17 Years Experience
Long Island, NY
I am a City Letter Carrier for the US Postal Service in NY. I've been a city letter carrier for over 17 years and it is the best job I've ever had. I mostly work 5 days per week (sometimes includes a Saturday) and often have the opportunity for overtime, which is usually voluntary. The route I deliver has about 350 homes and I walk to each of their doors to deliver the mail. Please keep in mind that I don't have authority to speak for the USPS, so all opinions are solely mine, not my employer.
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I have never come across that situation, but if I had any suspicion about the contents of a package, I would alert my supervisor who them might make the call to the Postal Inspectors or local law enforcement. I have no authority to make the decision to open or confiscate a package.
I believe that it is just different names for the same type of organizations in 2 different countries. In the US, we call it the US Postal Service. Before that it was called the Post Office Department and was part of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. The Postmaster General was a cabinet level position, similar to out Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. In apprx. 1971, the US Postal Service was formed to be a separate quasi-governmental organization. It is no longer funded by tax dollars and is mandated to earn enough revenue on its own to cover its expenses. That has been a difficult proposition as of late so we have had to rely on loans from the US Government (I think) to meet expenses.
We will deliver Express Mail (which is our premium overnight service) EVERY day of the year. When I first started with the USPS, I was a "PTF", which means Part-time Flexible. Most carriers start out in this status. As a PTF, I would occasionally work on a Sunday to deliver Express Mail, which was done at no extra charge to the sender. Several years ago, we stopped the automatic attempts to deliver Express Mail and only deliver Express Mail on Sundays and Holidays if the sender pays a premium for it. These deliveries are usually done FROM a larger office since I don't think the Extra charge is often paid for to warrant having an employee come to our smaller office on a Sunday just in case there is an Express Mail item to deliver. To answer your specific question, it is possible that the office near where you live also decided to deliver Priority Mail or other packages on Christmas Day. You are correct to say that there is no regular service on Christmas or 9 other Federal Holidays observed by the USPS.
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Sure, there is commonly mail that has no return address. In that case, we deliver it unless it is suspicious. As far as I know there are no rules about having a return address on mail (except certain packages). It is, however a good idea to include one in case the address for the intended person is incorrect and the item needs to be returned to the sender.
Yes. When I heard of a couple of postal workers in DC, plus several others dying from anthrax inhalation, I was pretty sure the odds were low of it arriving at my workplace but was still concerned about it. One day in late Oct. 2001, I was delivering a package to a customer and noticed a white powdery substance on the floor of the van, plus more coming out of the package. Since the package was not otherwise suspicious, I delivered it. I also rang the customers' bell to verify they knew where it was coming from and there was was nothing to worry about. They weren't home so I just left the item at their front door. Later in the day, I looked up the recipients number in the phone book and called them to verify that the package had nothing for me to worry about. They set my mind at ease. The time after 09/11/01 was nerve wracking for many, but I'm glad to see that the anthrax incidents were very limited and have had no significant threats that I can recall since then.
Contrary to our unofficial motto about delivering in all weather conditions, we won't deliver if the weather is too severe. If there is too much snow on the ground, or a hurricane, or other severe weather conditions, a decision may be made to cancel delivery. This decision is usually made a local or district level. In my experience as a letter carrier, delivery has only been canceled a couple of times due to a snowstorm, so it isn't a very common event.
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