I Want My Mail

By Anthony | October 17th, 2007 | 6:55 pm

The U.S. Postal Service. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. But park a car too close to your mailbox, and all bets are off.

8 Responses to “I Want My Mail”

  1. anon Says:

    There’s good reason for that. Your carrier has many neighborhoods besides yours, and is put on a very tight time schedule by the taskmasters at the Postal Service. Plus, if they were to stop and get out, or go around your car, and get in an accident, they’d lose their job. They’re not supposed to get out of their car to deliver the mail on rural routes. If they ever do it for you, it’s a huge, job risking favor, and you should thank them. 5 or 6 lazy parkers like you and they are late getting back to the PO and get their butts chewed and won’t get paid for the overtime.

    Ask a carrier what their jobs are like, sometime. It’s one of the hardest physical jobs there is, and a lot of pressure.

    Just pull your car up a few feet so they have a clear path. Not so hard, is it?

  2. Ged Says:

    Anon, yeah you’re absolutely right. I’m sure FedEx or UPS wouldn’t go near your front door if your car was parked in the driveway, or maybe there was a child’s toy on the path leading up the house. I mean, COMON? it’s only their job for pete’s sake and I’m sure they don’t have schedules to keep or anything either.

    Your rant is absurd. If a postal carrier’s job is threatened by *actually delivering the mail* then something is wrong with the system and needs to be fixed. In my home town, the mail carrier comes ON FOOT and puts the mail in my parent’s mailbox. Why is that do you suppose?

  3. jw Says:

    It isn’t necessarily the home owner who parks the car there. What about a less-than-cooperative neighbor?

  4. Anthony Says:

    anon: The route isn’t rural, it’s in a suburban neighborhood. Like Ged, in my hometown suburban neighborhood, the postal carrier delivers to the whole neighborhood on foot.

    And the car isn’t habitually (or even frequently) parked near the mailbox. If that were the case, I could understand there being an issue with it. But if someone visiting happens to park their car a little too close to it on an isolated occassion, it would be nice if the postal carrier could open his or her car door and step out for two seconds. Just my opinion of course.

  5. anon Says:

    I’ll try to take these one at a time.

    Ged. Just a little bit of research would tell you the difference between a city route and a rural route. I don’t have to wonder why your parents’ mail gets delivered on foot — I know the answer. You do not. There are mounted and unmounted city routes, and all rural routes – small towns are likely all rural – are all mounted, meaning the carrier stays in the vehicle to deliver the mail, which is why you had to put your mailbox at the curb with certain height and distance requirements. I’m sorry you took my comment as a rant. It was intended to help Anthony understand why his mail isn’t being delivered when his box is blocked. Your hostile reply didn’t advance anyone’s understanding.

    JW – carriers, most of whom are very nice people, take into consideration that it might be a neighbor’s or visitor’s car that is blocking the box. That’s why they will, when it’s safe to do so and not risking their job, generally get out of their car and put the mail in the box. The key is, not only are they not required to do so, they are not allowed to do so. To ask them to do that is asking a personal favor that would get them reprimanded if they were caught doing it. That’s what I was trying to make clear.

    Anthony – if you live in a suburban neighborhood, you are most likely on a rural route. Some time with Google or Wiki will explain to you the difference between city and rural routes, and how most of America is rural for purposes of the post office, even in the midst of the city. Also, your carrier, if he or she is not running too behind that day, would give you a quick explanation and will explain the policies behind not delivering mail to blocked boxes. If not that, then please call the Post Office that handles your mail and ask to speak to the carrier supervisor, whose job it is to handle customer complaints such as yours and explain to you why it is happening and what you can do to prevent it.

    If the car was habitually parked there, the carrier would leave you a notice informing you why your mail isn’t being delivered. When it’s just parked there one day, then the carrier can’t deliver your mail that day. I hope by now you understand why your assertion that “it would be nice” for the carrier to get out of the vehicle isn’t reasonable. If they are being surveilled on the street by post office supervisors, which happens several times a year, and they are seen doing that, it is a problem. Again, ask your carrier to explain these policies.

    I realize that just bashing the postal service is a favorite national pasttime, and believe me, no one does it more than mail carriers. But a little education will help you understand and help your carrier get you your mail on time every day. I don’t see how an adversarial approach helps anyone.

    An aside — all carriers, including rural carriers, are required to come to the door if they have a package or signed delivery for you. If they do not, they are supposed to remain in their vehicle at all times during their route.

  6. Anthony Says:

    Thanks for the additional info and clarifications, anon. I do appreciate it.

  7. Jude Nagurney Camwell Says:

    Hi, Anthony,

    It was nice to talk with you at Converge South. I’ll be returning to read Plead the First often.

  8. Anthony Says:

    Hi Jude – thanks for stopping by. It was nice meeting you too!