Mailman (City Letter Carrier)

Mailman (City Letter Carrier)

MailmanDave

17 Years Experience

Long Island, NY

Male, 43

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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Last Answer on September 06, 2018

Best Rated

How come in America you have the Postal Service who you deliver the mail, but in the UK we have Royal Mail who deliver the post?

Asked by edsumnermagic over 6 years ago

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.

If someone makes a mistake with a zip code (botches one digit, say) but the intended destination is obvious, will the post office still return to sender?

Asked by my-t-sharp over 6 years ago

I don't know the answer for sure, but here is what I think would happen: the letter would probably first go to the city where the ZIP code written on the letter corresponds to. Upon noticing that there is no valid address corresponding with that ZIP code, a clerk at the PO may then notice that the "city" is different than the ZIP written on the letter. After that the clerk MIGHT look up the correct ZIP for the intended city, write it on the envelope and send it to the correct post office for proper delivery.

About 2-3 years ago I received a delivery from the USPS...on Xmas DAY. I always just assumed that Xmas is a federal holiday, meaning no mail service. Was that just a freak occurrence, or is the USPS now delivering on Xmas to compete with UPS, FedEx, etc?

Asked by swanson, ron swanson over 6 years ago

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.

Do mailmen get paid more for working in bad neighborhoods?

Asked by Sunil over 6 years ago

No. We get paid the same wage nationwide. Good or bad neighborhood. High or low cost-of-living areas. All the same.

What happens if you suspect that a package contains drugs (like if it smells strongly of marijuana or something?) Can you open or confiscate it?

Asked by HaBak over 6 years ago

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.

If I receive a piece of mail with no return address, should I not open it?

Asked by bev over 6 years ago

Not necessarily. If it says "presort std" or "Non-profit" in the upper right hand corner (that is known as the indicia) then it is likely a solicitation or advertisement. If it has a stamp or a meter that indicates first class, I also wouldn't be too concerned as long as the item isn't thick or otherwise looks suspicious. Generally if it is a letter-size envelope that isn't too thick , I wouldn't be too worried. I can't guarantee that there aren't dangerous items sent through the mail, but it is rare. I don't mean to say throw all caution to the wind, but I don't like to be an alarmist....unless you have reason to believe someone means you harm.

Will the USPS deliver mail no matter what the weather conditions are?

Asked by Shel over 6 years ago

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.