What Is Happening With The US Post Office?

rural mail carrier, usps, us post office, us postal service, mailman, mail man, united states, tips, advice, rca, rural carrier associates, rca's, letter carriers, stress, anxiety, amazon, packages, delivery, burden, worker shortage

Is the USPS Destined For Failure?

If the post office where you work at is anything like mine, you probably have  all asked yourself the same question – and with good reason. Every week I am amazed by the lack of organization and managerial skills of what used to be a very proud American institution. Take the current situation at our office:

Two weeks ago our supervisor (who was not even capable of doing that job) was promoted to be a postmaster of another town within the state after less than a year of experience in the supervisor role. This past week we were notified that our own postmaster decided to resign her job position and yesterday one of the city carriers who was actually due to be converted to full-time decided to quit.

On top of that, 2 of our 3 RCA’s in the office quit a month ago leaving us with 1 RCA for 7 rural routes in our office. I wish this was a rarity but from what I have heard, this is becoming the norm these days at the USPS. Because of the shortage of workers, the full time rural mail carriers at our office are forced to work on their days off and I personally have yet to take a paid vacation day all year. When I try to explain the situation to friends and family, they think I must be making it up. They say: “That can’t be true. How can they do that?” 

The lack of common sense in some of the decisions made by higher-ups in the Post Office continue to boggle my mind. It’s almost like they want us to fail by offering us as little support as possible while continuing to bury us with more work, more packages, no time off and increased stress.

We are all dreading what lies ahead with the upcoming holiday season just a few months away. The entire infrastructure of the USPS needs to change. For example, the fleet of vehicles in our office are in the shop more than they are on the road and those of us who use our own vehicles are seeing a dramatic increase in maintenance costs because of the extra miles and heavier loads courtesy of Amazon.

My own route averages double trips nearly 80% of the time now. This was a taboo in our office for as long as I could remember. We always had the mentality to never do a second trip and now I just come to expect it every day. If I don’t have to come back for a second load, it’s become a luxury for me and my expectations is that this is going to increase to three-load days on a regular basis very soon. It already has on some occasions. 

Is there an easy solution to this issue for rural mail carriers? Most of the carriers in our office seem to think if the USPS were to follow the policy of UPS and hire extra package handlers, this would be a huge help for us carriers. How easy would it be to just hire some people to deliver packages only? They would not be required to learn entire routes; carry mail or convert their vehicles to RHD for deliveries.

These 3 things alone are what I believe is a big reason why it has been so difficult to find and retain RCA’s across the country. 

And when an RCA is actually hired (like finding a rare species of bird), they are immediately asked to cover many routes with little or no training and scared away before they have a chance to succeed. 

The USPS needs to do a MUCH better job in attracting and maintaining employees at all levels. Their philosophy of this being a desirable place to work needs to be re-examined. Look at what made people want to work for the Post Office many years ago and why so few people even consider it these days. 

Sorry for the rant but this has been on my mind for a while and I personally do not see any light at the end of the tunnel unless some major changes are made from the top down with the entire USPS.