USPS Employees Explain What's Really Happening At Their Branch Locations
Photo by Andrew Winkler on Unsplash

The delay in Americans receiving their online orders is the result of the USPS being hit hard from the current health crisis.

There are a variety of factors for long-overdue deliveries – including branches being short-staffed, reduced shift hours, and post office employees admittedly not reporting to work for fear of potentially exposing themselves to the viral pathogen from coworkers refusing to wear proper face coverings.

And despite the Postmaster General calling for his much scrutinized "restructuring" strategy – which affects postal workers from efficiently delivering your mail – they are doing their best to get your parcels delivered to you on time.

Wondering about the frantic conditions these dedicated federal government employees must be experiencing, Redditor Fridayrules asked:

"USPS employees, what madness is happening at your place of employment currently?"

More Staff, Less Hours

"I am an actual USPS employee."

"My office is fairly small and well run, so we are lucky. However, we have several employees (clerks and carriers) who are out with [the virus]. No one is allowed to do overtime anymore. I am sure you can see the problem with this."

"One solution would be to hire more staff, but there are rules about how many employees of each type and subtype is allowed in each office. After a certain amount of hours lost, the office is allowed to hire temporary employees for a limited time. This is after the damage has been done, and employees are already stressed. Then, a temp employee come in, and has to learn the rules, systems, routes, etc., depending on their position. It takes a month or two for a temp employee to become reasonably competent, and then their contract is up soon after."

"I have friends that work in a much larger major hub post office near us, and they are still somehow being forced to work 60+ hours each week. I know of two new PSEs (basically parcel sorting monkeys) that have quit within two weeks of hiring at that big post office because they were not prepared for the crazy hours and the stress of working 1am to 1:30 pm."

"It's bananas."

"We get communications from the new Postmaster General fairly regularly. The last one touted our increase in start times for carriers and a decrease in return trips. Sounds good, right? No, this means carriers are being pushed out the door before they are ready, and that they are not being allowed to come back to pick up another load because of the new overtime rules for most offices. And that's why your parcel is late.

I love my job (for real, it's a great job), but DeJoy is making this difficult for all of us.

Who knows, maybe his changes will end up streamlining our business? I'm skeptical, at best.

I hope you all know that most USPS employees want you to get your mail on time, and we are still trying to help you get your stuff on time whenever possible and save you money when we can."


Stacks Of Mail

"My stepdad is a USPS employee and they're cutting everyones overtime despite the fact that mail is just piling up."



"Actual USPS employee, here. EAS-17 working in a level-22 office with 56 city and 21 rural routes. Postmaster is PCES-level. In other words, I supervise a large station in a major city where the Postmaster runs over 20 post offices."

"Last summer this office was a ghost town at 1700, even on Mondays. Tonight my last carrier came in at 1845. Saturday one year ago, parcel volume was a little under 3900. Tonight it was 8751. Our base hours are 412.53, today we earned 435.36 but probably hit 455. DOIS is only allowing 60 seconds per parcel, but since all these apartment offices are closed due to C19, everything gets run to the door. Complaints and inquiries are insane, too - mail delays and packages dropped at doors means a lot of angry customers."

"All in all, right now I wish I'd stayed a mail handler. Stations are madhouses. But the carriers are toughing it out, generally keep it on an even keel, and everyone has each other's backs for the most part. This station has kept its reputation as a big family, so it hasn't become ugly. Just difficult."


Operational Changes

"In the District that I work in, they're removing one of our DBCS machines the one that sorts the letter mail. The PMG has also divided the Postal Service into 3 separate units, Delivery and retail, sorting units, and An analytical branch to help with logistics to make the service more profitable. Overtime is being cut and parcels are just being delayed. New 'temporary' surveys added by the PMG to track the mail volumes. And there are rumors floating around talking about every Area is going to be dismissed."


"No One Is Happy"

"We currently have over 11 full beamers (big metal cages that hold a lot of packages) full of first class packages including medicine and anything people have tried to send expecting 2 day shipping. Overtime isn't approved and they demand we do Amazon first so we're getting more and more backed up with first class and priority mail packages. It's getting worse every day.

"No one is wearing masks to deliver or in the office, we've have 3 cases of covid, no sanitization, and people have been asked to work while they wait on their covid tests even if they have symptoms. A few people are out for fear of covid and using their vacation or sick leave so no one else can get a day off, and we're calling in workers from other offices to assist, putting their offices into a frenzy making them short handed."

"No one is happy. Everyone is complaining, tempers are rising, some are threatening to walk out and quit, but they show up the next day anyway bc its the best paying job with no college degree in this area."

"The management sucks, the supervisors are awful. They're complaining about all of the carriers because we're falling behind even though package volume has gone up 80% for our office since Covid hit hard in March."

"Customers are complaining about us "being late" even though our daily cut off time is 7 pm, but if we're not at their house at the time they normally expect during non pandemic and new PMG times, we're 'late' to them."

"I'm expecting no Christmas tips this year, that's for sure."


The Amazon Problem

"Amazon is definitely a thorn in my side right now, and I personally prefer seeing orders from smaller, locally owned companies, but at this point Amazon is just synonymous with 'ordering online' so I dont think that's going to stop unless the company completely goes under. And I dont think that will happen anytime soon."

"The biggest problem is the direction coming from the new post master general, he's removing mail sorting equipment, some mail drop off blue boxes, and limiting overtime. So less mail sorting machines and reduced overtime means later trucks from plants, which means shorter time for package sorters to go through the cages and sort, and because Amazon is always our priority, the handlers just don't have enough time before our new 9 am cutoff to get to the regular packages."

"Simply not shopping at Amazon at this point wouldn't necessarily fix anything. I'm curious how much worse it's going to get since Amazon just laid off some of their contract drivers. If that extra workload comes to us then it may get even worse."

"There's just so much to fix with the USPS and the new rules are making it so much worse."


Shelving Reduction

"I am an usps carrier. Our latest thing that affects us personally is they are reducing our cases (these are tall shelves that have every address on our route in order for the mail that we need to manually sort) from 2 cases to one to 'save space' the best way that I can explain this is: you have a normal 2 drawer file cabinet, not jam packed full but each drawer is 1/2 to 3/4 full. Now combine both drawers into 1. I will remind you that you need to fill it up every morning in order, sometimes stuffing things in to fit, then remove it in order to do the rest of your job."

"The best part is the second case was also acting like a barrier from [the virus] from coworkers. Now they are going to remove it and replace it with plexiglass."


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