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.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +

Share:

Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

1227 Questions

Share:

Last Answer on February 18, 2022

Best Rated

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 10 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.

I remember as a kid being told that if you want to mail a letter but avoid paying for postage, just reverse the mailing and return addresses, so that it would just be "returned" to the intended recipient. Would that actually work?

Asked by will b. over 10 years ago

I have never thought of that or seen this happen. In your example, if I happened to see that letter in the outgoing mail that I picked up from a house, I MIGHT notice that there is no postage on it and that the address where the PO thinks the letter should go would be at the same house I picked the letter up from. When I pick up outgoing mail, I do look to see if there is postage on the envelope. If you dropped the letter in a blue collection box, the plan might work. The post office might "return for the postage" the letter. In that case the letter would go to the person you wanted it to. It is also possible that nobody picks up on the missing postage and then the letter winds up back in your hands which wasn't your intention. Either way, it is intentionally trying to steal a service which has to be paid for so I recommend NOT to do this.

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 10 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.

Do mailmen get paid more for working in bad neighborhoods?

Asked by Sunil over 10 years ago

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

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 10 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 a piece of mail has no return address, are you still supposed to deliver it?

Asked by Rebekah over 10 years ago

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.

Did you ever have to drive one of those right-side-steering-wheel mail vans? How difficult was that to get used to, and do you need to pass a special drivers test for that?

Asked by yelz bellz about 10 years ago

The vehicle which you are asking about is called an LLV (Long-Life Vehicle). There is a newer version out but I'm not sure what it is called. It also has a Right-hand drive setup. The main reason for this arrangement is so we can effect a curbside mailbox delivery and be on the side of the vehicle closest to the mailbox. Also, if we need to exit the vehicle to go up to a door to deliver a package, we can safely exit the vehicle and not worry about exiting the side where traffic might be coming from. (which is the left side of the vehicle). I drive an LLV daily for my route. We did need to pass a driver proficiency course in the LLV which is given by a co-worker who has trained to be a driving instructor with the USPS. There is no extra licensing required besides this training course. It wasn't that difficult to get used to and now it is second nature. The LLVs handle very well in DRY weather. When it is snowy or icy they are much more difficult to handle, especially if there is any incline. The route I deliver is very flat so fortunately I don't have to deal with the terrain issue in inclement weather.