Missing mail deliveries? It’s not (just) the weather

(Photo from last Friday, sent by Viacheslav)

Multiple readers have mentioned missing their U.S. Postal Service deliveries some days – in West Seattle neighborhoods scattered from Pigeon Point to Fauntleroy. Obviously we’ve had some weather issues – as the photo above, from last week, shows. But USPS information both official and unofficial indicates the bigger problem is the one plaguing a variety of services and professions – they’re shorthanded. First, the official: We inquired with Lecia Hall, regional USPS spokesperson. She didn’t have information about specific affected routes, nor about what percentage of routes have had disruptions. But she did say, “We are still hiring, To review available jobs, go to usps.com/careers. We do update the list every week, so if someone doesn’t see the type of job or location they’re interested in this week, come back next week to refresh the list.” Unofficially, one reader reports speaking by phone with someone at one of West Seattle’s two post offices, who said they are dealing with 70 complaints from the reader’s route after more than a week of no deliveries. According to the reader’s report on the conversation, the problem is indeed a vacant position and that there’s too much red tape to go through to simply, for example, assign someone to work that route on OT. Meantime, USPS spokesperson Hall urges people to report missed deliveries or other service problems: “We’ll gladly work to address any specific issue from the community when brought to our attention. Customers can call us at 800-ASK-USPS or go to our website usps.com and click on ‘Contact us’ at the bottom of our homepage. Every concern will be carefully documented and appropriate action taken to strengthen service.”

63 Replies to "Missing mail deliveries? It's not (just) the weather"

  • Resident December 29, 2022 (12:24 pm)

    It’s not just West Seattle. Maple Valley, Sammamish, Issaquah…all dealing with late to no deliveries for days into weeks.  I feel for them! 

  • flimflam December 29, 2022 (12:33 pm)

    Staffing issues are being blamed for all sorts of things across a variety of industries for a couple of years now – at this point there is obviously a problem with hiring practices, wages, benefits, etc.

    • Morgan December 29, 2022 (1:03 pm)

      US Census showed population decreases last couple years…it’s coming back now as immigration just returning. Will take awhile for labor market to normalize in some way…

    • cjboffoli December 29, 2022 (1:19 pm)

      It seems to me that there is also an issue with labor.  People have retired (as my USPS carrier recently did) or have just dropped out of the market. Our country having a more coherent immigration policy might do a lot of good in that capacity.  But alas, our elected leaders seem more interested in party politics than in innovation, leadership and problem-solving. So masses of people who actually want to work are left sitting in tents at the border, struggling to survive.

      • David December 30, 2022 (7:55 am)

        Not really fair to blame “party politics “ when we know which party, starts with T, is causing the problems, benefits only for oligarchs, etc.

    • Flo B December 29, 2022 (1:31 pm)

      Flimflam. There is a problem in that businesses know they could easily pay more and give better benefits. They also know they would have to pass along their cost of doing business or go out of business. So what would you rather see/hear people do? Complain about slow/late deliveries or service or happily pay more out of pocket for faster service

      • flimflam December 29, 2022 (3:11 pm)

        Flo, I’m not sure I have an answer for that. I mean, USPS is a federally funded agency and in a different category than say a restaurant or Southwest Airlines. 

        • Shaphina December 30, 2022 (3:42 pm)

          Actually USPS isn’t federally funded. They use to be but are now self funded and they did the change faster then required. Problem is they are still government own and politicians like to use it as a pawn. 

    • SLN December 29, 2022 (1:39 pm)

      A very astute observation! There’s loads of dysfunction all over the economy. Maybe this is a good opportunity to do some collective soul-searching to figure it out. :)

    • Question Authority December 29, 2022 (1:46 pm)

      There’s always the lack of human initiative aspect as an additional known cause.  

    • Brandon December 29, 2022 (2:27 pm)

      Obviously…? Huh? Its a societal problem.  Jobs are there.  People don’t want to work them.  Simple.

      Entry level positions are getting paid higher, and higher positions aren’t being paid much more.  Why do more work for a little extra pay?  The general mentality in this city is “you should be able to live on minimum wage.”  Better yet, where’s the incentive been lately to do anything when the government can pay you to do nothing?

      What do you expect?  Businesses to pay more than a job is worth to get people to stay?  That will only exacerbate the issue further.  As wages go up cost of living goes up, then the low end falls back into “unlivable”, people complain, it gets brought up and the higher wages take time to get back up to the reasonable difference which is the point we’re at now.  Which should remind us in some part how we got here.  $15 now was a well thought out and excellent idea.  It worked so well that now our ideas are to pay people even more to work.  Circular logic.

      • K December 29, 2022 (3:48 pm)

        The only people the government pays to do nothing is congress.  You have to work to qualify for unemployment and other social safety nets.  Businesses don’t have to gouge customers to compensate for higher wages.  They choose to so they can afford to continue their stock buybacks that benefit their executive circle.  A job is worth whatever it takes to get people to do it.  People who aren’t willing to pay that shouldn’t be in business.

        • Scarlett December 30, 2022 (3:31 pm)

          It isn’t just executives that profit, it’s also the shareholders/owner.  It’s all the millions who have money in retirement accounts, pension funds, and other investment vehicles that profit from corporate gouging.  I roll my eyes when people complain about certain publically traded corporations but hold shares   in those very same companies.  It’s as if the stock market is this  magical lollipop machine where you put money in and lollipops (hopefully) come out.  As I’ve said before, the only commodity that hasn’t gone up in price is ‘talk’ –  it’s still very, very cheap. 

  • Resident December 29, 2022 (12:41 pm)

    @FlimFlam – right?  What I wonder, is where did everyone go?  Restaurant workers for example.  Many restaurantes are still not up to par where they were pre-pandemic.  So what jobs did all these people take?  I can’t fathem working at fast food place offers much different enviornment and pay but maybe? 

    • Oh Seattle December 29, 2022 (2:58 pm)

      Maybe they’ve all become “content creators”.  That doesn’t require any special skills or training and all you need is a phone and internet connection.  It would be interesting to know how many pre-pandemic service industry employees are now doing that type of “work”.

      • WestSeattleBadTakes December 30, 2022 (2:05 pm)

        Oh no, people taking control of their lives rather than working some meaningless job — and even then being looked down upon by folks like yourselves.

  • Jon Wright December 29, 2022 (12:51 pm)

    Interesting the different stories between the “regional spokesperson” and the person who actually works in a post office. 

  • Peter S. December 29, 2022 (1:00 pm)

    Honest question for someone who actually knows, not just speculates:  Why are there SO many understaffed positions across so many job sectors?  From airlines, to health care, to Wa. State Ferries, to Postal Service, to restaurants, to etc. etc.  Most pay well and many pay really well for the skills needed, with decent to great benefits. 

    Yes,  I know there were a lot of pandemic-induced furloughs/layoffs and retirements, but we are largely post-pandemic at this point.  Yes, I know many skilled positions need training and certification and you can’t just pluck someone off the street and make them an ER nurse, airplane pilot, aircraft assembler, or ferry boat captain.  Minimum wage requirements are causing some restaurants to run skeleton crews  to keep costs down, but that doesn’t explain other industries where minimum wage is not a factor.  Don’t people need jobs anymore?

    • ARPIGEONPOINT December 29, 2022 (2:18 pm)

      We’re not actually post-pandemic and covid and its after-effects have decimated the labor force, whether it be from deaths, long covid, repeated infections (causing absences) or people simply deciding the risk isn’t worth working a public-facing or high risk job. During 2022, we actually have had a large amount of confirmed acute-phase covid deaths (still killing an average of one 9/11 per week) and a massive number of excess deaths, the majority of which are likely caused by previous covid infection, averaging 4,718 people per week (such as the young, previously healthy people suddenly dropping dead). 

    • K December 29, 2022 (2:37 pm)

      Over a million people died.  Not all were part of the work force, but many were, and in jobs that still exist even with fewer customers.  There was also a huge slowdown in immigration, first due to immigration policy and then the pandemic.  There are whole sectors that have relied on foreign labor (both minimum wage and high-paying) who are now unable to rely on that labor source.  So there are just fewer workers in general.  There are other social factors at play in how many and what kinds of jobs people are interested in taking post-pandemic as well.  Plenty of folks spent more time with family because they had to, then learned they liked it, and decided to downsize their lives and work less after seeing it can be done and have a net improvement on quality of life.  Until there’s a paradigm shift in what the workforce looks like and needs from their jobs, we’re going to keep seeing labor shortages.  

    • WestSeattleBadTakes December 29, 2022 (2:45 pm)

      How much money do you make? What is your work life balance? How are you treated at your place of employment? Do you own a home? Do you own a car? Can you comfortably maintain the assets you have? Are you able to save for retirement? Do you have hopes for the future?

      These are just the personal concerns, not to mention the rest of what is happening in the world. Simply reducing this to “don’t people need jobs anymore” lets us know how out of touch you are with what most people are experiencing (or the disdain you hold toward them). You don’t even have to speculate, you just need to listen.

    • Today December 29, 2022 (2:49 pm)

      I’m not sure if there’s one expert that can answer your question but I will share my experience/opinion. The average Seattle rent is $25k/year. I recently inquired about pay for a FT professional position requiring 5+ years experience. The pay was $40k. In that scenario, and knowing that you need to earn 3x rent to qualify for an apartment, unless I earned ~$77k, I would not be able to rent an apartment here. Yes, roommates, etc. In my experience, most open positions require 5+ years experience. In my opinion, the “terms”, used by job search algorithms to narrow applicants, are too tight as 98% of applications are rejected. Let’s not forget ageism which I first shockingly experienced a few years ago at age 40. Then as a country we have been subject to a very large Boomer generation retiring; however, the following generations (Gen X & Millennials) are both significantly smaller populations. Then there is the opioid crisis. I read we lost >100,000 people last year from that. The pandemic (almost a million deaths in the U.S.). That’s a lot of lost labor. And lastly, a payment of $500-1000/mo is not uncommon for someone with student loans. Many people under 50 simply cannot afford to take a PT restaurant job unless s they’re already working full time.

      • Peter S. December 29, 2022 (5:56 pm)

        @Today:  Thank you very much for your thoughtful and reasoned response.  You bring up some excellent points.  I witnessed someone I know who was very well qualified for the jobs he applied to, get rejected time after time by the job search algorithms.  It took him well  over a year to land a job that took advantage of his skill set.  Often, you are lucky if you even get a rejection notification.  Most applications simply blackhole.  That’s messed up.   Almost as messed up as our health care system where the folks without insurance, and thus likely least able to pay, are billed at higher rates than those WITH insurance.  But, that’s another topic ;)  I myself could easily have been the victim of ageism had I not worked in a field that was in high demand.  It was a legitimate concern when I was job hunting.         

      • WS Res December 29, 2022 (8:33 pm)

        All good points. And more “lost labor” – many low-wage workers who lost jobs early in the pandemic took steps like moving back in with older parents, or combining households with siblings or friends, to survive. Some have now found that there are significant benefits – more time with kids, able to avoid COVID more readily, more time to help kids or family members with special needs/disabilities, less need for cars and their costs or transit and its time suck, even just experiencing your body without the constant injury and stresses of low-wage manual work – any of which might be inducement to opt for life where fewer people in a family group work.  Some parents also found that their kids do better with home schooling, or remote learning and supervision. And of course there’s the people disabled with Long COVID.

    • James December 29, 2022 (5:21 pm)
      1. Because working with the public is the absolute worst.
      2. Because full-time work schedules are not always easy to come by.
      3. Because companies don’t invest in programs to create work environments that people enjoy.
      4. Because companies took PPP loans to buy back stock or invest in anything but their employees.
      5. Because people in the U.S. hate unions for some godforsaken reason, except when it comes to police.

      Source: Business owner with employees who share their friends’ horror stories working in other companies. Except for #4, that’s all Southwest Airlines and its recent debacle.

      • Peter S. December 29, 2022 (6:09 pm)

        @James:  This has always baffled me.  Why on earth would an employer want to treat good employees poorly?  I’ve seen it happen to people I know.  Especially in the service industry.   Happy employees = good service = happy customers = good business.  Not to mention the simple aspect of just being a decent human being and treating others with respect and decency.   Predictable schedule should be a bare minimum, but it’s shockingly absent in many service industry jobs.        

    • Ts December 29, 2022 (11:33 pm)

      Lack of childcare. Staffing was an issue pre-covid and so much worse now. If a schools primary or only only source of funding is tuition then it is nearly impossible to stay open while charging prices families can afford. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/11/how-fix-child-care-united-states/

  • anonyme December 29, 2022 (1:43 pm)

    FlimFlam, you make a valid point.  Short staffing has become the standard excuse for every variety of poor service, related or not.  Millions of people can’t possibly be sitting at home with no income.  It feels like a lot of things are very, very broken, and I haven’t a clue how we’re going to fix them all – although a living wage for everyone would be a good place to start.  That said, I thought postal workers made a fairly decent wage.  So back to square one…

    • WestSeattleBadTakes December 29, 2022 (2:37 pm)

      although a living wage for everyone would be a good place to start.  That said, I thought postal workers made a fairly decent wage.  So back to square one…

      “Fairly decent wage” 
      This level of engagement with this subject is precisely why we are in the position.

    • flimflam December 29, 2022 (3:08 pm)

      People are certainly not just sitting around collecting unemployment at this point (a favorite talking point for some time) so that’s a good question. I do know that many people decided their time was worth more during covid and either switched industries entirely or retired early. I certainly am not an expert and haven’t studied this but the constant cry of “staffing issues” remains and it can seemingly only be blamed on the businesses at this point.

    • Eric1 December 29, 2022 (4:03 pm)

      Anonyme: I don’t think millions of people are sitting at home with no income in the pure sense (as in unemployed with no benefits) and things are broken.  However, just judging from my workplace, lots of people “have had enough”.  Some of it it definitely Covid related: finding one’s own mortality and realizing that the work/life balance isn’t what you thought it was. Working from home let my co-workers run retirement scenarios and when they thought about it, there is only a decade or so of retirement where your money AND your health are both good enough to “enjoy retirement”.  Lots of us (late boomers, early genX) actually have the financial stability to pick up our stuff and just not go back to work. Some of them (millions?) probably decided to do just that as you read anecdotally in this message stream.  I am chicken and I am still biding my time at work.  But in reality, I and a host of other co-workers are just one “F-this” from retiring.  It doesn’t help that the City of Seattle is dysfunctional, the cost of living is high and if you sell your house, you can probably live almost anywhere else debt free.  There are about 25million people between 55 and 65 years old in the US and  Covid reset what retirement is about (seniors were hard hit). I think it scared a lot of people into retiring early by convincing them that working until 65-70 just isn’t worth the shorter time to enjoy in retirement.  Like you said, postal workers historically made a decent wage, and I have heard the current working conditions have deteriorated as well; perhaps a greater percentage of postal workers are hanging up their uniforms now because covid is “over”  and enjoying retirement is possible again.

      • Peter S. December 29, 2022 (6:24 pm)

        @E1:  You bring up some very good points.  We are likely looking at a looming teacher shortage crisis for exactly the reasons you describe.  Between students who have learned they won’t be allowed to fail a class even though they don’t put in any effort to learn the subject, broken curriculums, and parents who have abdicated their parenting responsibilities to the schools, many experienced teachers are one “F-it” away from hanging up their chalkboards.

    • James December 29, 2022 (5:31 pm)

      The USPS office in the Junction advertises that carriers can earn $22.18 per hour paid bi-weekly. If a carrier works 40 hours per week, their gross income is $1774.40 bi-weekly. If their standard tax deductions are around 28% per paycheck, then their net income is $1277.57, or $2555.14 a month. (This does not cover union dues or additional deductions for insurance or retirement.) After tax, the net income for a postal worker is $30,661.63. At what age for a person would this wage be considered decent?

    • 1994 December 29, 2022 (8:06 pm)

      Stop by your local post office to see the wages offered for the job openings. Most are around $18-21 an hour.  If a person doesn’t have to pay rent, insurances, phone, utilities, transportation then maybe you (teenagers) can work full time at those wages….and forget about saving money for a car repair or rainy day! Those jobs are available because people can’t afford to live on the wages offered, and need 2 jobs to get by. Who wants to work 60+ hours a week?

  • Sarge December 29, 2022 (2:02 pm)

    I contacted USPS to alert them to the fact that my route had zero mail for more than a week and got the standard “oh yes, sometimes mail is delayed” response.  Thank goodness WS Blog had more info.

    • Mz December 29, 2022 (5:14 pm)

      Sarge,Was your mailman Paul who retired in October? I, too, did not get mail for a week. Today, the person delivering mailman wasn’t even wearing a uniform. He was in sweats! Since Paul retired, a couple days a week, my mail has been delivered after 7 pm!

      • Sarge December 29, 2022 (6:17 pm)

        No, Mz— in my area near Fairmount Park we have had a whole series of different mail carriers for more than a year. I wish the answer were as clear as retirement. We often have gotten mail after 8pm, too. It’s all over the place and makes me think we are at the bottom of a list somewhere

  • Mj December 29, 2022 (2:07 pm)

    The irony is that there are ample job opportunities available many with decent pay and benefits, thus begging the question why are so many people living on the streets?

    • K December 29, 2022 (3:36 pm)

      Because there is not ample housing.  Most of the homeless have jobs, or are unable to work due to disability.

  • Carol December 29, 2022 (2:48 pm)

    Hmmmm….. I  think Lecia Hall should try calling the 800 number or using the usps.com “contact us” functions. It’s a toss up as to what is more frustrating, i.e. , not getting any mail deliveries or trying to talk to someone at USPS about it.

  • Barbara December 29, 2022 (3:17 pm)

    I live in Gatewood and had not received mail for at least 6 days, including a holiday greeting mailed from the SF bay area 12/19. I asked about it at the Westwood PO yesterday since I signed up for informed delivery and knew it was stacking up. I was told my street has no carrier and 6 carriers are sharing delivering our mail until the position is filled. I received my mail last night at 7:30 pm (but not the magazines). I do appreciate the extra work the carriers are putting in and feel bad for them – they need bonuses for sure. I’m sure it hasn’t helped that Louis DeJoy destroyed working mail sorting equipment. 

    • Carrier’s wife December 29, 2022 (4:30 pm)

      This above ^^  there are several routes at Westwood that do not have a regular carrier, and all of the other carriers are responsible for doing their own route, plus carrying a little bit of extra to cover the ones that do not have an assigned person to them. The weather did compound things, but besides that it’s the holiday season, they are understaffed and everyone is working their butts off to get mail to people. Personally, my husband is a carrier and he comes home regularly between 9 – 10 pm every night and he starts at 7 AM. And he’s not even on the overtime list! It’s tough for them right now, many people work on their days off and some have even volunteered to work on the holiday when the post office was closed. 

  • Karen December 29, 2022 (4:29 pm)

    You can sign up for the Informed Delivery service for free at the postal service website and you will get an email every day telling you what mail will be delivered.  It is free and can help you track late mail.Not surprising people don’t want to work for the government given how the general public has become so disparaging towards civil servants these days.  

    • Sarge December 29, 2022 (6:25 pm)

      Mine keeps showing me all the mail that is never delivered, starting nearly 2 weeks ago ☹️

      • ARPIGEONPOINT December 30, 2022 (1:30 pm)

        Same here, and to add insult to injury, items older than 7 days just fall off the Informed Delivery tracker. I got a call from the Westwood post office yesterday and was told that supervisors were out delivering all of the mail located at that post office. I received maybe 25% of what I know was missing. Wish the Christmas card my friend in Seatac sent weeks ago had arrived. 

  • Lagartija Nick December 29, 2022 (4:57 pm)

    The Postmaster General, Louis De Joy, is why your mail isn’t getting delivered. He was appointed by Trump and Senate republicans to do exactly this, systematically destroy the postal service from within so they can privatize it and sell it off to their political donors. Additionally, the postal service offers low wages, long hours and mandatory overtime, and has an increasingly hostile work environment. This is why “nobody wants to work” there.

    • Susan Harrison December 29, 2022 (11:03 pm)

      That is absolutely true. I have a frie d who worked at Westwood. Brutal working conditions. Toxic work environment. Ive been getting all my neighbors mail. 

    • TS December 30, 2022 (9:04 am)

      This. So much this. What most outside observers are talking about is carriers and clerks. They aren’t discussing the backbone of the post office: the dock workers and handlers and other folks in the back offloading, onloading, and sorting your mail without all the equipment they need because it was either removed or in a bad state of repair. It’s heavy and hard labor, and some of those workers have been on mandatory overtime (12-hour shifts) six days a week for over a month. Even if the pay was good (which it only is because of that OT), it doesn’t much matter because it’s all they can do to go home, sleep, then get up and do it again. Even when they get new workers, they can’t keep them because of the conditions. Few are fully trained when they stay, and many are working multiple positions they weren’t hired/trained for because they have to cover everywhere else.  The back of the post office has been broken, systemically. 

  • Math Teacher December 29, 2022 (5:18 pm)

    Ok, so I went to the USPS job listings. There are NO openings listed for carriers in Seattle. Zippo, nada, none.  

    • WSB December 29, 2022 (5:42 pm)

      That’s a change from when I looked before publishing this, when I saw at least three.

  • Matt December 29, 2022 (5:22 pm)

    I travel often and every single time, despite having a mail hold well ahead of time, my carrier delivers the mail at least the first day of the hold and often the second.  Several times they’ve delivered packages.  This last time someone sent me a package unexpectedly and they dropped it right on my front porch, in the middle of the mail hold period, for all to steal.  Thankfully I have a doorbell camera and had to ask a friend to do me a big favor and pick it up.  Then that same trip, with the mail hold set to end on Saturday and have the mail delivered on Monday, guess what?  They ended it themselves on Friday and delivered all my bundled mail then.  I’m out of the 98126 post office and have also had quite a few days of no mail deliveries; that might be staffing-related, but with my mail hold issues I’m more inclined to chalk it up to run-of-the-mill incompetence.

    • Sarge December 29, 2022 (6:20 pm)

      We have had the same issue- it’s apparently up to the carrier to track/ organize. So if there is no regular carrier it’s almost guaranteed to cause hold problems. 

  • Holton December 29, 2022 (6:41 pm)

    Not just King County.  Whatcom County down to less than 50 percent chance of mail delivery. Tax season ought to be interesting….

  • Osprey too December 29, 2022 (7:47 pm)

    Same exact experience as I’ve had several times, Matt. While we were away, our neighbors often texted us that a pile of mail was sitting on our porch three days early.  I now pick up all my held mail at the junction post office when I return. Then last time, I was told that all my mail (two weeks worth!) had been misplaced and no one knew where it was. A few days later I saw the postal carrier vehicle up the street and asked if any of my mail was aboard. The carrier checked four or five packed cartons and pulled a few pieces from each. Voila! Two weeks worth of lost mail in my hands. We also had our carrier leave a few years back and now other carriers take turns delivering to our street. No consistency. Little communication.

  • jw December 29, 2022 (7:48 pm)

    Every week from August through October went to the USPS.com site and file a complaint about missing or late mail. Every time  I would get an email or phone call from Westwood site. They assured me nothing was wrong.  Usually you get the business flyers on Tuesday or Wednesday. I was getting them on Saturday.  I even talked with the Safeway manager on Roxbury and he had other customers complain that they were late too.  He talked to the Westwood manager and got nowhere.  Then for so reason in November it has been fine.  So go on the USPS.com site and make your voice heard.Also a couple of our Rep’s are talking with USPS. Why isn’t our Rep talking. https://delbene.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=3200 

  • WS Life December 29, 2022 (8:35 pm)

    Sporadic mail service from the 98116 post office has been going on for several years. Two years ago I went to the P.O. to ask what’s up, and they said they were understaffed even back then. Now, recently, he won’t even bring any packages up some steps (I’m a senior). Instead he just leaves then on a lower step, in the rain, near the sidewalk for anyone to easily take! That’s not just understaffed…that’s lazy. 

  • WS Resident December 29, 2022 (10:26 pm)

    Maybe the solution is everyone working together to make things easier, safer, and more secure!  A pal in Arbor Heights got neighbors together and they all chipped in and invested in a big steel podium mailbox which could service several houses with one stop. Good for security, easier on the delivery person, safer for the delivery person. I live on a steep hill and all the houses have stairs. It is treacherous when it snows and even in beautiful weather it takes the carrier a long time to do our street due to all the stairs and the hill, but if there were two big steel mailboxes on the street it would be two easy stops right next to the mail delivery truck. 

  • Sarchka December 30, 2022 (9:45 am)

    Is it possible to just go to the post office to pick up the undelivered mail? Nearly two weeks later this is becoming a real issue

  • Sndros December 30, 2022 (1:03 pm)

    I went right up to our Rep. She even has on her contact page in the drop-down list of issues “Postal Service”. File something there and ask for the removal of DeJoy. https://jayapal.house.gov/

  • Concerned Carrier December 30, 2022 (10:15 pm)

    I’ve been a letter carrier for almost twenty years.  Though DeJoy is the Dr. Kevorkian of the post office, the problems started well before his arrival.  In 2013, the post office created a probationary position called a CCA that was paid less and had to work Sundays to deliver packages for Amazon. This immediately reduced the desirability of postal jobs.  Within a few years we could not replace the people we were losing through attrition. Carriers like myself were mandated by contract and oath to pick up the slack.  We were initially helping with 30-60 minutes on other routes. To the customer’s eye this “worked” for a while but as we lost more carriers to retirement, the job became less desirable to new hires, and supervisors were too busy putting out a growing number of fires to fill new positions.  Postal workers are union members but we are legally forbidden to strike and our contract demands that we do not talk to the press.  The only reason you all are familiar with our struggles is because the failure is so massive at this point that we can no longer fill all the holes in this sinking ship. Workers like myself have spent the last few years wondering when upper management would figure this problem out.  It was only three months ago when a regional big-wig came by the office that I finally heard upper management acknowledge a staffing problem.  Other than that, we hear NOTHING from anybody outside of our own office.  Even as Mr. DeJoy’s holiday message plays on our scanners every morning telling us things have never been better, messages arrive from other offices BEGGING for help.What’s clear to me now is that the problem my fellow USPS workers have been dealing with for years, and customers have become particularly aware of recently, is not a bug.  It is a feature.  With all of the talk of privatizing the post office most of us have failed to notice that it has been happening for a while and has only accelerated under current leadership.  To Mr. DeJoy’s credit, he has used his political connections to help pass legislation that would not otherwise pass under republican representatives.  He sounds reasonable when he talks about his “ten year plan” and shares pictures of the new vehicles that will arrive some day, but I would like to know if this will every help the workers or the customers.I hope the employment situation gets better for everybody, not just the post office, but what if this doesn’t get better by 2024 in a state like Washington where ballots are sent out in the mail. Of course you will need to speak to our swamped supervisors about your specific needs and issues, but if you find the current situation unacceptable you need to go higher.  Contact your representative or communicate with these guys:https://about.usps.com/who/leadership/board-governors/Please pass this message on.  I’m sure you all know people nationwide suffering similarly.

    • photon December 31, 2022 (8:56 am)

      I went through the USPS hiring process around that time. Multiple time-consuming (and not easy!) tests with no feedback – just an email to take the next test. Then, “call this phone number for an interview.” I didn’t know who I was calling, or even what the job was!

      Turns out it was for a route on Mercer Island. No set schedule, might work any days or times, no guarantee of full-time but might also be overtime – a surprise every week! On top of this, there were *no benefits* as this was some kind of sub-carrier position (sounds like the CCA mentioned above). Benefits and a schedule only came when a regular carrier left the position and you were next in line. When I asked how long that generally took, the reply was “sometimes months, sometimes years.”

      Thanks but no thanks. I found a different job. 

  • Marie December 31, 2022 (1:04 pm)

    I just sprayed some graphite into my locking mail box, in hopes that when the missing mail for the last two weeks is finally delivered, my key will work just fine.  I’m fortunate that money needed for monthly expenses is not delivered to me by mail, but hope that medicines will arrive before I run out.  Other people must be getting frantic, as the end of the month with bills due is here, with no mail delivery.  I can only imagine the huge amount of flyers, magazines, mail,… that is piling up that will not even fit in our mail boxes once this horrible situation starts to get resolved.

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