Mailman (City Letter Carrier)

Mailman (City Letter Carrier)


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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1114 Questions


Last Answer on March 19, 2018

Best Rated

Do mailmen get paid more for working in bad neighborhoods?

Asked by Sunil almost 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.

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 almost 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.

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 almost 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.

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 almost 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.

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 almost 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.

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

Asked by Rebekah almost 6 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.

Why do some items get lost in the mail? Is there anything I can do to minimize the chance of this happening?

Asked by slowgrind almost 6 years ago

I am not sure of the reason why your cards may not get to its intended destination. I would make sure you have the following items taken care of. 1) check to make sure the address is correct and legible (definitely include apt. Or suite #'s if appropriate) 2) put a return address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope. 3) make sure there is sufficient postage on the envelope. Most basic greeting cards require just 1 stamp, but if the item has an irregular shape or contains very rigid contents, there may be additional postage required. We certainly make mistakes and misdeliver or destroy (sorting machines) mail on occasion, but it is more the exception than the rule. So we can't guarantee your card will get to its intended destination by dropping it in a blue mailbox, I can say it is VERY likely it will. Well more than 99% of the time in my opinion.