won't deign to lift a shovel or sprinkle some salt, instead waiting for the service to come around.)

One customer threatened disciplinary action against my husband when her mail from her last address hadn't been forwarded to her new house for 6 months. Filling out a change of address form is the customer's responsibility, but she seemed to think that it wasn't and that he was throwing out her forwarded mail or something. (I guess she got an education in how the mail works because she tipped him $50 this year.)

He's had people cut him off while driving in an attempt to force him to pull over, so they can get directions from him! (Almost inevitably they argue about the directions, and he asks why they're arguing when they're the one who's lost.) People yell at him when he's slogging through the pouring down rain that their mail is wet, and have the utter gall to ask him why, as he's standing there soaked to the bone. He's had people accuse him of stealing their mail (which inevitably arrives within days), blame him for things that other carriers did - even on routes that aren't his, and so on.

So why is it stressful? They're overworked, physically worn down, micromanaged to the point where they can't open a window or back up the truck at the wrong time, drive crappy vehicles, rewarded for being mediocre and worked to death for being good and conscientious, and generally jerked around by supervisors to suit their needs. Meanwhile customers simply have no clue about what happens in their day, and blithely expect their letter carriers to magically avoid snapping dogs and other obstacles while getting them their mail but without ever actually needing anything in return from the customer.

Queuing
12-19-2006, 01:39 PM
Thank you for the very thorough answer, I appreciate it. I now know more about the day to day life of a postal worker. I will forgo anything further as this not the proper place for it. Thank you.

TLDRIDKJKLOLFTW
12-19-2006, 01:45 PM
It's stressful because any job in which you have to deal with people is stressful. If you have to do it outside in every kind of extreme of weather it's extra stressful. If you have to go up to peoples' doors it's extremely stressful. If you have to deal with dogs, well...

I delivered mail every summer in college. Subs have all these problems and more. You need to sort through a entire route's worth of mail before nine o'clock. That means standing in front of a box with hundreds of dividers and matching each envelope to the right address. Heaven help you if you get an old name mixed in. Then you head for a part of the city you've never seen before. You go up to each house and have three seconds to figure out the puzzle of where they are hiding their mail delivery. A mailbox that can be of any style up to fifty years old so it may be unrecognizable? A letter slot in the door? The milk box on the side of the house? Behind the screen door? That box lying on the porch? Again, you have to get it right or there's trouble.

Since it was summer the day is over 90 and you're dying. The kids harass you. The dogs... Well, I had a German shepherd try to jump through a screen door to attack me. The lady whose house it was yelled at me because her screen was damaged.

Numbers? Houses are required to have them, but don't. Some house numbers are on the side of a house. Or in back. Or on a separate house on the property. Or apparently nowhere at all. Then you go into an apartment house. A multi-box opens with a key and you're supposed to stuff mail into these tiny holes but again half don't have names or apartment numbers attached and everyone yells at you for leaving things too big for the boxes outside the box because they get stolen.

Oh yeah, officially you can't cut across lawns. Of course, every single person in the USPS does. Unless there's a supervisor around to see you.

So-called rural routes are easier, admittedly. Our friend from the UK can't imagine how far apart the houses are in a normal suburban subdivision let alone those in farm country. I worked so long ago that all cars had bench seats in front. So when I went out to a rural route I drove my own car. That's correct. I sat on the right side of the car, used my left hand to steer and my left foot to push the accelerator, and stuck my right hand out the window to put the mail in the boxes. This was official policy! This was such insanity that even the P.O. got rid of it and went to the right-hand drive vans and trucks.

You had to take a separate driving test to get certification for right-hand drive. They of course used the old broken-down vehicles for the test. Mine had a seat stuck as far back as it would go so that my feet didn't come within a foot of pedals. I sat on the edge and passed. The first time I was assigned one I was based downtown and had to drive it out to the suburbs through the heaviest part of rush-hour work traffic. That was stressful, yes, indeeedy.

So you're driving a right-hand drive vehicle in a sea of left-hand drive cars trying to pull up to curbside mailboxes which are supposed to be at a required height but are drooping or skewed or have been apparently welded shut, while trying to scoop up the occupant's mail with your left hand and keeping one eye out for the packages that are in the back of the truck and the other eye out for kids and cars and delivery trucks and people backing blindly out of driveways. And that's the easy route. One day I came back to the post office and found they were so shorthanded that I had to do a second route that day. Ever try delivering a bank's mail at five pm? And then doing the route in the dark?

Of course it gets easier with time, but I've left out hundreds of the little aggravations. And today the USPS does not get government subsidies so they push people harder all the time. I feel for the carriers every day. Like any job, you have to have been there to really understand. Carriers really do go out of their way - often literally - to get the mail to you but they have rules they have to follow and they don't have to put themselves or others in danger just to satisfy your whims. Think of the nuttiest, craziest, most antisocial people that have ever despoiled the Dope and remember that each and every one of them gets mail every day.

As for the OP: you can cut off your nose to spite your face and stand your ground or you can get your mail. Your choice.

They should try working fast food sometime - it's 10x as irritating, dangerous, and horrible as that, and the pay is shit, too.

AskNott
12-19-2006, 02:16 PM
Ferret Herder eloquently said most of what I was going to say, but here's a little more.

When I was a wee lad in the 50s, the postman had a big leather bag slung over his shoulder, and everybody's mailbox was next to the front door. Then they doubled his route, and he pushed a wheeled cart with two big leather bags. Then they gave him more territory and mail than the 2-bag cart would hold, and he drove a Jeepish truck to carry it all. Now he drives a square truck-thing, bristling with odd pot-lid mirrors, because he has too much mail to fit in the Jeepoid. While all this increase was taking place, the direct mail industry grew vastly, to bring you all those ads for credit cards and pizza coupons.

Perhaps, in the old days, the letter carrier's job was a pleasant hike through the town, with a 40-pound bag of mail. Those days are gone. If your letter carrier could do her route on foot today, it would be at a dead run, just to make all the stops. She couldn't carry all the mail, though, in one trip.

Sapo
12-19-2006, 02:26 PM
Take my wife, for example. Right now it is not exactly "the most wonderful time of the year" for her. She has been going over 60 hours a week with all the xmas surge. Punching in earlier and out later. Spending less time with the kids. She got a nasty cold going, btw but she is conscious enough of her work that she won't just call in sick. Everybody is anxious about the stuff coming in on time and asking every day what happened to their packages, their pension check, grandson's card, etc. School is out and everybody is visiting everybody, so that means more cars parked where they shouldn't and less room to maneuver her truck. She comes home to eat, spend 10 minutes with the kids while I do dishes, put them to sleep, get a foot massage and fall asleep to repeat next day in the morning.

Then there is Tax season, Easter, Mother's Day, Change of Address for snowbirds, Thanksgiving and whathaveyou.

Dinsdale
12-19-2006, 02:30 PM
Of course, the letter carrier is not the only worker whose job involves stress. And last I looked, they have pretty decent pay/benefits/retirement packages. Not for everyone, I'm sure, and they do earn their money. But you don't hear of a lot of minimum wage retail clerks "going postal."

Jake
12-19-2006, 03:04 PM
What do they do about packages?
I live in a community where the mailboxes are grouped together. About 50 of them, kinda small. When I get a package to large for the mailbox the mailperson almost always drives over to my apartment and delivers it. I always tell them how much I appreciate the special service and they seem happy to do it.
Nice to live in a small town! :)

Ferret Herder
12-19-2006, 03:42 PM
Of course, the letter carrier is not the only worker whose job involves stress. And last I looked, they have pretty decent pay/benefits/retirement packages. Not for everyone, I'm sure, and they do earn their money. But you don't hear of a lot of minimum wage retail clerks "going postal."
It's worth noting that nearly every tiny town has a post office, so that's a ton of employees in one agency. If a few letter carriers snap and shoot people, that's an amusing-to-the-media story to put out there - "zomg killer postal workers!!" I think I've seen more news stories lately about shootings in factories or white-collar firms but those just aren't as catchy I guess.

Listen, no one's saying that other jobs aren't stressful. I don't work for the post office, and I have a stressful job, and he and I have had other stressful jobs before. It was asked here why the job is stressful so some posters gave reasons. I didn't even include all of them (including that the old, nice retirement package isn't available to most all of today's workers, that you don't get raises past a tiny cost-of-living adjustment after you've been there 20 years or so, etc.) just for time reasons.

Anyway, this thread was originally about mail regulations and policies which I think were pretty clearly explained, and if people who want to park in the street near a box would feel comfortable about a truck trying to back up around their vehicle, I'm just saying that's not a wise move, not even including the part about non-delivery. The USPS is a government agency, so they get pretty strict about regulations for numerous reasons - for general "the mail must go through" issues, for their own liability, safety of their carriers, and not harming customers and their property.

Mr. Slant
12-19-2006, 03:54 PM
Of course, the letter carrier is not the only worker whose job involves stress. And last I looked, they have pretty decent pay/benefits/retirement packages. Not for everyone, I'm sure, and they do earn their money. But you don't hear of a lot of minimum wage retail clerks "going postal."

The benefits are WHY they go postal.
The kid town at Taco Bell will just quit when he decides having his supervisor is more than he can bear.
The postal carrier has more to lose, so he freaks out...

spingears
12-19-2006, 04:35 PM
I am at home with the family, and I parked my Explorer on the street/Cul-de-sac next to our yard. You have one honkin' big SUV and no driveway to park it in?
USPS got the right-of-way! T.S.
If you ask nice they will have to hold it at the local branch for pick up!

fisha
12-19-2006, 10:21 PM
Hijack/

We are rural, and our mailmen have to drive a left handed car from the right handed side, still. No USPS trucks, and it's their own vehicles, so no special modifications.

/hijack

dougie_monty
12-20-2006, 03:06 AM
Yeah, back in the day my mail cariers really enjoyed it when I would install ever-increasing challenges for them to over come in order to get my mail to me. Attack dogs, snake pits, moats ... those dedicated civil servants cheerily overcame any obstacle - or gladly died trying. Where need one look these days to find a little basic work ethic and pride in a job well done?
I think it's still a federal offense to assault a letter carrier--that includes sicking a dog on one, Buddy. You're riding a pogo stick through a minefield. :mad:

chowder
12-20-2006, 03:31 AM
Ex Postal worker here

Tips!! Oh yes indeedy.

At Christmas don't hand over a pair of socks (suggested above) or a nice baked cookie :(

CASH is the answer.

I had a fantastic delivery route for over 5 years and it wasn't unusual to receive at Christmas time almost 1000..........no kidding., this in addition to umpteen bottles of booze

One lady gave me 100 every year and a few gave 50.
I looked after all my customers, nothing was too much trouble.

Call me mercenary but that money at Christmas time really came in handy

Stranger On A Train
12-20-2006, 07:39 AM
That's the Christmas spirit!The season brings out the best in people. :dubious: :confused: :mad: :( and all that.

To the OP: dude, don't be a jerk. The postal worker has at least a couple hundred boxes to deliver to every day; that is, sort the mail, redirect old addresses that didn't get caught by the autosorter, carry packages, cope with traffic, children, and loose dogs, and incliment weather. They don't have time to get out and hand-stuff every mailbox, hence the use of right hand drive Jeeps for deliveries. (Most UK Dopers probably have no idea what American suburbia is like; when my English friends first moved here, they couldn't believe that the average American tract home--a cheap "starter home"--often had half an acre or more of lawn instead of a postage stamp of a rear garden.) And as others have noted, making special accomodations--altering their route or having to maneuver to get into position to deliver your mail--can get the carrier in trouble. Is it really so hard to comply with a simple request to park your car clear of the area the carrier needs to position to get to your post box?

To questions regarding the disposition of the United States Postal Service: The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an "independent establishment of the executive branch" of the United States Government (see 39 U.S.C. 201) responsible for providing postal service in the United States." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service) In other words, a Government-owned private monopoly with special enforcement powers and protections.

Regarding tipping, I believe the USPS specifically prohibit accepting tips. So if you're going to make them anyway, definitely leave cash.

Stranger

ratatoskK
12-20-2006, 07:48 AM
Here's another woe of the mail carrier: Most of the year, if they take more than the "allotted time" to do their route, they get no overtime. This changes only in December, when there are lots of packages and they qualify for time-and-a-half (within certain parameters). So they wait all year until December when they can be assured of making a little extra money.

Then what happens? The postmaster hires cheaper temporary workers to carry the extra mail, and tells the regular carriers to not work any overtime.

Sailboat
12-20-2006, 08:27 AM
Jerry: What do you do for a living, Newman?
Newman: I'm a United States Postal Worker.
Jerry: Aren't those the guys that always go crazy and come back with a gun and shoot everybody?
Newman: Sometimes.
Jerry: Why is that?
Newman: Because the mail never stops. It just keeps coming and coming and coming, there's never a let-up. It's relentless. Every day it piles up more and more and more! And you gotta get it out, but the more you get it out the more it keeps coming in. And then the bar code reader breaks and it's Publisher's Clearing House day!

Sailboat

Acsenray
12-20-2006, 09:34 AM
Do I need to move my own car, which is front of 'my' house?

Yes.

Where does he get off, telling me to move my car

If you want mail, you have to follow the U.S. Postal Service's rules.

and what would he do if it snowed?

He would tell you to clear the snow away if you want to get your mail.

Back when the US mail was owned by the Govt.
The USPS is a government agency

The U.S. Postal Service is a corporation whose sole shareholder is the government. It is responsible for handling its own budget and gets no contribution from government funds/tax money for its operation.

Can he not walk? Don't postal carriers walk on mor crowded routes?

A route is designated as a walking route or a car delivery route. If you want your mail, you have to arrange your mailbox according to what the Postal Service designated as. A lot of walking routes are being switched over to car delivery routes and the people on those routes have to move their mailboxes.

Maybe you could change to a house-mounted type mailbox or a mail-slot in your front door.

If the OP lives on a car delivery route then if he wants to get his mail he has to set up his mailbox on the curb.

What do they do about packages?

In my neighborhood, if the package is too large to stuff into the mail slot, you'll just get a note on yellow paper telling you to pick it up at the post office.

DSYoungEsq
12-20-2006, 11:58 AM
Let me point out a couple unmentioned things:

There are places where you don't get mail delivery at all. South Lake Tahoe, for example, in the early 1980's (I haven't checked to see if they started home delivery ever or not). You went to one of several branch offices in the city and obtained a box for no fee. You went there every day to pick up your mail. If you cannot imagine why, then simply think of the trouble of delivering when the whole winter is filled with feet of snow.

Packages: the "proper" method for handling packages is to leave a slip and have you come get the package, assuming it wouldn't fit easily into the mailbox.

Tips: if you love having your carrier handle packages in a more customer freindly way (leaving them in your garage by the back door, for example), if you like having your mail treated with care, rather than stuffed any old which way into your box, if you prefer getting your bulk mail daily, rather than at odd intervals (whenever the carrier feels like bothering), then TIP the carrier. Just because he/she has to deliver mail doesn't mean there aren't things they can do to increase the level of service. When I can, I tip with Christmas treats; at regular intervals I also leave thank-you notes.

hajario
12-20-2006, 12:02 PM
There are places where you don't get mail delivery at all. South Lake Tahoe, for example, in the early 1980's (I haven't checked to see if they started home delivery ever or not). You went to one of several branch offices in the city and obtained a box for no fee. You went there every day to pick up your mail. If you cannot imagine why, then simply think of the trouble of delivering when the whole winter is filled with feet of snow.

That's still true today in Summerland, CA just south of Santa Barbara. If you were to take a vote of the residents, they'd keep it that way. The post office is a social center there and everyone knows each other. Maybe this is why people tend not to know their neighbors anymore in most places.

Sapo
12-20-2006, 12:06 PM
Here's another woe of the mail carrier: Most of the year, if they take more than the "allotted time" to do their route, they get no overtime. This changes only in December, when there are lots of packages and they qualify for time-and-a-half (within certain parameters). So they wait all year until December when they can be assured of making a little extra money.

Then what happens? The postmaster hires cheaper temporary workers to carry the extra mail, and tells the regular carriers to not work any overtime.

And they get no V-time or Penalty time on xmas. So if they go over the hours, they don't get the extra overtime pay.

gigi
12-20-2006, 01:34 PM
Is this a whoosh? Last time I checked, the government is STILL in charge of the mail.I think it's a private company now. usps.gov gets rerouted to usps.com .

I can tell you from experience, if it snowed to the point where he couldn't pull his car up to the mailbox, he wouldn't deliver the mail. ... Our plow guy does our drive and then cuts a swath by the mailboxes. Even with that, we sometimes get a notice in our mailbox saying that we need to do it better.Somehow they have no problem delivering the notice. ;)

Loach
12-20-2006, 01:39 PM
Any other UK dopers reading this with amazement?!

We might be living in the past, what with our postmen carrying sacks of mail on bikes but you know what, they actually come up to the front door, put the mail in the letterbox and go off on the rest of their route...almost always without complaint.

I always thought it was a bit of a myth that people in the US all had those funny mailboxes on sticks (which means you have to go out to collect the mail) just so the postmen didn't have to get out of their vans!

You live and learn!

In the house I lived in last we had a mailbox attched to the house. Everyone did. You weren't allowed to have one on the street. Our mailman walked his route. I lived in a small house in a neighborhood of small houses that were close together. I now live in a house on over three acres of property. My house is over a hundred feet off of the roadway. I have none of the houses are close together. It does not make sense to have a walking route.

One year, I think it was 1993, there was a big ice storm. The roads were covered with about 4 inches of ice. The regular snow plows just bounced off the ice. It was so cold that the salt just made big potholes which mad things worse. It was the worst drving conditions I have ever seen on paved roads. This went on for a few days with no end in sight. No ones complaints did any good. They were afraid that the use of heavier machinery would tear up the roads. Then the postmaster presented the mayor a list of streets (mine was on it) that he would no longer deliver mail to unless the streets were cleared. That day the giant backhoes were out scraping off the streets.

Acsenray
12-20-2006, 01:44 PM
I think it's a private company now. usps.gov gets rerouted to usps.com

I would not take the change from ".gov" to ".com" as any kind of proof of status. I have used http://usps.gov until, I think, last year. However, the post office stopped being a government agency (the Post Office Department) and started being a corporation in 1971.

However, the post office is still not a "private company." It is a government-owned corporation and is considered an "independent establishment of the executive branch," meaning that it still is, in some sense, part of the federal government.

gigi
12-20-2006, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the information.

DSYoungEsq
12-20-2006, 03:33 PM
I would not take the change from ".gov" to ".com" as any kind of proof of status. I have used http://usps.gov until, I think, last year. However, the post office stopped being a government agency (the Post Office Department) and started being a corporation in 1971.

However, the post office is still not a "private company." It is a government-owned corporation and is considered an "independent establishment of the executive branch," meaning that it still is, in some sense, part of the federal government.
Look! In the Sky! It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, it's ... it's ... what the hell IS it???? ;) :D

lowbrass
12-20-2006, 04:10 PM
So what you guys are saying is, if there is a car near the mailbox, so the carrier cannot reach the mailbox without stepping out of the van and walking 10 feet, he would choose not to deliver to that mailbox?
They can get pissy about it when they have to get out of the truck. In my neighborhood they leave a little warning note citing the rule. My regular carrier is really cool; the mailbox happens to be the only level spot on the block where I can change my oil, and occasionally I've had my car jacked up in front of the mailbox. I apologized to him and offered to take the mail from him through the window of the truck. He said, "That's o.k., you have to change your oil sometimes."

But they often have subs or trainees, and they seem to get really irritated by cars blocking the boxes. Then can walk to the box; I think they just would rather not. Packages are carried to the front door, so they do have to get out for that, and for anything that requires a signature.

The neighborhood where I grew up still does delivery on foot. They park the truck and then walk to each house on the block.

Sapo
12-20-2006, 07:23 PM
I would not take the change from ".gov" to ".com" as any kind of proof of status. I have used http://usps.gov until, I think, last year. However, the post office stopped being a government agency (the Post Office Department) and started being a corporation in 1971.

However, the post office is still not a "private company." It is a government-owned corporation and is considered an "independent establishment of the executive branch," meaning that it still is, in some sense, part of the federal government.

Postal employees are considered federal employees and get all the pertinent benefits.

DSYoungEsq
12-20-2006, 09:24 PM
Postal employees are considered federal employees and get all the pertinent benefits.
Yes and no. While they receive benefits through the federal systems, the USPS pays into those systems out of its revenues. And the extent of certain benefits are negotiated by the unions that represent the employees. So, as with much else, it's important to understand that the USPS and its employees are federal in a unique way.

Zoe
12-20-2006, 10:03 PM
For years I had a lovely postman. We had no problems to speak of and we always remembered him at Christmas time.

Since he retired, our delivery has been hell. We were receiving mail for someone else almost daily. When the carrier stuck a note in our mailbox claiming that he had tried to deliver a package when I had been sitting where I could see the screened front door and hear the loud doorbell and my husband's desk overlooked the long frontsteps, we knew better. I called and complained.

For the next two months I didn't receive two of my regular bills. The department store that I called said that they had been returned. When I was send a copy in a plain envelope, there was no problem getting them through.

I took in a handful of the most recently misdelivered mail and complained to the postmaster when I picked up another package. He promised it wouldn't happen again.

The next package was left at the foot of the steps. I'm still getting piles of mail for other people.

Today, the third package was delivered to my neighbor next door. I'm just lucky that we even know each other.

The man has yet to bring a package to my door and ring the doorbell like my old postman did. This one is young. The old postman was elderly.

What are the regulations about the delivery of packages?

Enola Straight
12-20-2006, 11:03 PM
Look! In the Sky! It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, it's ... it's ... what the hell IS it???? ;) :D


Its a Nationalized Company...Operates just like a corporation, but the sole stockholder is the Government.

chowder
12-21-2006, 03:37 AM
All I have to say after trawling through this thread is .....Kevin Costner would never have stood for it.

Hell the guy even turns around and goes back if he's missed a lil' boy stood there holding up a letter.




God, what a lousy film that was

anson2995
12-21-2006, 11:37 AM
I have never understood why postal work is considered so stressful. To be honest it seems like a pretty easy job to me, can anyone explain?

Because they have to deal with people like the OP every day.

Queuing
12-21-2006, 12:55 PM
Because they have to deal with people like the OP every day.
So do lots of people. Lots of people who make less money and have no benefits. Dealing with people is common, it does not necessarily garner my sympathy. I still think it is somewhat of an easy job.

MsWhich
12-21-2006, 01:23 PM
I don't think those hypothetical people that you mentioned, Queuing, necessarily have easy jobs, either. But really, whether or not it's the most creampuff job in the world (and it's not; try reading the rest of the fricka-fracka thread) doesn't matter, as the point is that the OP does in fact have to move his car if he wants his mail delivery to continue. Bitch about it all you want, but it won't change the facts of the matter.

Queuing
12-21-2006, 01:31 PM
I don't think those hypothetical people that you mentioned, Queuing, necessarily have easy jobs, either. But really, whether or not it's the most creampuff job in the world (and it's not; try reading the rest of the fricka-fracka thread) doesn't matter, as the point is that the OP does in fact have to move his car if he wants his mail delivery to continue. Bitch about it all you want, but it won't change the facts of the matter.
I have read the rest of the thread, thank you very much. I realize that the OP has been answered, and he should move his car. I never said that the hypothetical people have easy jobs necessarily, but they do not receive the idea of it being a "stressful" job. Of course all jobs have stress, but some jobs, for some reason, are labeled "stressful" while others are not. Nothing in this thread has made me think that the being a postal worker is deserving of the label.

MsWhich
12-21-2006, 01:33 PM
Okay. To each their own. I was responding to this part of your prior post:

I still think it is somewhat of an easy job.

OldGuy
12-21-2006, 01:46 PM
Here's another woe of the mail carrier: Most of the year, if they take more than the "allotted time" to do their route, they get no overtime. This changes only in December, when there are lots of packages and they qualify for time-and-a-half (within certain parameters).

I have never known a mail carrier to go over time except for very rare weather conditions. I worked as a temp around Xmas more than once, and while the story below never hapenned to me, it did happen to others I knew. Temp has a delivery route slated for 3 hours. Temp delivers mail in substantially less time and returns to post office. Regular workers tell kid not to show his face four at least 3 1/2 hours since he clearly cannot do the job quicker than the regular guy.

I have also personally witnessed three or four mail carriers having lunch together for 2 to 2 1/2 hours in the local pizza place. And yes I know at least one of them was on duty as he'd delivered mail to me and said when leavin ghe had to complete his rounds.

chowder
12-21-2006, 02:17 PM
So do lots of people. Lots of people who make less money and have no benefits. Dealing with people is common, it does not necessarily garner my sympathy. I still think it is somewhat of an easy job.
Believe me the job itself is far from easy.

Anybody can shove bits of paper through holes in doors....that's the easy bit, the only one!

Getting up at 0430, walking the streets in all weathers, keeping clear of dangerous dogs, obstacles and shitty people who seem to think that their mail takes priority over all others........just some of the hard parts.

Putting up with management who haven't the foggiest idea of actual mail delivery.

Having your social life curtailed because you can't go to a party on a Friday night if you have to be at work at 0500 the following day.

Suggest you give it a try sometime

Queuing
12-21-2006, 05:31 PM
Ok, so they have crappy management. So do a lot of people I know. They have to get up early? BFD. So do I, so do a lot of people. I deal with people all day who think their problem is the number one priority and needs to be fixed now. Full serve Gas Station employees have to work in all types of weather, have people yelling at them to pump the gas quicker, and why don't you have the change (I worked through high school at a gas station). On weekends I had to be there at 6am. My boss was an ass. No one here would say that being a gas jockey is a stressful job.

As I stated before, of course there is stress. In any job, any career there is stress. There are problems with all jobs, yet no one tips me. I don't have some regulations I get to point to, silly ones at that, about nope sorry I can't get out of my car for this reason but I can for that. On top of all that you get paid well, and great benefits?

Its an easy job, as easy as any career type job, with common complaints of many job. the amount of "stress" gets blown WAY out of proportion, I still can see no reason for the label of it being a high-stress job. Suggesting I try it for a while is, IMO, somewhat silly. Anyone doing any job right from the start experiences a higher then normal stress level, due to unfamiliarity. I suggest these people do my job then. I have to get up at 6am, I am on call, I have to work weekends, I get no benefits, my superior is an ass, and a cheapskate, doesn't care about anything but the bottom line, I could go on. Do I think my job is "highly stress", and I should have sympathy from the general public because "Oh, you have to work so hard with mean dogs and jerky people, and it can rain? poor you". No, and I don't expect to. Why do postal workers think they are special? Or maybe more accourately, why does society?

However I fear I am treading very close to moving this out of GQ, and into GD or maybe the pit, depending on reactions, so I should shut up now. Maybe I will start up a thread in one of those forums.

Sapo
12-21-2006, 09:17 PM
I don't think the stress is more than in any other crappy job (of which there is no shortage on this blue marble). Maybe there is a little bit of extra stress for the expectation that you will "go postal". That said, the USPS is big and monolithic. That means that even the most minor percentage of postal employees adds up pretty quickly. Maybe that is why they get extra attention.

MsWhich
12-22-2006, 05:19 AM
Full serve Gas Station employees have to work in all types of weather, have people yelling at them to pump the gas quicker, and why don't you have the change (I worked through high school at a gas station). On weekends I had to be there at 6am. My boss was an ass. No one here would say that being a gas jockey is a stressful job.

Sounds pretty stressful to me, actually.

I have to get up at 6am, I am on call, I have to work weekends, I get no benefits, my superior is an ass, and a cheapskate, doesn't care about anything but the bottom line, I could go on. Do I think my job is "highly stress", and I should have sympathy from the general public because "Oh, you have to work so hard with mean dogs and jerky people, and it can rain? poor you".

Also sounds pretty stressful. Are you upset just because you feel like people should have more sympathy for you? Well, I have sympathy for you. Those job conditions sound pretty crappy. I'm not saying there aren't crappier jobs. Of course there are. But just because someone else's job is more stressful doesn't mean that yours (or a postal worker's) is stress-free. I feel like you must be reacting to all the news stories about postal workers, uh, "going postal" and the subsequent media frenzy of, "Oh, well, the USPS is a super-high-stress job." That's media overkill. Of course the USPS isn't the most stressful job in the universe. That doesn't mean that it's extremely easy or non-stressful, either. And frankly, coming into a thread where people have repeatedly stated, "My/my husband's/my wife's job is stressful" and saying, "No it isn't, you're making that up" seems fairly silly to me.

You're right, this does feel pretty hijacky. I will therefore end my comments on this matter here (I think that's pretty much all I have to say, anyway -- that while not the world's most stressful job, being a postal worker still kinda sucks sometimes and is not what I would consider "easy".)

Ignatz
12-22-2006, 07:19 PM
If they get really evil they'll put one of those conglomerated mailbox deals at the end of the street. Now THOSE are the devil.


They're called clusterfu..s, er, clusterboxes, and you better hope you don't get a lot of packages bigger than those little boxes.

BTW, the "motto" is (only) an engraving on the main post office building (somewhere-NYC, I think). "Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night shall stay these faithful couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" or close to that (from memory-Dad was a career postal clerk).

Ignatz
12-22-2006, 08:08 PM
On the other hand, How this for dedication, in the face of folks who won't move their vehicles?

http://townonline.com/marblehead/homepage/8999342502291605087

Mr. Slant
12-23-2006, 11:27 AM
SNIP
As I stated before, of course there is stress. In any job, any career there is stress. There are problems with all jobs, yet no one tips me. I don't have some regulations I get to point to, silly ones at that, about nope sorry I can't get out of my car for this reason but I can for that. On top of all that you get paid well, and great benefits?
SNIP

Queuing,

It's the BENEFITS and decent pay that make people go postal.
If it paid $8 per hour and they didn't have benefits, people wouldn't go crazy, they'd just quit and go to Taco Bell.

barelypure
12-15-2014, 05:23 PM
I got one of their slips in the mailbox today. Thing is he doesn't have to get out of the truck to deliver my mail. Now he does have to back up to go to the next box to go around a truck parked in the cul de sac until I can get the title in my name and it sold. On my street cars are parked on both sides so I suspect he has to get out a lot.

Doctor Jackson
12-15-2014, 05:38 PM
The zombies are going postal!

Don't know if you realize it, barelypure, but the thread you responded to is 8 years old (almost to the day!).

Little Nemo
12-15-2014, 05:55 PM
To get back to the OP, the mail guy might have the legal right to tell somebody to move their car. Nobody owns a public street so your right to park your car on it can be limited. That's why you can be legally ordered to move your car for public works or emergency vehicles or be told to clear the street for snow removal or a parade.

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