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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1218 Questions

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Last Answer on June 15, 2021

Best Rated

Were you any more nervous doing your job during the anthrax incidents?

Asked by marol over 9 years ago

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.

Is all mail screened for illegal substances?

Asked by g-ride over 9 years ago

No, that would be cost prohibitive for sure. I don't know what gets screened and what doesn't. If mail is going into sensitive places like the US Capitol or The White House, there is a strong likelihood that it is being screened.

Where do mailmen go to the bathroom during a shift?

Asked by brikhaus over 8 years ago

It depends on what type of route a carrier has. If there are any businesses on the route, the carrier may use their restrooms. Where I deliver the mail, there is a gas station and library nearby. If there isn't a business nearby, maybe a male carrier could just go in the woods, but that would be quite embarrassing if he was ever caught. They could also ask a resident to use a bathroom, but I have never had to do that. Good question!

Isnt it hard only having 1 day off a week? Do you have vacation time besides paid holidays?

Asked by cjz over 8 years ago

We actually get 2 days off per week. If you are a "regular" carrier, which means not a substitute or PTF (part time flexible) carrier, our National Agreement with the USPS says that we can work 8 hrs per day 5 days per week. Mail is delivered 6 days per week. On our day off, a "floater" carrier will deliver our route. Some offices have rotating days off which means I'll be off Mon one week, then Tues the next week, then Wed. the next week, etc. Other POs have fixed days off meaning a certain route or carrier would be off every Thursday. We always have off on Sunday. I don't mind the schedule and have been doing it for about 14 years. Besides 10 paid holidays per year, we have between 13-26 days of paid vacation per year depending on length of service. In addition we receive 13 days of paid sick leave per year which can be carried over if not used in a certain year. I feel that the amt. of time we have off is very fair. I have had a few episodes in my career where I have been sick for a couple of mos. at a time. During this period, I was never concerned about getting paid or possibly losing my job. There are protections due to being a government job and working under a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the USPS and the National Association of Letter Carriers. You may also be allowed to take a certain amt. of Leave without Pay if you need time off, but don't necessarily have to get paid. I am conservative with my savings so I have used this option at times to save from having to use sick leave.

Why have I never seen a mailman take a break?

Asked by Eugene65 over 8 years ago

We are always on a break! Just kidding. I can't say why you don't see mailmen take a break. We are allowed a 10-minute break plus a 30-minute lunch break while we are delivering the mail. I usually take my breaks sitting in the postal vehicle. Other carriers go to restaurants or take-out for lunch. I bring my lunch to save money. I hope this answers your question. 

I'm sure you heard about that lunatic in Canada who mailed pieces of a dead body to some Canadian govt officials. They said that these packages stunk to high heaven and some were literally leaking blood - how did this get past their postal service???

Asked by naaaaasty about 9 years ago

I am not familiar with that story which you mention though it does sound disgusting. If we ever saw a package that was leaking fluids and/or had a noticeable strange smell, our procedure is to report it to a supervisor who could then decide whether to take any further action with re: to calling postal authorities or local police. I would hope if that same situation happened in the US that the package would be intercepted long before it reached its destination but you can never be sure as a lot of what happens depends on the personnel handling the package and how much they care or are paying attention.

Is my mailman required to come to my house every day even if he doesn't have mail to deliver? I've had to hand deliver my rent checks the last two months because he hasn't showed up the days I've left them out to be delivered.

Asked by L Jensen about 8 years ago

if he has no mail To deliver then they aren't required to come to your house unless they can clearly see you have outgoing mail.