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 haven't witnessed anyone deliberately tampering with a package, though every now and then a box arrives empty, so it could have broken open in transit or tampered with. If a carrier were to do this on any regular basis, customers would become suspicious and probably call the PO. If the PO rcvd too many calls about 1 route, I imagine they'd get suspicious and look into it. Overall, I think tampering and theft is rare but I am sure it happens in such a large organization. Thank you for the question.
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.
After working A certain amt. of time in one office you can definitely apply for a transfer through eReassign, an internal website for USPS transfers. You might have to be a career employee to do that, meaning not a temporary hire. When transferring to another location, you might lose seniority when it comes to picking vacation days or bidding on job assignments, but you won't have your pay cut if you transfer as the same occupation. (Letter carrier to letter carrier, for example) Fromy I office we have had many employees transfer out over the years. It sometimes takes awhile, but it can happen. If you want to transfer its a good idea to have a good work record re:attendance and safety, as the office you are going tO will want to know about it. Thanks for your question.
Thanks for your question. I believe the USPS would hire a 57 y/o as long as you can physically do the job. There can be a lot of walking depending on the type of route you have. Some neighborhoods have mailboxes at the curb and you deliver directly from a postal vehicle.
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Having never taken the CCA driving test I can only offer tips.
1. Pay close attention to the driving instructor/examiner
2. obey all traffic signals and speed limits
3. 2 hands on the steering wheel while driving
4. Curb your wheels when parking
5 anytime you leave the driver's seat, the ignition must be off and take the key with you.
6 use your mirrors especially when changing lanes or pulling away from a curb
7 Try to avoid going into reverse unless it is necessary.
I am not sure about this. I have never seen it happen where a carrier lost his job or was disciplined. I suspect they may get in trouble if it can be proven that they were negligent In being careless with the item. Domestic Registered mail is probably the worst thing to lose. Custody of the item must be signed for with each transfer. It is a good question though As there can be VERY valuable items in the mail worth many 1000s of $$.
That sounds like a good subject and I'll be gland to help. The best part of my job is the indpendenence I have most of the day while delivering my route. I can listen to a radio or iPod or just get lost in my thoughts. The route I deliver I am so familiar with so I can do it without much deep thought required. The most challenging part is when we get overwhelmed by mail volume and you feel like you can never get a handle on it. The reality is that this doesn't happen too often. The holidays create substantially more parcel business but that's about it. People don't mail as many holiday cards as in the past. It would also be a challenge if the USPS decides to cut delivery from 6 days/week to 5 days/week. This would make the 5 days that we deliver mail so much heavier. I hope this doesn't happen unless the overall mail volume continues to drop. I hope this helps!
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